Born: June 26, 1934 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Tony Middleton………One of the most versatile performers in entertainment today, has been described as having “a rare ability” and a “vocal talent unsurpassed”.
Tony’s career is an interesting and diversified one, which spans many years of accomplishments. Although as a teenager, he was working towards becoming a “golden gloves” boxer, he changed course and became the lead singer and songwriter of a group called “The Willows”. They are most known for the crossover song, he wrote, “Church Bells May Ring”. They did “My Dear Dearest Darling”, “Dolores”, “White Cliffs of Dover” and many more. Tony Middleton and the Willows have appeared regularly at the Westbury Music Fair, American Music Theatre, PA., and at the Tarrytown Music Hall, in addition to numerous other theaters across the country and internationally. Tony and the Willows have appeared on three PBS specials shows on Doo Wop and “Church Bells May Ring” is considered one of the 100 all-time great songs of that genre.
He has performed in several Broadway musicals, such as the lead in “Cabin in the Sky” and principle roles in “Purlie” and “Porgy and Bess”. He later lived and performed in Paris and Europe in the jazz circuit for a number of years. In Europe, Tony was the understudy for Sammy Davis in “Free and Easy” written by Harold Arlin and Johnny Mercer. He also performed in concert at the City Center and Wolftrap with Alvin Ailey Dancers singing the “Mary Lou Williams’s Mass”, and was one of the headliners at Lincoln Center for the 55th Birthday Tribute to the late Charlie Parker.
As a soloist, he has performed and is known by many world class performers. Tony has performed with and the music of Burt Bacharach, Quincy Jones, and Cy Coleman. His act has headlined at the Apollo along with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Big Mabel, and Slappy White. He has sung with Sissy Houston, Nell Carter and Della Reese. He Recorded “Don’t Ever Leave Me” written & produced by Burt Bacharach, which received a Grammy Nomination
Besides Broadway, Tony’s career has included commercials, television, film and the cabaret circuit here and abroad. Tony is a member of SAG, AFTRA and EQUITY. Enjoying both film and TV, Tony is most fulfilled when his is singing and interpreting music in his unique jazz style. His big voice is sometimes compared to Joe Williams, Arthur Prysock, Lou Rauls and Ray Charles and yet, his range is more complex with his deep and sultry tones.
In the last few years, Tony has been singing in various rooms in NY, such as, DaAntonio’s, Notaro’s, Carino’s, Caterina’s, and at the St. Regis Hotel, NY and the Fat Cat. Tony had been performing at Smalls in NYC for a 4-month run. Currently, Tony is singing nightly at Destino on East 50th St., NY with Jesse Elder, his pianist, who is a 3-time ASCAP winner of original music.
At the moment, Tony is also working with and recording new music with Philip Springer, who wrote “Santa Baby” for a possible CD or a Broadway show. They have received some notoriety with a song, “Headed Home”, written by Senator Orrin Hatch and Philip Springer as a tribute to Teddy Kennedy. Tony recorded this song and is greatly appreciated by Teddy Kennedy and all hope that it will be sung or played at the Democratic Convention.
Tony Middleton sings with real sincerity with every word he sings. This voice is truly remarkable with an extensive range and limitless creativity. His exciting voice and warmth has endeared him to thousands of club-goers in the United States and Europe. Tony can be edgy or soft, amusing or seductive. Tony sings with power, feeling and a sureness that only great talents have.
He’s the man who can do it all………….…..TONY MIDDLETON
Middleton is a suave baritone whose unique voice contains the bluesy facility of a Joe Williams and the authority of William Warfield. Lawrence Carter, Detroit News, MI
Tony’s name has been linked with the songs of the biggest names in the business, like Burt Bacharach, Michel Legrand, Stan Applebaum, Leiber & Stoller, Johnny Pate and Klaus Ogermann. Peter Burns, UK
Tony singing “Headed Home” written by Orrin Hatch & Philip Springer as a tribute toTeddy Kenney….”Tony Middleton……who has a deep warbly voice, not unlike James Earle Jones……. The New Yorker, August 11, 2008