Tony Orlando honored for 50 yrs in show biz

LOS ANGELES The 66-year-old was saluted for his long and prolific career as an entertainer.

"I'm on the road 164 days a year. I mean God's been good," Orlando said.

Orlando spent four years on the 1970s variety show, "Tony Orlando and Dawn." He captured America's interest with co-stars Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent.

"Every week, 35 million Americans watched that show," said a glowing Orlando. "We were the first multi-ethnic group to ever do a prime-time television show and in the four years that we were on television we never received one hate mail. Not one!"

The show also launched the career of co-star Telma Hopkins, who attended the event to honor her old friend.

"I don't know that I would have the career I had without 'Tony Orlando and Dawn' so his celebration is my celebration. I am here to honor him because he deserves it," she said. So many years later, Tony remains appreciative for a career he only dreamed of once.

"I used to walk around a rooftop in New York City making believe I was in show business. I would create my own marquees – you know what they would read? In huge letters it would say 'Tony Orlando.' Then it would also go, 'also appearing Frank Sinatra.'"

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.