Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Knock Three Times

Song: Knock Three Times
Artist: Tony Orlando & Dawn
Album: Greatest Hits

After starting the week with “Morning Train” I thought to myself… why not do a whole week of guilty pleasures? Sounds fun right? I hope I don’t embarrass myself TOO much. To make me feel better I request that you tell me about your guilty pleasures in music. Leave me a comment below or e-mail me at wecastmusic@hotmail.com and I will post the list with Friday’s entry. (Don’t worry, I will not publish names to protect your cred. Dig?)

As the 90’s finally get enough distance to be reflective about, I go back and forth as to which decade had more embarrassing music. Sure there is the classic rock of the 70’s, and the alternative music boom in the 90’s, but both had some seriously questionable “hit” records during their eras. I guess each decade will have our “what were we thinking?” moments, and I suppose because of the greater distance, the 70’s still reign supreme as one of the goofiest times in music.

The gems within Disco alone could fill a guilty pleasure box set (and have) but 70’s light pop and rock also had their share of winners. One of my favorites is the Tony Orlando and Dawn classic, “Knock Three Times.” It’s a breezy horn-lovin’ summer jam about secret love signals through a building’s plumbing system. Romance! Tony Orlando was a half Greek, half Puerto Rican playboy who grew up in Hell Kitchen (when it was tough and less… gay.) He worked in the record business before recording a demo at Columbia Records and had it released under the moniker “Dawn.” (The name of a Columbia executive’s daughter.) After realizing there were six some touring “Dawn’s” the group’s name changed to “Dawn featuring Tony Orlando” and then “Tony Orlando and Dawn.” I always thought that the two African American singers he recorded and toured with (Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson) were “Dawn.” I always thought that was a little sexist… two woman, and their BOTH Dawn? I get it now.

After hitting it big with “Tie A Yellow Ribbon (Around the Old Oak Tree)” and “Knock Three Times” Tony (and Dawn… both of them) had a very successful variety show called, what else… “The Tony Orlando and Dawn Rainbow Hour.” The show lasted four years and now he performs in Vegas and Atlantic City. My very good friend Jennifer had a Polaroid of Tony holding her as an infant… I always thought that was insanely cool. Do you see the dichotomy?

“Knock Three Times” is the kind of song that everyone seems to know and everyone seems to agree it’s flat out embarrassing to sing along too. I think it should have a “Sweet Caroline”-sized rebirth as a drunken karaoke super hit. It’s impossible NOT to sing along if you’re drunk and happy. So good! So good! So good!

Enjoy, and remember to tell me about your guilty pleasures!

Knock Three Times


Rainbow Hour

1 comment:

BrianF said...

I'm guessing that roughly half my music collection could be considered guilty pleasures. If I can't enjoy what I'm listening to in the privacy of my own home (or ipod) - what's the point? I'm not trying to please anybody or prove any street cred. I don't NOT listen to something because it will make me seem less cool. That doesn't mean I'll play it at a party.

I could say that my 60's girl group stuff would be considered a guilty pleasure. But to delve deeper into that - it's the subgenre of UK chick singers - especially the ones who aren't quite technically good but make up for it with attitude and/or raw emotion - those would be a little more embarrassing to be caught listening to in the subway.