Candida by Dawn (Bell, 1970)

Tony Orlando is a fun guy. But does that mean that qualified him to sing about fungi? Someone must have thought so and that’s why they offered Tony to sing a song about hooking up with a chic named after a yeast infection. How yummy! Truth be told, while Tony agreed, he also had them issue the single under the vague band name, Dawn, just as in 1969 he issued the song Make Believe under Wind. Candida ended up being a Top 5 hit, but further follow-ups such as My Girl Syphilis or Trust Your Gut, Flora never materialized.

If the song’s Latin groove reminds you of Up On The Roof or its bubblegum hooks by something from the Archies, that’s because it was written by Brill building vet, Toni Wine, who wrote the hits, A Groovy Kind Of Love & Sugar Sugar. Tony, who had a few minor hits in 1961 as a teenager, was working for Columbia Records in the Brill Building and had recently gotten back into singing. Since no one wanted to touch Toni’s tune (that’s what she said), Tony agreed to but wanted to keep it on the hush. Actually a group recorded before him, but they thought the lead singer sucked. Reading the lyrics, it sounds like Tony is playing the role of Candida’s gynecologist.

The song was produced by the Tokens, yes, the whole wim-o-way band. Many people don’t know that the band, as well as singing hits such as The Lion Sleeps Tonight, also produced, as a group, hits by the Chiffons, the Happenings & Randy & the Rainbows. Yes, this hit had star power all over it. The 45 sleeve could have shown a picture of actual candida in a petri dish and it would have been a hit. I just feel sorry for all the girls named after this song.

The Candida crew followed this one up with Knock Three Times, which started with the line, “Hey girl, what you doing down there?“…a nod perhaps to candida or Candida or both?

Leave a comment


  1. J.A. Bartlett

     /  August 8, 2011

    I never caught (hey-oh!) the connection between candida and “Candida” until recently, but I can say it doesn’t matter to me. “Candida” is the first record I ever loved (I was 10 years old), and when I listen to it now, it’s like looking at baby pictures of your grown children must be. Everything that’s going to happen in the intervening years hasn’t happened yet—for as long as it takes to play, you’re in a better, purer, safer place.

  2. W.B.

     /  September 18, 2021

    Until Mr. Orlando was persuaded to “come out” as the lead singer for Dawn (and hire Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson to accompany him on TV appearances and concerts), he was very much in the shadows – photos on picture sleeves in numerous countries had all sorts of combos shown, it’s a wonder none of them contained another famous Tony – ubiquitous UK session singer Tony Burrows (Edison Lighthouse, White Plains, Brotherhood Of Man [Mk.I], The Pipkins, First Class).

  1. Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree by Dawn Featuring Tony Orlando (Bell, 1973) | 7 Inches of 70s Pop

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