Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree – Tony Orlando & Dawn

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………………on April 21st of 1973 Tony Orlando And Dawn topped both the US and the UK singles chart with “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree”. It became the biggest hit of the year, selling over 6 million copies. L. Russel Brown would later say that he and his song writing partner Irwin Levine wrote the song in about 15 minutes, updating the lyrics from a story about a soldier coming home from Andersonville Prison during the Civil War. Levine and Brown got the story from a 1971 article in The New York Post, and changed some of the details. It was really a white handkerchief around the tree, but they made it a yellow ribbon because it made for a better song. A song of the same name was used in the 1949 John Wayne movie She Wore A Yellow Ribbon. This is probably where Levine and Brown got the idea for the yellow ribbon .The yellow ribbon became a National symbol in 1980 when Americans put them on trees to remember the hostages being held in Iran. Ten years later, a group called Visual AIDS convinced people attending the Tony Awards to wear small red ribbons as a symbol of AIDS awareness. Soon, many causes produced ribbons with different colors to raise money and awareness. Orlando’s backup singers Dawn comprised of Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson who took the name “Dawn” from the daughter of their record company promotions man, Steve Wax.