Tony Orlando is considered one of America's true stars. The celebration of Orlando's 30th anniversary of his recording 'Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Ole Oak Tree recently occurred.' America has not forgotten the energizing experience Orlando brings to a performance. Whether it's his albums selling millions, television series, movies, or Broadway's 'Barnum' and 'Smokey Joe's CafÃ©', Orlando has captured an audience in every arena.
Born Michael Anthony Orlando Cassivitis in 1944, Tony grew up in New York City, with his Greek father and Puerto Rican mother. He began his career in the music industry when he was just sixteen, with his debuts of 'Halfway to Paradise' and 'Bless You' for Epic Records. He came out in an era of B.J. Thomas, the Jackson Five, Sly, Simon & Garfunkel, and Ray Stevens. He then decided to steer away from making music and became the VP for CBS Records. That didn't last long, however, because he recorded a demo for 'Candida' at Bell Records for a couple of his friends. Unexpectedly, the song hit number one, so Hank Medress and Orlando recorded 'Knock Three Times', which also hit number one and sold over 6 million copies around the world. The track was recently used in the movie 'Now and Then.' Without thinking twice, Orlando decided to pursue his musical abilities full time.
His famous 'Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Ole Oak Tree' was recorded in 1973 and, incredibly, the song was number one for an entire year. It became not only Orlando's trademark but a lasting American symbol. The song still remains in the hearts of Americans everywhere, having been used to welcome home prisoners of war from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, hostages that were held in Iran, and soldiers from Desert Storm. Every year on Veteran's Day, they are honored with the Tony Orlando Yellow Ribbon Salute to Veterans.
After his famous release, the charts were kept busy with hit singles 'Sweet Gypsy Rose,' 'He Don't Love You,' 'Who's In The Strawberry Patch With Sally,' 'Cupid,' 'Steppin' Out - I'm Gonna Boogie Tonight,' and 'Mornin' Beautiful'.
Orlando began to affiliate with CBS again and created his own variety series from 1974 to 1976. On each show, he invited the biggest stars and sometimes his idols, such as Jerry Lewis and Jackie Gleason, to talk and perform. Jerry Lewis and Orlando were often seen side by side. Whether on talk shows or performing together, they were a highly anticipated duo.
Tony Orlando has lived in Branson, Missouri with his wife and two children for over a decade now, and he often performs at The Osmond Family Theatre. He has been dubbed the city's Entertainer and Vocalist of the Year.
Tony Orlando's performances are said to never be the same twice. He is known for headlining shows in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno, Biloxi, and Laughlin, but he also performs steadily around the nation. He has received three American Music Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a People's Choice Award, and he has even had the honor of performing for five U.S. Presidents. In addition to his musical talent, he has also written and starred in the shows 'Jukebox Dreams' and 'Santa & Me.' Tony Orlando is an American icon, and if you have tickets to any of his performances, you're sure to be entertained!