Tony Orlando’s forthcoming tour will be his last, though the veteran entertainer’s journey in music will carry on through a raft of creative ventures.
Speaking with Billboard via email, Orlando says the end of the road would enable the artist to “satisfy my creative juices” by creating new products from films, to Broadway shows, to streaming new product.
It’s “time for a new journey,” he continues. Part of that trip involves the launch of Tony Orlando Productions and Explosive Film and Entertainment companies. “I also plan to pay more attention to writing a Broadway show,” he adds, and “pitching my ideas for films and writing my next book. And maybe even managing the careers of some new and young talent.”
Father time, as we all know, remains undefeated.
Travel today is “grueling,” he notes. “And then when you add the overhead the cost to travel with eight band members on the road and then you add five and six hours of delays or cancellations at airports. And not many non-stops, and then your connections end up being canceled.”
All of that, approaching the age of 80, “well this is not a smart or good match. So, it’s time.”
As previously reported, Orlando’s Farewell Concerts kick off with dates across three consecutive nights at South Point Casino in Las Vegas, Jan. 19-21; followed by shows at Niagara Falls, ON; Des Plaines and St. Charles, IL; Atlantic City, NJ; and Uncasville, CT. His final performance in Vegas should be an emotional one, wrapping 51 years as a headliner on the Strip.
Performing live shows for 63 years has been a “glorious dream-come-true run,” he recounts. “And man oh man I will miss the audiences, friends, and fans who have stuck by me for these last sixty-three incredible years OMG I will miss them for sure! But now it’s time to grow and turn a new page in my life. How exciting.”
Orlando has won a stack of honors across his career. His group, Tony Orlando & Dawn, landed three No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 from 1971-75 — “Knock Three Times,” “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” and “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You).” Also, the act received a Grammy nod for best pop vocal performance by a duo, group or chorus for “Tie a Yellow Ribbon,” which was also nominated for song of the year.
Orlando will continue his broadcasting career with New York City’s 77 WABC, but he’s done with the rigors of the road.
“I can still hit the ball,” he quips. “I just can’t run the bases.”
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