“Tie A Yellow Ribbon,” was the 1973 song Tony Orlando made famous during the Vietnam War and now, as the war in Iraq continues, Tony is a judge in the Internet Song Of The Year contest. He attended Wednesday night’s “American Idol” telecast with daughter Jenny (16) and told me that show “has brought respect back to music” and he believes the internet song contest has the same aims — to unveil pormising new talent. Songwriters can submit their songs via www.internetsongoftheyear.com and prizes include a $100,000 for first plus potential publishing and record pacts. Lamont Dozier and Brooks Arthur make up the trio judging team. They receive $25,000 a year. Tony says, “Everyone wants to — or has written a song. The songs can range from patriotic (a la ‘Yellow Ribbon’) to love songs –to–?
Orlando, 63, is celebrating his 47th year in the biz. He once headed CBS music and worked for Clive Davis — all before teaming as Tony Orlando and Dawn. He still does 180 shows a year and recently returned from a successful Asian tour. He maintains homes in Branson and Las Vegas. On May 5, Tony receives an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oral Roberts Universtiy in Tulsa, Okla. He proudly recalls that he went up to only the 8th grade in New York City.