Entertainment Magazine: Music: Tiny Tim
Tiny Tim: An Interview
December 1, 1996: Tiny Tim passed away at the age of 64. The following is an interview with Tiny Tim and Paisley Yankolovich in November 1995 for the Entertainment Magazine.
By Paisley Yankolovich
Tiny Tim can easily be one of the most peculiar of music figures. Considered a novelty by some (thanks to his unexpected smash "Tiptoe Through The Tulips"), to the rest of us he has one of the greatest voices (and styles) of the 20th century!
Probably the most recognizable song and Tiny Tim lyrics were to "Tip Toe Through the Tulips." Tiny Tim also gained notority for being wed with Miss Vicky on national TV. His other top recording was "God Bless Tiny Tim."
I caught the Timster live at the Flamingo Hilton, Laughlin Friday night and watched as he blew cynics away with outrageous and brilliant renditions of tunes that included "Your Cheatin' Heart,", "Are You Lonesome Tonight?", "Yes Sir, That's My Baby" and Henry Burr's classic "That Mother Of Mine" (played on his trademark ukulele with a picture of third wife of three months, Miss Sue, on the back).
Always improvising (even the band doesn't know what's coming next), by the end all jeers had turned to cheers.
Here are some excerpts from the hour-plus interview Tiny Tim (now approaching 65) gave me Sunday which included a private concert of over 25 songs, tales of Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Jim Morrison and Lenny Bruce (which I plan to keep private until such time Mr. Tim allows me to write a book on his life). Not to mention his refreshing declaration that he never used drugs.
PAISLEY: I first heard of you in the 60's. Did you record prior to that?
TINY TIM: Certainly not professionally but even in the 40's, I was making them for fun (and to win the hearts of pretty girls) at Sanders, New York City. It cost $4 for a one-sided single. I did this all the way up to 1966. (One of these songs, "Hello Miss Snooky" resurfaced on an album he did for Reprise in the 70's)
PAISLEY: What is your real name?
TINY TIM: Herbert B. Correy. I've had many managers so I've had many names. I always believed in being different. I was Larry Love and Gary Dover. My new manager at the time (George King) called me Tiny Tim because I did a number of amateur night appearances. It created an illusion because people would expect a midget. I'm actually 6'1".
PAISLEY: I've always found your music worshipful, your approach reverent...
TINY TIM: When I look at great singers like Sinatra, Bennett and (Tom) Jones, I see great performers that can really move an audience. I really consider myself a troubadour privately and a song-plugger publicly.
If I can bring back the magic of say Rudy Valee, even for a moment, I have done my part. I'm there to pay tribute to these old song and the writers. And if a young couple comes up to me after the show (or a young lady), I love to serenade them!
PAISLEY: In the 60's everyone was picking up electric guitars, but you held on to your ukulele. How did you know this was the way to go?
TINY TIM: I didn't. I had simply been inspired by Arthur Godfrey (40's) and Ukulele Ike and Cliff Edwards (20's). In there day, they were huge in this country. I bought Godfrey's book "You Too Can Learn To Play Ukulele" and taught myself. It's a very romantic instrument. You can take it on a canoe.
PAISLEY: Do you feel you have been misunderstood?
TINY TIM: I came on the scene that way, so I had to expect that. If I had to label myself, I'd say I was the "Master Of Confusion." Nobody knows. Nobody knows me.
Tiny Tim appeared at the Flamingo Hilton in Laughlin, Nevada in their Club Famingo Showroom in November 22, 1995 as part of their "Juke Box Giants" Extravaganza. Also appearing were Len Berry ("One, Two Three"), Beau Brummels ("Laugh, Laugh") and tributes to The Beatles and Elvis. copyright 1995 - Entertainment Magazine On Line. Tiny Tim picture and story.
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