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Tiny Tim

During his proverbial 15 minutes of fame in the late '60s, Tiny Tim was one of the most bizarre spectacles on television: a heavy, six-foot-tall man with long, unkempt ringlets of hair, an enormous nose, and a garish plaid wardrobe; warbling the old-time pop standard "Tip-Toe Through the Tulips" in a quavering, shockingly high falsetto while accompanying himself on the ukulele. Pegged as strictly a novelty act, Tim actually possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of vintage American pop and vaudeville songs; he was an avid collector of 78 rpm records and sheet music, and often scoured the New York Public Library's musical archives for material. And, although he was best-known for his falsetto, Tim was also a creditable baritone crooner in the pre-Bing Crosby mold, which allowed him to sing duets with himself. Tiny Tim's initial novelty wore off with the public after a couple of years, but he was so genuinely, guilelessly eccentric that he was never really forgotten, remaining something of a pop-culture icon for decades to come.

Tiny Tim was born Herbert Khaury, and gave his birth date as April 12, 1933, though some sources list 1932, 1930, and even 1926. The son of a Lebanese father and Jewish mother, he grew up in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, and was (unsurprisingly) a misfit and loner, eventually dropping out of high school. His interest in American popular music (chiefly from the 1890s to the 1930s) began at a young age, as did his desire to be a singer, and accordingly he learned guitar and ukulele. His first performances -- under the alias Larry Love -- took place in the early '50s, and according to legend, he debuted at a lesbian cabaret in Greenwich Village called the Page 3, where he became a regular. Khaury performed at small clubs, parties, and talent shows under a variety of names; his parents tried to discourage him at first, but relented when they saw that not every gig ended in ridicule. By the early '60s, he had gained a cult following around the thriving Greenwich Village music scene, particularly after he began to incorporate bizarre renditions of contemporary songs into his repertoire. He finally settled on the name Tiny Tim after the character in Dickens' A Christmas Carol (according to some accounts, it was suggested by a manager accustomed to working with midgets).

Tim's appearance in the film You Are What You Eat led to a booking on the hugely popular comedy series Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. He was an instant sensation; whether or not he was seen as an object of ridicule, no one had ever seen anything like him. He appeared several more times on Laugh-In, and became a frequent guest on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, also performing on the Ed Sullivan and Jackie Gleason variety shows. His eccentric personality became as well-known as his music: he was obsessed with bodily cleanliness, and his distaste for sex seemed logical when paired with his gentle, asexual demeanor. A hot commodity, Tim signed a record deal with Reprise and issued his debut album, God Bless Tiny Tim, in 1968. His signature rendition of "Tip-Toe Through the Tulips" became a hit, and the LP sold over 200,000 copies. Striking while the iron was hot, Tim recorded a follow-up, Tiny Tim's Second Album, which was released in 1969; so was its follow-up, an album of children's songs titled For All My Little Friends. On December 17 of that year, Tim pulled off one of the highest-rated stunts in television history: he actually married his girlfriend, 17-year-old Victoria Budinger (known as Miss Vicki, in typically respectful Tim fashion), on the Johnny Carson show. The couple later had a daughter, Tulip, but mostly lived apart, and divorced after eight years.

Following his wedding, Tim continued to perform around the country, including some lucrative gigs in Las Vegas; unfortunately, many of his business associates took advantage of his naïveté, leaving him with few savings from his run of success. By the early '70s, perhaps due to simple familiarity, America's fascination with Tiny Tim had waned. Even after the TV appearances and high-profile gigs dried up, Tim kept plugging away, performing whenever and wherever he could. He spent around a decade off records before returning in 1980, and subsequently recorded steadily for a series of mostly small labels. He remarried in 1984 to 23-year-old Miss Jan, but the relationship dissolved after just under a month; the following year, Tim literally joined a circus for 36 weeks. In the late '80s, he moved to Australia for a few years, then returned to the U.S. to live in Des Moines, IA. In 1993, he married for a third time to Miss Sue, and the couple soon moved to Minneapolis. During the mid-'90s, Tim raised his public profile with appearances on the Conan O'Brien and Howard Stern shows; however, in September of 1996, he suffered a heart attack while performing at a ukulele festival in Massachusetts. Upon his release from the hospital, Tim resumed his concert schedule, but sadly, on November 30, he suffered another heart attack in Minneapolis while performing "Tip-Toe Through the Tulips," and died several hours later. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: For All My Little Friends

1. On The Good Ship Lollipop

2. Sunshine Cake

3. Mickey The Monkey

4. Hot And Cold Water

5. Two Times A Day

6. Chickery Chick

7. Oliphant The Elephant

8. I'm A Lonesome Little Raindrop

9. They Always Pick On Me

10. Aren't You Glad You're You

11. Sadie The Seal

12. The Viper

13. Bill The Buffalo

14. Remember Your Name And Address

15. What The World Needs Now Is Love


Track List: I've Never Seen A Straight Banana: Rare Moments, Vol. 1

1. Prelude (What Strange God Designed Me?)

2. I've Never Seen A Straight Banana

3. Mr. Phonograph

4. It's Not Your Nationality

5. No One Loves A Fat Man

6. Baby Shoes

7. You Are Heaven Here On Earth

8. The Space Ship Song

11. You Can Take Me Away From Dixie (But You Can't Take Dixie From Me)

12. School Days

13. With My Guitar

14. Dear Tuesday

15. I Found You

16. When They're Old Enough To Know Better (It's Better To Leave Them Alone)


Track List: The Complete Reprise Studio Masters . . . And More

Disc 1

1. Welcome To My Dream

2. Tip-Toe Thru' The Tulips With Me

4. On The Old Front Porch

5. The Viper

6. Stay Down Here Where You Belong

7. Then I'd Be Satisfied With Life

8. Strawberry Tea

9. The Other Side

11. Daddy, Daddy, What Is Heaven Like?

12. The Coming Home Party

13. Fill Your Heart

14. I Got You Babe

15. This Is All I Ask

18. Hello Hello

20. America, I Love You

26. What Kind Of American Are You?

28. The Spaceship Song

Disc 2

1. Come To The Ball

3. We Love It

4. When I Walk With You

5. Community

6. She's Just Laughing At Me

7. Have You Seen My Little Sue?

8. Christopher Brady's Ole Lady

9. Great Balls Of Fire

10. Neighborhood Children

11. I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound

12. It's All Right Now

13. Down Virginia Way

15. As Time Goes By

16. On The Good Ship Lollipop

17. Sunshine Cake

18. Mickey The Monkey

19. Hot And Cold Water

20. Two Times A Day

21. Chickery Chick

22. Oliphant The Elephant

23. I'm A Lonesome Little Raindrop

24. They Always Pick On Me

25. Aren't You Glad You're You

26. Sadie The Seal

27. The Viper

28. Bill The Buffalo

29. Remember Your Name And Address

30. What The World Needs Now Is Love

Disc 3

1. Frisco Flo

3. Meet The Sun Halfway

5. Hallelujah, Bless The Peace!

7. People Are Strange

14. Alice Blue Gown

17. I'm A Lonesome Little Raindrop

20. Two Times A Day

22. Mickey The Monkey

23. Sadie The Seal

26. On The Good Ship Lollipop

29. Hallelujah, Bless The Peace!

33. They Always Pick On Me

37. School Days

49. I'm A Lonesome Little Raindrop


Track List: Live! At The Royal Albert Hall

1. God Bless Tiny Tim Overture (Live)

2. Welcome To My Dream (Live)

3. Livin' In The Sunlight, Lovin' In The Moon Light (Live)

4. On The Old Front Porch (Live)

5. I Gave Her That (Live)

6. Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime? (Live)

7. Save Your Sorrows For Tomorrow (Live)

8. Love Is No Excuse (Live)

9. As Time Goes By (Live)

10. A Little Smile Goes A Long, Long Way (Live)

11. I Got You Babe (Live)

12. Then I'd Be Satisfied With My Life (Live)

13. Where Does Daddy Go When He Goes Out? (Live)

14. You Called It Madness (But I Call It Love) (Live)

15. The Other Side (Live)

16. I Love Me (I'm Wild About Myself) (Live)

17. I Wonder How I Look While I'm Asleep (Live)

18. Frisco Flo (Live)

19. Medley: I'm Glad I'm A Boy / My Hero (Live)

20. I Hold Your Hand In Mine (Live)

21. Earth Angel (Live)

22. Mr. Tim Recalls His Visit With Mr. Dylan (Live)

23. Mr. Tim Recalls His Visit With The Rolling Stones (Live)

24. Nowhere Man (Live)

25. Tip Toe Through The Tulips With Me (Live)

26. I'll See You Again (Live)


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I looooooooove tiptoe through the tulips, this song reminded me of Paris��
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If any song can make you say WTF, this one can LOL! Seriously, I created this station just to hear what Pandora would think went with Tiny Tim!
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tiny tim love
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I loved his song Living in the Sunlight I first heard it on S1:Ep1 of Spongbob.
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A brilliant man, and truly truly irreplaceabl e
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I loved Tip Toes tip ..... tulips
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I am a figure skater and the judges picked a son 2 minutes before the performance and we had to make up a routine. Anyway tip toe through the tulips was the song! It was so fun and I was only 11
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Tiny Tim was a musical genius! With producer Rick Perry he created an album the equal of The Beatles Sqt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band!
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god bless tiny tim , his first album (1968) was produced by Richard Perry and stands as an amazing and beautiful testament to a genius with a heart open to all. he moves me to tears each time i play "this is all i ask." God bless you TT. Rob
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Llllĺlllllll l l . l l l l o o o o o o o o o o v v v v v v v v v e e e e e e e e this song
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His music fills me with so much wonderful happiness! XD
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God Truly Bless Tiny Tim
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i died laughing the first time i heard his song!!!
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irishlass728 2
hate to tell sky059, but he was born in the 20th century. not the 14th century.
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irishlass728 2
hey! i hear his song livin in the sunlght on spongebob whatever you call it pants!
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A legend
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One eye is brown. The other eye is--brown.I play the fish.I swim around.
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I love tiny tim :D
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Legendary no one can do it as good as him, he was so musically gifted, that's probably why so many famous musicians (most notably Jim Morrison of the Doors) asked him to cover their songs. Rip Tiny you passed before I was created but you are not forgotten
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Sponge bob!
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I own his first two albums.
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He very strange
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Insidious part 1 had me searching his music.
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Tiny Tim was more of a minstrel singer from the 14th Century, and so out of place in our day and age. He just got ground up in the machinery of our cruel world. I love his work and his personality. He sure had it tough bringing light into this world.
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Tip Toe Thru the Tulips...1st Dec, Feb Mar
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love tiny tim
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Only Tiny Tim can make a song about brushing teeth and it actually being good
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I grew up in the 60s and loved Tiny Tim!

Yes he was strange and weird but I loved his songs and he had flair.
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I heard living in the sunlight on spongebob XD never knew it was him
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i love tiny tim!!!!!!!su c h a happy person
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my tulips punched thru Feb 12th this year !
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myerspercuss i o n
How sad that someone of Tim's *talent* gets this huge bio while other true musicians get a few lines. Shame on Pandora. Or, shame on those who made TIm a star. Apparently a nice man ... who should never have stuck his nose in front of a mic.
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a gifted talent...som e hated him because he was so good like Bob Dylan
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Im so happy
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Russel brand
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Hes weird. Kind of a freak. Who sings about a straight bananna?! Haha
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Tiny Tim is mentioned quite favorably in Bob Dylan's autobiograph y , Chronicles - Volume1. They were both trying to get stage exposure in the live music clubs of Greenwich Village in the early 60's. And if Bob Dylan says he was a rightious dude, well, that's good enough for me.
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I love you tiny timmmm!!!! lol jk ur a f*ckin freak man go die in a ditch
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I like this artist? No. I love this artist.
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Wow, what an original talent. Extremely under rated.
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made me a ukukle lover for life-simple and pure
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Tim was the nicest guy. Strange, but, he was exactly what you saw. There was no act. He had a beautiful voice and he was a beautiful person. He always called me Miss Terry. I ran a coffee shop in the Village in the mid sixties. The Cafe Elleyses. French was cool then, not like now. Tim worked for me for a while. A good memory from the old days.
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This guy was an amazing walking encyclopedia of early twntieth century music. I highly recomend his disc Songs of an Impotent Troubador. His stuff with Brave Combo, as mentioned by tjwp, is real great. He also had some excellent interviews on the Howard Stern Show. He was very entertaining . Tiptoe was nothing compared to his other stuff.
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dancergirl32 0 1 1
One of the better musicians out there.. lighthearted and fun to listen too.. Wish he was still here to produce more music, rest in peace Tiny Tim
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A truly misunderstoo d and underappreci a t e d performer. Once you learn more about him, you really like him, as a performer and as a man.
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Tiny Tim possessed one of the most incredible voices in music history and knew how to use it.If people judge his talent by hearing one novelty song they are missing out on some wonderful singing.Tiny ' s version of Great Balls Of Fire is superior to Jerry Lee's in my opinion.He could sing pop,rock,cou n t r y , s w i n g , j a z z etc..His records are well done and fun to listen to.My wife and I still listen to his music and love it.We always wanted to see him live but never got the chance.I know his faith got h
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I met this gentel man months before his death on a gambling ship in Palm Beach, it was sad to see what he had come down to. But he was truly a kind and gentel man. I called in sick the night he married Miss Vicky in the Johnny Carson show just so I could see the event. He was a man out of his time and mis understood, but his heart was in the right place, he was a good and sincere person.
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hI he was so sweet of a guy.
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