Synopsis of Pop Music
"Tip toe through the tulips with me..."
Pop music has had plenty of unusual artists over the years, but no one has ever sounded quite like Tiny Tim. Armed with a ukulele, Tiny Tim celebrated America’s pop music heritage in a totally unique and personalized style. Along the way, he scored one of the most unforgettably bizarre Top-20 hits of all time and became famous all over the world.
Born Herbert Khaury in New York City, Tiny Tim grew up loving music and dreamed of being a famous singer. In his teens, he began performing 1920’s pop tunes in a voice that could warble between a falsetto high and a baritone low. For accompaniment, he played the ukulele. After earning a cult following in the New York folk music scene, he got a record contract and recorded his debut album God Bless Tiny Tim. His unique, falsetto-styled version of the 1920’s oldie “Tip Toe Through The Tulips With Me” quickly caught on with the record-buying public and rocketed into the Top-20 of the pop charts.
Overnight, Tiny Tim became a celebrity. His unique style, which combined long, dyed-red hair with pancake makeup and thrift-store clothing, made him a frequent attraction in magazines and on television shows like Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. He became a headline performer in Las Vegas and also became a frequent guest on The Tonight Show. In fact, he appeared 30 times on The Tonight Show in the space of two years. The most famous of these appearances was a December 1969 visit where he married his girlfriend, Miss Vicki, in front of an audience of 40 million viewers.
In 1969, Tiny Tim was nominated for a Grammy for his For All My Little Friends album. He performed regularly throughout the 1970’s and continued to record music, often applying his one-of-a-kind style to modern, non-1920’s pop classics like “Maggie May” and “Great Balls Of Fire.” He also updated his biggest hit a few times, including “Tip Toe Disco” in 1977 and the gas shortage-themed “Tip Toe To The Gas Pumps” in 1979. In the 1980’s, Tiny Tim spent a period touring with the circus and also appeared on television programs like The Arsenio Hall Show.
By the 1990’s, Tiny Tim was a show-business institution. He continued to perform and recorded the occasional album, including a critically-acclaimed outing with the alternative pop unit Brave Combo called Girl. Tim passed away from a heart condition in 1996, but he remained a show-biz trouper to the very end. Novelty acts may come and go, but Tiny Tim will always be remembered as one of pop music’s true originals.
Artist Release History1968 - God Bless Tiny Tim
1969 - Tiny Tim's Second Album
1969 - For All My Little Friends
1987 - Tiptoe through the Tulips: Resurrection
1995 - Live in Chicago
1995 - I Love Me
1996 - Prisoner of Love
1996 - Girl
1996 - Christmas Album
2000 - Rock
2000 - Live! At the Royal Albert Hall
Pop Sub Categoriespop
Essential Music AlbumsSilly Songs (K-Tel) (compilation that includes “Tip Toe Through The Tulips With Me”)