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God Bless Tiny Tim

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Before this review begins, a brief overview of the life and times of Tiny Tim seems appropriate: Tiny Tim was arguably the most distinct name in the history of popular music. With only one foray into Billboard's Top 40 Singles chart he may not have been the most prolific artist of the 1960's, but the man certainly gained a following during his brief stint in the spotlight during late 1968. Said fifteen minutes of fame were brought about by Mr. Tim's unbelievably high-pitched falsetto cover of Nick Lucas' 1929 hit, "Tiptoe Through the Tulips". With these two minutes of sickeningly-adorable silliness came the recognition he had longed for over the last fifteen years, plus the label of a "novelty act", which killed virtually any amount of credibility he had garnered in the music industry prior to "Tiptoe". But this setback didn't faze Mr. Tim one bit. For the next near-thrirty years until his passing in 1996, the man recorded several albums of his favourite pre-WWII numbers in his own eccentric style, as illustrated in God Bless Tiny Tim. This record stands as the prime testament to an odd, overlooked legend's legacy. Still reading? I'm impressed! Seriously! The album is comprised mainly of relatively obscure songs from the 1910's, 20's, and 30's, plus a handful of then-new tracks thought to be more digestible for the average AM radio-listener's palate. However, Mr. Tim's many talents are heard equally throughout the album, from his eerily giddy opening remarks to a pair of duets with himself. Of course, Tiny Tim was, first and foremost, loved (and hated) for his ability to hit those high notes. If the sound of a heavy-set, six-foot-one-inch man crooning in a pitch slightly higher than what dogs can hear fails to make you grin, you are likely a green, felt-clad puppet named Oscar who resides in a garbage can. Contrary to what many assume, Mr. Tim's natural voice was nowhere near the falsetto trill which brought about his fame. In fact, he truly sang in a fairly deep, quavering baritone, as heard in the album's pretty closing track, "This Is All I Ask". Other baritone highlights include the psychedelic odyssey, "The Other Side", and a fierce anti-war rally entitled "Stay Down Here Where You Belong". Some may not be partial to Mr. Tim's 1920's-esque style of crooning, but it certainly adds variety and balance. Needless to say, however, the album isn't without a real clunker of a song or two: "The Viper", a cheeseball campfire story of sorts, is only good for a single listen before the groaner-tastic punchline gets terribly old. In addition, "Daddy, Daddy, What Is Heaven Like?" really takes the "little schoolboy" impression too far... at least in this reviewer's opinion. However, a pair of potentially-skippable tracks aren't nearly enough to topple the remaining baker's dozen of amusing, intruiging and pleasing tracks found on this record. God Bless Tiny Tim indeed.


Born: April 12, 1933 in New York, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

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...
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God Bless Tiny Tim, Tiny Tim
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