Our Top 10 Tony Orlando & Dawn songs list looks back at the magical career of a widely successful pop group from the 1970s led by Tony Orlando. The brilliant artist had started his musical career in the late 1950s as a songwriter working in the legendary Brill Building. Throughout the 1960s, Tony Orlando had his hand in everything as a songwriter, a singer of demos, a solo artist with a few minor hit singles and a producer and record executive who was responsible for signing Barry Manilow. However it was his recording of the song Candida under the band name Dawn that would turn him into one of the biggest stars of the decade of the 1970s. When he was eventually free from contractual obligations he hired two ex Stax records singers named Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson, to hit the road as Dawn and record all the hits to come including the monster hit number one single “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree.” Below are ten of those huge Tony Orlando & Dawn songs. This is a true trip back into time.
# 10 – Jolie
We open up our top 10 Tony Orlando & Dawn songs list with the big sounds of the great recording “Jolie.” The song was never released as a single so unless you had the album, you probably never heard this one before. Nonetheless, it’s such a great recording and song. “Jolie,” was written by Al Kooper. The song was released on the album entitled Tuneweaving. The album was released in 1973. Outside of the US the album was called Yellow Ribbon.
# 9 – You’re All I Need to Get By
Continuing with our top 10 Tony Orlando & Dawn songs list we take a listen to the very soulful recording entitled “You’re All I Need to Get By.” The song was released on the album entitled To Be With You. The album was released in 1975. It was the first and only single released from the album. The song was a top 40 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number thirty seven. “You’re All I Need to Get By,” was originally recorded by Marvin Gaye and was a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968. Other notable versions of the song included great covers done by Aretha Franklin and Michael McDonald.
# 8 – Look In My Eyes Pretty Woman
In the number eight spot our top 10 Tony Orlando & Dawn songs list we present the early disco styled song entitled “Look In My Eyes Pretty Woman.” The song was released on the album entitled Prime Time. The album was released in 1974. Disco had not hit yet, but it was very much on the horizon and you could hear it brewing in this fabulous song. It was the first single released from the album. The song was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number eleven just missing the top 10. The album Prime Time was released when Tony Orlando & Dawn had just begun their own prime time variety show on CBS in 1974.
# 7 – Cupid
In the number seven position on our top 10 Tony Orlando & Dawn songs list is the song entitled “Cupid.” This was already a legendary song first recorded by Sam Cooke in 1961. The Tony Orlando & Dawn version was released on the album entitled To Be With You. The album was released in 1976. It was the first single released from the album. The song broke onto the US Billboard Hot 100 hitting the number 22nd spot.
# 6 – Steppin’ Out (Gonna Boogie Tonight)
Landing in the number six spot our top 10 Tony Orlando & Dawn songs list we present the song “Steppin’ Out (Gonna Boogie Tonight).” Although the title may sound like a disco song, this was a actually a swinging dixieland vaudeville style song. It’s a whole lot of fun and many people loved it because it was a big hit. The song was released on the album entitled Dawn’s New Ragtime Follies which was a concept album based on a vaudeville theme. The album was released in 1973. It was the third single released from the album. The song was a top 10 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number seven.
# 5 – Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose
Continuing with our look at the great Vaudeville style album entitled Dawn’s New Ragtime Follies we turn to Tony Orlando & Dawn’s monster hit “Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose.” The 70s were such a great time for music because pretty much any style of music could spawn a top 10 hit if people just liked the song. There was so much less classification at the time. This is such a heavy style Vaudeville song and yet it went all the way to number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
# 4 – He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You)
At the number four spot on our top 10 Tony Orlando & Dawn songs list we present the song “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You).” The song was released on the album entitled He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You). The album was released in 1975. The song “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You),” would go straight to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. It would become Tony Orlando & Dawn’s last number one hit and also their last appearance on the Billboard Top 10.
Music changed dramatically the following year in 1976 as disco and punk would battle it out while new bands like Boston, Heart and Foreigner and the massive success of Peter Frampton and the new lineup of Fleetwood Mac would take over the pop rock market. For Tony Orlando & Dawn, their sting of top 10 hits in the early to mid 1970s would come to an end.
# 3 – Candida
Moving along on our top 10 Tony Orlando & Dawn songs list we turn to the first single release ever by Tony Orlando & Dawn entitled “Candida.” The single was released just under the group’s name Dawn because Tony Orlando was under contractual obligations to another record company at the time and couldn’t use his name on the recording even though he was the lead singer on the tune.The song was released on the groups debut album entitled Candida . At the time Tony Orlando used singers Cynthia Weil, Jay Siegel, Toni Wine, and Linda November on the track. Toni Wine actually wrote the song along with Irwin Levine. Tony Orlando would eventually hire singers Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson to become Dawn from that point on.
The Candida album was released in 1970. It was the first single released from the album. The song “Candida,” was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number three. However it would hit number one on the US Cashbox charts. The song also was a number one hit in Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland and many other countries around the world.
# 2 -Knock Three Times
The hits just keep getting bigger and bigger on our Tony Orlando & Dawn songs list. The classic song “Knock Three Times,” would become Tony Orlando & Dawn’s first number one single of their career on the Billboard Hot 100. The recording featured Tony Orlando and back up singers Toni Wine, and Linda November. The song was written by L. Russell Brown and Irwin Levine. The song was released on the album entitled Candida.The album was released in 1970. It was the second single released from the album. Besides hitting number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, the song also hit number one in the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Canada.
# 1 -Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree
We close out our top 10 Tony Orlando & Dawn songs list with one of the biggest radio hits of the 1970s entitled “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree.” It didn’t matter what age you were in the 1970s, if you were alive, you knew this song. It was played on the radio constantly all day long. It’s one of those songs that painted such a vivid picture in such simple terms that everyone knew what the song was about. Tony Orlando delivered such a genuine vocal on this one, The songs’ arrangement was perfect for the sound of AM radio. Everything just clicked on this one. And of course the results on the charts were staggering.
There have been many stories about the origins of the song and the meanings behind the yellow ribbons tied around the tree. The song was written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown. The two songwriters had read a Readers Digest reprint of a Pete Hamill story that had originally been written in the New York Post. The story focused on an ex-convict looking for a handkerchief tied to a tree while riding home on a bus. However, the ideas of a handkerchief tied to a tree goes all the way back to a Civil War story when a woman supposably tied a handkerchief to a tree to let her husband know he was still welcome home after the war. The practice of woman wearing yellow ribbons in their hair to define their allegiance to their husbands fighting in wars would also become a practice in the 1900s.
It’s interesting that the Tony Orlando & Dawn song would become a huge hit in 1973 when not all people welcomed back Vietnam War veterans in the most unpopular war in U.S. History with the same open arms that had been awarded American G.Is in previous wars. However the popularity of the song would resonate many years later as the practice of tying yellow ribbons around trees would become very common during The Persian Gulf War, The Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan.
The song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,” was a huge hit in many countries around the world. The song was a massive hit in the United States on the US Billboard Hot 100 and US Cash Box charts peaking at number one. The song also hit number one in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, The Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Norway. In many countries including the United States it would become the number one single for the entire year.
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