Toni Wine told us 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 [Frankie Paris]. 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