b. 25 October 1947, Chicago, Illinois, USA. While still at college and university in Chicago, Middleton began singing with folk groups. In the late 60s she continued to sing folk locally and also performed with rock bands. In the early 70s her career encompassed radio and television commercials, tours of the USA with the rock bands Hurricane, Thunder and others, and continued activity as a folk-singer. In the early 80s Middleton visited Ireland, where she sang with the Chicago-based folk band the Irish Ramblers. She continued to mix folk and rock performances in her repertoire, then, in 1985, she relocated to Glasgow, Scotland. Her folk album, Nobody Knows You, won the British Music Retailers Association Award for Excellence in 1989. That same year she began singing jazz, appearing on Yonder Come The Blues. In 1990, she consolidated her acceptance as a jazz singer with an appearance at the Bude Festival and the following year joined the Max Collie band.
Since then, although still active as a folk-singer, Middleton’s career has moved increasingly towards jazz. She has recorded several albums and has appeared at numerous festivals including the Edinburgh International Festival and the Burnley Blues Festival, at both of which she performed her one-woman show, Those Women Of The Vaudeville Blues. In 1992, in addition to recording and touring clubs and festivals, both as a single and with Collie, she produced a new one-woman vaudeville blues show, Jazz Me Blues. A powerful and dynamic singer with great style and stage presence, Middleton’s deep interest in and knowledge of the folk, blues and vaudeville traditions lend her repertoire considerable depth. Her vibrant voice, ranging through sensitivity to raunchiness, is well suited to the breadth and content of her repertoire and since her move to the UK she has established herself as a major contributor to the international jazz scene. In addition to singing, Middleton has also taught herself to play several instruments including guitar and flute.
For several years during the 80s and 90s, she used the name Marilyn Middleton Pollock, and most of her records were released under this name. By the early 00s, however, she had dropped the last name and was known as Marilyn Middleton.