"Tony Orlando" (born April 3, 1944) is an American singer best known for his time with the group Dawn in the early 1970s. Born "Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis", to a Greek father and a Puerto Rican mother, he was raised in New York City's notorious "Hell's Kitchen" in Manhattan. His best friend was fellow Puerto Rican Freddie Prinze.
Tony Orlando's musical career started with The Five Gents, a doo-wop group he formed. His first success came when he recorded the hit "Halfway To Paradise". After becoming general manager at Columbia Records, he was tempted back to a recording career when he was asked to record a demo record of "Candida". The label liked the demo so much that Tony's performance was released, under the band name "Dawn" (named after a record executive's daughter). Joining Tony were Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson, and the trio scored a string of #1 hits with "Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Ole Oak Tree," "Knock Three Times," and "Candida". With a successful recording career, Orlando then set his sights on television which resulted in his highly rated weekly variety series on CBS. Breaking new ground, it was television's first multi-ethnic variety show....