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Music / Tiny Tim

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Dan: Tiny has added a bit of choreography to his usual presentation.
Dick: There is nothing usual about Tiny Tim's presentation!

No, not that one.

Herbert Butros Khaury (April 12, 1932 – November 30, 1996), who went by the stage name of Tiny Tim, was best known for playing the ukulele and singing in a falsetto, and for his stringy hair and rather... interesting appearance.

He's generally only remembered now for his act of singing "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" in falsetto with the ukulele, and maybe for appearing at various clubs and shows in the fifties and sixties, as well as Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In several times as a featured guest. And one of his songs being featured in the first episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. (He was also the only celebrity ever to get married on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson) Despite appearances, he was actually very well educated, and had a deep interest in musical history.

In fact, he had a rather pleasant baritone voice when needed, and released several records displaying a larger range, both vocally and in taste. In later years he worked intermittently, producing small records and occasional cameos, and even a starring role in Blood Harvest. He had a heart attack in September 1996 at a ukulele festival, and died of another heart attack two months later.

Irwin Chusid has re-evaluated him in his book Songs In The Key Of Z: The Curious Universe Of Outsider Music as an early Outsider Music artist. In fact Tiny Tim managed to achieve what no other outsider musician has quite accomplished: mainstream notablity and a hit in the charts!

Studio Discography:

  • 1968 - God Bless Tiny Tim
  • 1968 - Tiny Tim's Second Album
  • 1969 - For All My Little Friends
  • 1980 - Wonderful World Of Romance
  • 1980 - Chameleon
  • 1987 - Resurrection
  • 1989 - Leave Me Satisfied (Unreleased)
  • 1993 - Rock
  • 1995 - I Love Me
  • 1995 - Songs Of An Impotent Troubadour
  • 1995 - Tiny Tim's Christmas Album
  • 1995 - Prisoner Of Love
  • 1996 - Girl
  • 2007 - Stardust (Posthumous Release)
  • 2016 - Tiny Tim's America (Posthumous Release)

Tropes That Apply To This Artist:

  • Alliterative Name: Tiny Tim.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: It's because he's such a natural oddball and has such a unique approach to pop music that he still has a following all these years later.
  • Camp Straight: Rumor has it he experimented with a boy in his younger years, but he only dated women as an adult.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The main reason the world became so fascinated with him in the late 1960s.
  • Cover Version: Constantly. Much of his repertoire is old time pop songs from the early 20th century, but he was known to mix it in with more modern standards as well.
  • Epic Rocking: Every song on Rock most notably the covers of "Rebel Yell" and "Eve of Destruction" which are both just over 23 minutes long.
  • Fanservice: If you're into guys like Tim, this is all the Fanservice you could ever want. In all seriousness, Tim actually was a fairly handsome guy in his younger days. For a more serious example, here's "Earth Angel"
  • Gag Nose: One of his most distinctive physical features was his huge nose.
  • Gentle Giant: He was quite tall and a bit scary looking, but he was by all accounts a perfect gentleman and very intelligent.
  • Incredibly Long Note: His cover of "I Got You Babe" from Live At The Royal Albert Hall features Tim pulling off a particularly high one for a good fifteen seconds.
  • Ironic Nickname: Many words could be used to describe this man, but "tiny" is not one of them.
  • Lyrical Dissonance
    • The chorus of "The Other Side". It's about the end of the world as we know it, all because of the global warming, and it's sung on one of the most happy melodies ever.
    • His disco cover of "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa" (yes, you read that right) retains the creepy lyrics about mental institutions, but replaces the sparse, tuneless percussion accompaniment with a funky band and backup singers playing music that wouldn't sound out of place on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
  • Madness Mantra: The intro to "I'm A Nut." Madness in a giddy sort of way.
    The birds are coming, the birds are coming, the birds are coming, the birds are coming, the birds are coming, the birds are coming, the birds are coming, the birds are coming, the birds are coming, the birds are coming.....
  • Manchild: This was his public image: a giggling effeminate man who dressed like a dandy from The Roaring '20s, and who sang obscure songs from that period in a falsetto voice.
  • Neat Freak: If interviews are anything to go by, he dreaded germs and filth.
  • New Sound Album: Rock is a straight up hard rock album.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Tiny Tim was anything but, standing a quite tall 6'1".
  • Older Than He Looks: During his last appearance on The Howard Stern Show Howard pointed out that Tiny, then 63, looked very young for his age, saying he "didn't have a wrinkle" on his face. Tiny attributed it to face cream and makeup.
  • Quirky Ukulele: Possibly the Ur-Example of the trope.
  • Shout-Out: His Stage Name is a reference to Bob Cratchit's son from A Christmas Carol.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Even if much of the world thought he was a weirdo, he had an encyclopedic knowledge of pop music that was demonstrated in his own works.
  • Stage Name: Pre-fame, he'd had a few others, too, like Larry Love.

Perhaps in the next life
When our roads touch again
I'll be able to love you
The way I wanted to then