Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tiny Tim

"Tiny Tim already had something of a cult following around New York when he appeared in the film You Are What You Eat. This led to a booking on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, an American television comedy and variety show, which turned out to be his big break. Other appearances on the shows of Johnny Carson, Ed Sullivan, and Jackie Gleason followed, and he made a name for himself as a novelty performer. Apart from his extraordinarily high falsetto voice, his appearance—long curly hair, large nose, tall stature (he was six feet one inch), and clutching his relatively tiny ukulele—helped him stand out from the crowd.
In 1968, his first album, God Bless Tiny Tim, was released. It contained a version of his signature song, "Tiptoe Thru The Tulips", which was a hit when released as a single. The other songs displayed his wide-ranging knowledge of the American songbook, and also allowed him to demonstrate his baritone voice, which was less often heard than his falsetto. On one track, a version of "I Got You Babe", he sang a duet with himself, taking one part in falsetto, and the other in the baritone range. "On the Old Front Porch" extends this to a trio, including a boy (Billy Murray), the girl he is courting (Ada Jones), and her father (probably Murray again).
Another notable song was a cover of "Stay Down Here where You Belong", written by Irving Berlin in 1914 to protest the Great War. It is a powerful condemnation of those who foment war. (The comedian Groucho Marx also used this song as part of his own act, at least in part to irk the patriotic Berlin, who in later years tried in vain to disown the song)."

Discover more about Tiny Tim HERE.

Tiny Tim - It's A Long Way To Tipparary

Tiny Tim - If You Wore A Tulip

Tiny Tim - Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home

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Russell CJ Duffy said...

i have no idea what is was about this the man that i liked. he was so out of touch with all the 'cool' stuff of the 60's and yet i did love that ridiculous song.
perhaps, in a strange way, it is the same facination that i had for bands like the mothers and the bonzos and the incredible string band. that sense of the absurd that really made me smile.

Wastedpapiers said...

Yes, i suppose it was there uniqueness that was so beguiling. I was reading the Bob Dylan biography recently and amazed that Tiny was around in Greenwich Village back in the early 60's in folk clubs and suchlike, hustling for work like Dylan was. They were all just waiting for things to start sparking I guess and in the right place at the right time.

Keeper Of The Crate said...

I love the fact that he was holding his ukulele while lying in his coffin.

Russell CJ Duffy said...

i guess that i will be holding something else when i am in my coffin. my empty wallet perhaps?

Jon said...

Oh, very scary. I can remember saying I liked 1960s singer-songwriters named Tim, and you posited that I might include tihs one. Pleeeze, no!!! Buckley, Hardin, Rose.... Tiny?

It's classic vaudeville, and awful stuff! Thanks for reminding me!

Wastedpapiers said...

I realise he's not to everybody's taste Jon, but I do like most of what he does/did. I wish there were more eccentrics like him around now. Unlikely though they would get the breaks he did back in the 60's when things opened up for a while to include all the other Tims you mention. Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Viv Stanshall, Ivor Cutler, The Singing Postman, etc. etc.

spice-the-cat said...

Very underrated in terms of the boundaries he pushed forward - Would there have been people like John Otway and the like if it hadn't been for eccentrics like Tiny Tim?

Big Al Davies said...

"Buckley, Hardin, Rose.... Tiny?"

Tiny is the best, Tiny Tim for president, Tiny Tim for Queen.