Proudly Canadian: Tom Middleton

Tom Middleton Photo Credit John Rowlands.jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Tom Middleton was a West Coast Canadian artist from Victoria, BC who first got a taste of the rock life while with The Marquis in 1967, which featured Jerry Adophe (later of Chilliwack and Jim Byrnes), Len Knoke, Norm Piercy, and Gary Garraway. They toured BC while playing the popular covers of the day and graduated to the 'B' circuit across western Canada until they broke up in '69.

Middleton struck out on his own, becoming a mainstay on the Vancouver circuit while writing material. He continued on the road across BC and the prairies when he hooked up with manager Howard Leese in '72. After signing a deal with Columbia Records, they went into the studio with producer Mike Flicker, who later went on to be founder of Mushroom Records with the late Shelley Siegel. The first single was a Todd Rundgren song “It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference” released in 1973.

None of his singles were ever released Stateside, but the title track, backed with "Lovelight Suite," made a decent impression on the charts at home, cracking the top 40 for a month. Like the title track, "Just One Victory," was written by Todd Rundgren, but didn't make it past # 65 . A third single was cut, "One More Chance," backed with "Name of the Game," which also reached just short of the top 40.

He released his sophomore record, One Night Lovers in early '76, after the label tested the market with the pre-album release of the title track, written by Paul Davis. It peaked at # , and was followed by "I Need A Harbor For My Soul," backed with "I'll Comfort You," which entered the charts and exited just as fast. Produced by Bob Gallo, the record followed in its predecessor's footsteps - light pop with easy production, strong harmonies, and occasional string arrangements. AOR and soft rock FM Radio loved Middleton, and he experienced decent airplay on this album.
While record executives were pondering Middleton's future for him, they re-released "It Wouldn't Have Made A Difference" on several singles, usually with tracks from the second album backing it. But by late '76, they opted not to extend the invitation for him to cut a third record. He continued on the local area circuit for a few months, but eventually packed it in.

After all but disappearing from music, Middleton resurrected his old group The Marquis in 1990 for a reunion and fundraiser for a boys' soccer team, then occasionally crawled out of the basement again off and on for the next few years. He still occasionally makes appearances on the west coast, playing blues and jazz festivals, as well as the occasional club dates. By the mid '00s he'd all but retired from the music business. He worked for Canada Post until 2012, retiring after 34 years.

I Need a Harbour For My Soul Tom Middleton