Songs I Like By Artists I Don’t- “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree”- Dawn Featuring Tony Orlando. No a fan- under any of the names- Tony Orlando and Dawn, Dawn or Dawn Featuring Tony Orlando- their music to me sounded like lame easy listening- not that the songs all sounded from the same style- inoffensive stuff from another era. They had a number of big hits in the early 70’s including this one which I remember kind of liking- Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree which went to #1 in 1973- in fact it was such a huge it it was the #1 single in the US and UK for the entire year. In New Zealand it spent 10 weeks at #1 on their singles chart.
The song was written by Irvin Levine and L. Russell Brown. The song was assumed to be told from a viewpoint of a prison having done his time and is on his way home- but one of the songwriters L. Russell Brown said of that -“This is NOT the story of a convict who had told his love to tie a ribbon book to a tree outside of town. I know because I wrote the song one morning in 15 minutes with the late lyrical genius Irwin Levine. The genesis of this idea came from the age old folk tale about a Union prisoner of war–who sent a letter to his girl that he was coming home from a confederate POW camp in Georgia…. Anything about a criminal is pure fantasy…”
The song was first offered to- Ringo Starr but Al Steckler of Apple Records rejected it saying that they should be ashamed of the song that it was ‘ridiculous.” I dont know how the song would have did if Ringo had recorded it- I doubt it would have outperformed Dawn- featuring Tony Orlando’s version.