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 Wolf Trap with theAlvin Ailey Dancers singing the “Mary Lou Williams’ 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 Cissy 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.