Tony Orlando and the USO Liberty Bells Reviewed
By B. Crane
Tony Orlando and the USO Liberty Bells appeared Saturday August third at Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, Long Island. It is only 43 minutes from The Barclay Center on the Long Island Rail Road. The park is full of veteran memorials statues and along a nice pond. Orlando gave tribute to the many veterans present. Before he came on there was a tribute to the vets. He opened with Neil Diamond’s “America”. Many of Orlando’s songs were about veterans like “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree”. Bob Hope told him to keep singing that and Orlando says he has raised millions for vets with it. He followed with his hits “Candida,” “Knock Three Times” and “He Don’t Love You.” Many stars spread out their hits to keep the audience to the end but Orlando had a strong show after the hits. He has been quoted saying there is a set opening and closing, but the rest of the show happens because of what the audience dictates. Orlando then did doo-wop with “Spanish Harlem” and “Stand by Me” from the hit Broadway musical “Smokey Joe’s Cafe which he starred in. A member of the Capri came up and sang do opp with Orlando. (Photo credit: by Larry D. )
Orlando highlighted his band. Keyboardist-guitarist Cary Cole sang lead vocals on four numbers including Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind” and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” Much of his band has been there for the last 19 years. His brother David shares keyboard and vocal duties with Toni Wine, and the rhythm section is a former garage band from Springfield, Mo. Wine has been with him 52 years and wrote the commercial jingles “Meow Meow Meow”, “You deserve a break today” and “Dr. Pepper so misunderstood”. She also wrote “Suspicious Minds” for Elvis, Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind” and “A Groovy Kind of Love”. She was the co-lead singer of the Archies who did “Sugar Sugar”.
The show opened with the USO Liberty Bells whose music selections were around World War 2. They did the Andrew Sister’s medley with “Boogie Boogle Boy of Company B” and “Don’t sit under the Apple Tree”. There was Ella Fitzgerald’s “A Tisket a Basket” a Jump and Jive medley and another artist’s “My Meir Bish Dushain”.
He showed his showmanship as he had many sing-alongs with the audience and walked into the crowd greeting fans. With his drummer they used drummer sticks to make music on a chair. After the show he signed autographs. (Photo credit: first photo by Larry D.)
For a husband who wanted a photo for his wife who was there, Orlando said to her that he had a good husband to wait for the autograph after the concert. I was back stage and told him my appreciation for the veterans and telethon work he did. Two ex. Brooklyn College students he knew from the telethon were back stage. The photo has the drummer in the middle.
Play List: America, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree,” “Candida,” “Knock Three Times,” Say, has anybody seen my Sweet Gypsy Rose, “He Don’t Love You.” Also “Run around Sue, I’m walking in the Rain, “Spanish Harlem” and “Stand By Me “Always on My Mind” and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”. His backup singer Toni Wine’s “Meow Meow Meow”, “You deserve a break today” and “Dr. Pepper so misunderstood”. She also wrote “Suspicious Minds” for Elvis and “Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind”. “Sugar Sugar”.
The USO Liberty Bells: “Boogie Boogle Boy of Company B” and “Don’t sit under the Apple Tree”. “A Tisket a Basket” and another artists “My Meir Bish Dushain”.
P.S. Send in the correct spelling of the drummer for me to add some of his quotes.
(Photo credit: first photo by Larry D. )