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Tony Orlando & Dawn

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This was written by New York songwriters Toni Wine and Irwin Levine, who were signed by Don Kirshner as teenagers and wrote for his Screen Gems publishing company, which became EMI. In the song, "Candida" is the name of a girl. Toni Wine told us: "I came up with the name 'Candida.' We knew we wanted a Spanish girl's name. Rosita had been taken. Juanita was a hit. Maria had happened. We knew we wanted to write a Latin-flavored song, because of the areas that we grew up in, a lot of Latin and R&B music were being combined, and I grew up in Spanish Harlem. Loved the music, just loved that whole feel. We needed a three-syllable word, and all those girls were gone. So Candida had been a name that I had toyed with, and there she became a reality.

We just immersed ourselves into that feel, that vibe, that time period, and just flowed with it. They were all beautiful images that we thought would be interesting, as well as it was a musical lilt, the way it was phrased. We just rolled with those lyrics and music, and it worked for us."
Toni Wine explains how Tony Orlando came to record this: "Tony had a couple of hits, big wonderful hits. 'Halfway To Paradise,' 'Bless You,' in the northeast region, and actually all over the country. They were big, big records. Then he went to work as what a lot of people refer to as a song plugger, but he truly was more than a song plugger. He ran the New York offices of April Blackwood Music, which at that time was headed by Clive Davis. Tony not only is a great singer, but he has great ears. He really does. As a person that could marry a song to an artist. And that was what he did. So he had a very successful career as a music publisher/rep, but he still had that great voice that he wasn't singing. And 'Candida' had been recorded by a group. The group had a lead singer which was not that fabulous. It really was a nice record, but the lead singer was not adored by the record label. And the Tokens had produced it, Hank Medress and the Tokens. And Hank asked Tony to re-do that record, to sing lead. And Tony, of course, did. But he was very, very skeptical, and very worried that it would be found out by Clive, or the offices. And he would lose his job, because it could be a conflict of interest. But he didn't want to put his job in jeopardy. You know, the music business... you just can't tell if it's going to work for you. Well, he put his lead on, and in actuality, myself, Jay Siegel from the Tokens, and another singer out of New York besides Jay and myself, Robin Grean, we did the background vocals. So there we were, Tony put his lead on, and the record was released by this group called Dawn, which had been named after one of Bell Records' promotion man's daughter. And that was cool. So Dawn came out with 'Candida,' and just incredibly, it was this huge record. And we then wound up doing the album. And of course there still was no Dawn, meaning Telma and Joyce, the entire first album, really, was Tony and myself and Jay and Robin Grean, or down the road, some other singers: Linda November. But there was still no real Dawn. It was after the first album, which included 'Knock Three Times,' and 'What Are You Doing Sunday?' which I also wrote with Irwin. And after that first album Dawn became a true reality, and there were Joyce and Telma and Tony, and they became Tony Orlando & Dawn. At that point, after 'Candida' and 'Knock' were as huge as they were, Tony was not worried about losing his day job." (For more, check out our interview with Toni Wine.)
Tony Orlando & Dawn
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Comments (10):

Wow! This song "Candida" is still OUTASIGHT (as we used to say)! Still love this & other Tony Orlando & Dawn songs. For me & my friends, it was the tempo and the production that were the icing-on-the-cake. And don't forget, Tony, Telma, & Joyce's big hit TV variety show. They had a good run with a zany & fun show. Oh yes, kids, don't worry about those negative comments. They're ignorant & not worth your attention! Candida rocks & don't you forget it!
- elmer, westville, OK
candida— any yeastlike parasitic fungus of the genus Candida, esp C. albicans, which causes thrush ( candidiasis )
- esskayess, Dallas, TX
Candida- A smash- What a smash- The public responded to Tony's great voice, the great background vocals and the great lyrics- Candida is a Spanish Girl's name- It's a Spanish name , period. The song is so unforgettable- To me, a Spanish Harlem influence. Which has been proven right- " The gypsy told me so last night, said she saw our children playing in the sunshine- " That line did it for me- I became a huge fan of Tony Orlando And Dawn, mainly because of that line and this song- Candida Rocks, aren't we all glad Tony decided to put his vocal track down ? We sure are.
- James, Diamond Bar, CA
My mother loves/loved this song so much she named me after it. Years before I was a thought, she named the family dog, a white samoyed candida also.
- Candida, Richmond, CA
Candida was always my fav tony orlando song
- Rick, Belfast, ME
How in the world, such nasty comments can be made about this beautiful song, is totally beyond me! Not long after the song was released, I acquired the sweetest dog ever created. She was a Keeshond and I named her "Candida". The lyrics, ironically, became more a reality, than a song! I look forward to seeing her again, in Heaven..."...Where the air is fresh and clean..."
- MIchelle, North Brunswick, NJ
I rate songs by sing-ability. It has a catchy tune, if you cant remember the words you can always join in the chorus and when you are traveling in a car you dont need songs that you and only you know the words. Candida is such a song. try it out see how many people know the words to Candida or Knock three times, tie a yellow ribbon its just got singability. Just enjoy the song
- Jason, Kaitangata
i love this song
and why does everyone always have a negative comment to post?
- pearl, mayer, AZ
The opening is identical to Knock Three Times. It's like they didn't bother to even make it sound slightly different.
- David, Youngstown, OH
This song sounds lousy when it is played on anything other than a turntable brought up to 45 RPM for an LP or 78 RPM for a single. As for the name, it sounds like the name of a well-known vaginal yeast infection.
- Darrell, Eugene
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