Do you know who Tony Orlando is? For those who might fall in the category of a “younger generation” you might be surprised you know a tune or two from Tony’s array of number one hits. Two of his most recognizable songs are Knock Three Times and Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree. But how did this hit star reach stardom?
Orlando, was born on April 3, 1944 and raised in New York City. His musical career started in his youth when he formed a doo-wop group, The Five Gents. He began hitting the national charts at the age of 16 with Halfway to Paradise and Bless You. He later rerouted his musical career to the nonperformance side and became one of the youngest vice-presidents for CBS Records.
Tony was later coaxed into putting his voice on a demo record for a song titled Candida for his friends Hank Medress and Dave Appell at Bell Records. The song was an instant hit and kept climbing the charts till it hit number one.
Orlando then recorded Knock Three Times. The song quickly became number one and became the top song of 1971, selling over six million copies worldwide.With his wild success, Orlando gave up his successful career at CBS Records and devoted his time to the performance of music. In 1973, he recorded Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree. The song was number one for the year and would later become Orlando’s theme song.
Orlando then set his sights on television which resulted in his highly rated weekly variety series on CBS. Breaking new ground, it was the first multi-ethnic variety show on television.The show, which ran four seasons (1974 – 1976), welcomed the biggest names in show business each week as Tony’s guests, including Jackie Gleason and Jerry Lewis.
To this day Orlando remains one of America’s best loved personalities. Tony brings to the stage a warmth and exhilarating energy that electrifies an audience. So whether you grew up listening to Tony or you find you can’t help but sing along to his hits, you will not want to miss his performance here at Chandler Center for the Arts on March 23 at 7:30pm. Purchase your tickets here!