Saturday, January 1, 2011

Herbert Buckingham Khaury ("Tiny Tim")

Exhibit A: "Tip-Toe Thru' the Tulips with Me" -
Tiny Tim burst onto the music scene in 1968 with this unique cover of the 1926 Joe Burke/Al Dubin composition. Tim was widely well-known for his high-pitched Falsetto singing style and its ukulele backing track. "Tulips" even went as far as to peak at #17 on the Pop Charts, following its release. His debut album, God Bless Tiny Tim, was produced by Richard Perry (Captain Beefheart, Diana Ross, Rod Stewart, Ringo Starr). It featured a collection of obscure covers, many of which had humorous lyrics and/or unexpected hooks. While widely praised since its release, Album #1 was only available in Japan (CD) for a good chunk of time. The above performance is one of Tim's many telling TV appearances/"acting" gigs throughout the '70's.

Exhibit B: "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? (1)" -
In 1982, Tiny Tim released 2 versions of the Rod Stewart hit from 4 years prior. Showing his comprehensive "musical historian" skills, Tim constructed this Tin Pan Alley-style version (somewhat emulating Al Jolson) and a contemporary Disco edit. Tim was backed by Gary Lawrence & His Sizzling Syncopators on the Roaring '20's-stylized cut, which appeared on their Volume 2 cassette. It really let Tiny Tim stretch his artistic "chops," thus proving that he was a (semi-)serious, knowledgeable musician. Lawrence first met Tim through a mutual friend while at Hemmingway's in the early '80's. He was known to frequently play sets at [the now-defunct] Hollywood Jazz club.

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