Friday, August 05, 2016

Tony Orlando and Dawn Reuniting For the First Time in 23 Years

by VVN Music

The trio of Tony Orlando, Thelma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent will reunite for two nights this week for the first time in 23 years.

Tony Orlando and Dawn will appear on Wednesday and Thursday (August 10 & 11) at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, PA.

Tony recently talked to Scott Shannon and Patty Steele at WCBS-FM, telling them that this is a "one time event" that was at the request of the head of the event center at the Sands. Tony had played the venue for 23 years with his Christmas show and they desperately wanted to see a reunion at their theater.

Tony went on to say that he called Thelma, who continues to be a highly in demand actress, who said "we have to do it." They then called Joyce and, per Tony, "we were like three little kids, I swear".

Orlando had a couple of hits in the early 60's (Halfway to Paradise (1961 / #39), Bless You (1961 / #15)) but struggled for much of the rest of the decade.

In 1970, Orlando recorded the song Candida with a group of studio singers that included the song's writer, Toni Child. The song went to number 3 and he followed with Knock Three Times which topped the charts.

His record company wanted a version of Dawn that could tour, so Orlando asked Hopkins and Vincent, who had been background singers for both Motown and Stax. Along with touring, the two singers also started backing Tony in the studio for a long series of hits that lasted through the middle of the decade including Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose, Steppin' Out (I'm Gonna Boogie Tonight) and the international number one Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree. They also went on to host their own variety show from 1974 to 1976.

The group split in late 1975 with Orlando and Vincent continuing to sing while Hopkins starred in such TV series like Bosom Buddies, Gimme a Break!, Family Matters, Getting By, Half & Half and Are We There Yet?

Tony Orlando and Dawn did reform in 1988 for a five-week tour that ended up lasting until 1993 with Vincent's sister Pamela filling in when Hopkins had acting commitments.