Monday, February 12, 2018

Tony Orlando and Dawn – "Knock Three Times" (1970)

One floor below me
You don't even know me
I love you!

Tony Orlando was only 16 when he recorded “Halfway to Paradise” and “Bless You,” both of which were top-forty hits in 1961.

Tony Orlando in 1961
When none of his subsequent releases cracked the Billboard “Hot 100,” Orlando (whose real name was Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis) became a Columbia Records executive.

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In 1970, record producers Dave Appeal and Hank Medress asked Orlando to cut a new vocal track for a song they had already recorded with a different singer.  Orlando was afraid that he would lose his job at Columbia if they heard he had made a record for a rival company.  But Appell and Medress promised him that they keep his identity a secret.

Orlando agreed to sing on the record against his better judgment because he thought the song was a dog.  But “Candida” was a #3 hit in the U.S., and also sold well in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

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A few months later, Orlando recorded “Knock Three Times” with backup singers Toni Wine (who sang on “Sugar, Sugar’ and other Archies records) and Linda November (who is perhaps best known as the voice of the Meow Mix commercials).  That song hit #1 on the “Hot 100” and sold six million copies.   

Tony Orlando and Dawn
Orlando then quit his day job, joining up with Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson to form Tony Orlando and Dawn.  The group not only pumped out a string of successful singles, but also starred in a CBS variety show that aired for three seasons in the mid-1970s.

“Knock Three Times” is a pretty annoying song, but “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree” is infinitely more annoying.

Here’s “Knock Three Times”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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