Ian Campbell Thomas (born 23 July 1950) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, actor and author. He is the younger brother of comedian and actor Dave Thomas. He was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Thomas is a successful rock and roll musician in Canada, at the height of his solo career during the 1970s, with his most memorable hit being 1973’s “Painted Ladies”. Success in the American market, however, has proven to be elusive with the possible exception of “Painted Ladies”, which remains his only U.S. Top 40 hit, and the song “Runner” which was recorded by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. He has also done musical composition for about a dozen films and television shows. Before breaking through with “Painted Ladies”, he was a producer at the CBC. Before that, he was part of the folk music group Tranquility Base.

In 1974, he won a Juno Award for “Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year”.

In 1981, Thomas made a cameo appearance on SCTV with his real life older brother Dave Thomas during a sketch of “The Great White North”. He played himself and performed the songs, “Pilot” and “Hold On”. He also wrote and recorded the theme song for his brother’s film Strange Brew. As well, Thomas was a musical guest on the CTV children’s show Whatever Turns You On (a short-lived spinoff of You Can’t Do That on Television) in 1979.

Many of his songs have been covered by popular artists, including “Hold On” (Santana, 1982), “The Runner” (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, 1984), “Right Before Your Eyes” (America, 1983), and “Chains” (Chicago). In 1988, Daryl Braithwaite had hits in Australia with two Thomas compositions: “As the Days Go By” (which peaked at #10), and “All I Do” (a #12 chart hit). Bette Midler also covered his song “To Comfort You” on her Bette of Roses album.

He is also known for the portrayal of the character “Dougie Franklin” on the Canadian comedy series The Red Green Show.

From 1991 through 2002, Thomas released four albums with The Boomers.

In 2009, Thomas provided the music for the animated series Bob & Doug, based on the SCTV characters of the same name.

He has written two books, Bequest (2006), Canadian Best Seller, and The Lost Chord (2008), both through Manor House Publishing.

In 2010, Wounded Bird Records re-issued “Still Here” on CD.

On June 16, 2014, Thomas was awarded the prestigious National Achievement Award by SOCAN at the 2014 SOCAN Awards in Toronto.

He continues to make appearances to perform songs old and new, and to tell stories of these songs. In 2015, he performed with Darcy Hepner and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and has recorded with them for an upcoming CD.

During the summer of 2016, Thomas was touring Ontario, Canada, with singers Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church, and Marc Jordan, in the group Lunch At Allen’s.

Read more at the official website.

Selected Discography

The Runner

Anthem Records 1991

Tracks: Hold On, Stringin' A Line, Chains, Embers From The Fire, When I Need Someone, Borrowed Time, I Am The One, Goner, Freefall In Stardust & The Runner.

Musicians on the Runner album: Ian Thomas, John Zaslow, Peter Cardinali, Steve Hogg, Hugh Syme, Jorn Andersen, Dick Smith & John Johnson.

Add Water

Anthem Records 1985

Tracks: Freedom Of A Young Heart, Harmony, All I Do, The Same Colour Eyes, As The Days Go By, Endless Emotion, Touch Me, Video Club & The Tuck Position.

Musicians on the Add Water album: Ian Thomas, Kerry Crawford, Dave Cooper, Peter Meuller, Kim Mitchell, Tim White, Dave Pilch, Jon Goldsmith, Rob Yale, Jorn Andersen, Tim Ryan Alfie Zappacosta.

Riders On Dark Horses

Anthem Records 1984

Tracks: Picking Up The Pieces, Do You Right, The Crossing, She Don't Love You, Progress, Roll The Dice, Your Love Heals & Riders On Dark Horses.

Musicians on the Riders On Dark Horses album: Ian Thomas, Dave Cooper, Rick Doyle, Peter Meuller, Aldo Nova, Josh Onderisin, Sandy Chochinov, Peter Fredette, Steve Hogg, Dave Sawyer, Lou Pomanti, Jorn Andersen, John Panchyshyn, Milan Kymlicka, Peter Meuller & Hugh Syme.


GTR Records 1979

Tracks: Pilot, I Still Want To Hold You, Small Talk, High And Mighty, Time Is The Keeper, Beast Of Phobia, Nero's Spell & Voices Of The Children.

Musicians on the Glider album: Ian Thomas, John Andersen, Dave Cooper, Steve Hogg, Mike Oberle, Hugh Syme & Milan Kymlicka.

Still Here

GTR Records 1978

Tracks: Just Like You, Sally, I Really Love You, Clear Sailing, Still Here, Coming Home, Faces, Tinkerbell & Tycoon.

Musicians on the Still Here Album: Ian Thomas, Mike Oberle, Dave Sawyer, Hugh Syme, Dave Cooper, Rick Doyle, Steve Hogg, Milan Kymlicka & Josh Onderisin.


GTR Records 1976

Tracks: Liars, For What You Are, Big Parade, Nightmares & Dreams, See Us When You Can, Mary Jane, Right Before Your Eyes, Don't Want To Love You, Every Day & Goodnight Mrs Calabash.

Musicians on the Calabash album: Ian Thomas, Steve Hogg, Mike Oberle, John Onderisin, Hugh Syme, Bob Day, Jean LeBrun & Dick Smith.