Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis , better known as Tony Orlando, is an American show business professional, best known as the lead singer of the group Tony Orlando and Dawn in the early 1970s.
Discovered by producer Don Kirshner, Orlando had songs on the charts in 1961 when he was 16, “Halfway to Paradise” and “Bless You”. Orlando then became a producer himself, and at an early age was promoted to a vice-president position at CBS Records, where he was in charge of the April-Blackwood Music division. He sang under the name “Dawn” in the 1970s, and when the songs became hits, he went on tour and the group became “Tony Orlando and Dawn”. They had several songs which were major hits including “Candida”, “Knock Three Times”, and “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree”. The group hosted a variety program, “The Tony Orlando and Dawn Show” on CBS from 1974–76, and then broke up in 1978.
Orlando then continued as a solo singer, performing in Las Vegas and Branson, Missouri. Orlando has hosted the New York City portions of the MDA Labor Day Telethon on WWOR-TV since the 1980s but quit in 2011 in response to Jerry Lewis’ firing from the Muscular Dystrophy Association.