Listen: Great Balls Of Fire / Tiny Tim
This was the more familiar version to me than Jerry Lee Lewis’, given I was a toddler when the latter one was current. Like everyone, I was amused by Tiny Tim, and took for granted how something so different and seemingly novel could be heard by the masses. Our present anything-goes society does not, as you know, apply to radio programming. Well, in the 60′s it was different. So I heard this a few times and thought it was pretty rocking. I still think so today. His falsetto, even his hair and shape, all were brought forward twenty years and filled arenas, this time under the coincidentally similar guise of Robert Smith and The Cure.
Listen: Mickey The Monkey / Tiny Tim
Tiny Tim revered the music of the early 20th century, with a reputed encyclopedic knowledge of the work. He certainly seemed a kind and gentle fellow when he turned up at a surprise birthday party Joey Ramone had in the late 80′s. Joe knew everyone, and was right at home having a long conversation with him upon arrival. I was in flying mode, but Duane paid him more attention. I wish now I had too. ‘Mickey The Monkey’ is one of many fine, and by then, ignored follow ups to his Top 40 hit ‘Tip Toe Through The Tulips’. It’s a great example of his authenticity to ragtime ballads.
Ron DeBlasio, who managed X, also worked with Tiny Tim for a while. I recall him telling me that after shows, he would order large, lavish room service meals, and sit eating his serving while carrying on a complete conversation with the invisible person across the table whose meal would logically remain uneaten. A good eccentric indeed.
Listen: Mickey Why / Tiny Tim & Miss Vicki
His televised marriage to Miss Vicki is rather well known, but their single ‘Why’ is not.