No entertainer can move and excite an audience like Tony Orlando. One of America’s most endearing and enduring stars, Tony is celebrating his 50th year in show business. Tony brings to the stage a warmth and exhilarating energy that electrifies an audience. He has sold millions of records, including five number one hits: “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Ole Oak Tree,” “Knock Three Times,” “Candida,” “My Sweet Gypsy Rose” and “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You).” Tony worked for Don Kirshner at the famous Brill Building, recording demos for Carole King, Barry Goffin, Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann. He became a teenage idol at sixteen with his first hit, “Halfway to Paradise.” Soon after he became a music publisher for Clive Davis at April-Blackwood Music, where he signed such songwriters as James Taylor.
Tony has had huge success in all aspects of the industry. The enormously popular Tony Orlando and Dawn variety show ran on CBS from 1974-1976. He starred in Barnum and Smokey Joe’s Café on Broadway. Tony became the first celebrity spokesman for Nutrisystem. He has hosted Time Life music infomercials that have generated record sales. One of Tony Orlando’s passions is working with veterans. He has long been associated with America’s troop appreciation movement. In 1973 he recorded “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Ole Oak Tree.” The song was number one for the year, became Orlando’s theme song and grew into an American anthem of hope and homecoming, reunion and renewal. Tony has been credited as being the father and catalyst for a community wide effort that has become the Nation’s largest Veterans Day celebration, Branson Veterans Homecoming Week. Tony spends most every Veterans Day in Branson, Missouri which is the country’s most popular destinations for veteran’s reunions and patriotic pride.
The yellow ribbon has welcomed home POWs from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, the hostages from Iran and the troops from Desert Storm. Veterans are honored each Veterans Day, November 11th in Branson with the Tony Orlando Yellow Ribbon Salute to Veterans. This is a specially produced extravaganza which is free to veterans and their families. As part of this salute to Vets, Tony presents the Yellow Ribbon Medal of Freedom. Past recipients have included Bob Hope, former POW Major Stephen Long, BoxCar Willie and Connie Stevens. In 1999 the Eisenhower family, represented by Mary Eisenhower—granddaughter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, received the Yellow Ribbon Medal of Freedom.
Orlando remains one of America’s best-loved personalities. He has been a recipient of three American Music Awards and a People’s Choice Award. For outstanding achievements to the entertainment industry Tony was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1990. He is a popular headliner in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno, Biloxi and Laughlin. And, he maintains a touring schedule with appearances at performing arts centers around the country. Tony has played to packed arenas and for five Presidents. His universal appeal has bridged many a generation gap. Tony was one of the first entertainers to be featured as a subject of VH1’s Behind the Music in 1998, received as one of the network’s highest ratings for the series.
Tony Orlando made his first appearance on Jerry’s Labor Day Telethon in 1976 and has served fourteen years as the New York host since then. He has served as an MDA vice president from 1987 to 1990 and again in 2002 to present. Since 1993, Orlando has been a resident of Branson, Missouri where he has performed close to 2,000 shows. Tony has been named Branson’s Entertainer and Vocalist of the Year.