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Tiny Tim Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (4)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (27)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA  (cardiac arrest)
Birth NameHerbert Khaury
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Tiny Tim, the ukulele-playing singer of 1920s ditties who was a true icon of the 1960s, was born Herbert Khaury on April 12, 1932, in New York City. The son of a Lebanese father and Jewish mother, the young Khaury grew up in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. A high school dropout, his interest in the popular music of the 1890s through the 1930s manifested itself early, and his dream was to become a singer. He learned to play guitar and ukulele and began performing professionally as "Larry Love" in the early 1950s, making his debut at a lesbian cabaret in Greenwich Village called Page 3, where he became a regular. Though his parents tried to discourage him, Khaury continued to publicly perform the early mass culture American music that he so loved and collected on 78 records, at small clubs, parties and talent shows under a variety of names.

Khaury had established himself as a cult performer in the Greenwich Village music scene by the early 1960s, singing under the name that he would become famous for, that of the crippled lad in Charles Dickens' novel "A Christmas Carol" (allegedly the stage name was suggested by a manager who used to work with midgets; Khaury himself stood an inch over six feet, but the name helped to reinforce his bizarre persona). After appearing in You Are What You Eat (1968), he made an appearance on Laugh-In (1967), the smash hit series that was as much a part of the 1960s as Tim would come to be. He was an instant sensation and his career was made. His weird appearance and act (he evinced the polite manners of a bygone era, which stood out in stark contrast to the "Let it All Hang Out!" ethos of the time) touched a nerve and he became a cultural specimen that elucidated the zeitgeist of that era.

Tiny Tim appeared several more times on "Laugh-In" but became better known through his frequent guest spots on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), where audiences were bemused by his eccentric personality. He signed with Frank Sinatra's record label Reprise and issued his debut album, "God Bless Tiny Tim," in 1968, featuring what became his signature song, a falsetto cover of "Tip-Toe Through the Tulips." "Tulips" became a hit, reaching the Top 20, and "God Bless Tiny Tim" sold over 200,000 copies. He followed it up before the year was out with the ingeniously entitled "Tiny Tim's Second Album."

Tiny Tim's wave crested in 1969, in terms of cultural recognition and popularity. In August he released his third LP, an album of children's songs called "For All My Little Friends," while on December 17 of that year he married "Miss Vicki," his 17-year-old girlfriend (Vicki Budinger) on "The Tonight Show." The wedding drew the largest rating ever recorded for an evening talk show, enjoying an incredible 85% share of the audience watching TV at that time. The couple mostly lived apart (as Tim did with his two later wives), and while the union produced a daughter, inevitably named Tulip, he and Miss Vicki divorced after eight years of marriage.

Tiny Tim performed around the country in 1970, enjoying some highly lucrative gigs in Las Vegas, but his business associates fleeced him. A one-trick pony, his popularity began to wane in the early 1970s and the lucrative bookings and TV appearances became a thing of the past. A trouper, Tiny Tim kept performing, eventually traveling the country playing community centers, high school theaters and other less-than-prestigious venues as part of Roy Radin's Vaudeville Revue with the likes of The Five Harmonica Rascals. He continued to record throughout the 1970s and 1980s for small labels, but he never again achieved any real success.

After the Roy Radin Revue, Tim kept on performing. He even joined a circus for its 36-week schedule. In the late 1980s he moved to Des Moines, Iowa, and managed a small comeback of sorts in the mid-'90s, when he appeared on Howard Stern's radio show. However, his comeback suffered a setback after he had a heart attack performing at a ukulele festival in September of 1996. After getting out of the hospital, Tiny Tim the trouper resumed his concert schedule. The schedule proved too taxing, and on November 30 he suffered another heart attack while performing "Tip-Toe Through the Tulips" in Minneapolis, and died an hour later. He was 64 years old.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (4)

Sue Gardner (18 August 1995 - 30 November 1996) ( his death)
Jan Alweiss Kaury (26 June 1984 - 1995) ( divorced)
Vicki Budinger (17 December 1969 - 24 October 1977) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Miss Vicki (1969 - 1977) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

Played the ukelele and sang falsetto

Trivia (27)

His most famous recording, "Tip Toe Thru' the Tulips With Me" (written by Al Dubin and Joseph A. Burke), reached #17 on the US charts in June 1968. His wedding to Vicki Budinger--"Miss Vicki"--was broadcast nationwide on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) and seen by 35 million viewers. His daughter is named Tulip.
Lebanese father and Jewish mother.
Interred at Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
His widow, Miss Sue, has been maintaining an effort for Tiny Tim to be inducted in the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame", which has been a controversial issue.
Suffered headaches early in his life and began writing with his left hand, which he credited with curing the headaches.
Suffered from congestive heart failure in the last year of his life.
His daughter Tulip Victoria was born May 10, 1971.
Appeared as his namesake in a television commercial spoofing the Dickens story, during the 1995 holiday season. Also recorded a Christmas album, not released until after his death.
Made his last The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) appearance in the summer of 1979, wearing a jacket (made in Australia, where he'd been touring) that pictured several classic comic-book covers. Also performed a rousing version of Rod Stewart's hit "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?".
While he no doubt missed the financial peaks of his heyday, he never tired of performing, and it didn't matter if his audience consisted of one person or 1000. He maintained a busy tour schedule from the mid-'60s until the end of his life.
Considered himself a "performing musicologist", and his live shows were peppered with historic and regional songs wherever he went. He also wrote press articles about great songs and recordings of the past, showing a formidable knowledge of the subject.
While employing many childlike motifs and themes in his work, and even videotaping a pilot for a proposed children's show, Tiny actually didn't get along well with kids. His own childhood had been troubled, and he remained wary of the downside of child behavior and perceptions.
Radio shock-jock Howard Stern became a latter-day supporter of Tiny's career, speaking with him often by phone on his show in the mid-'90s.
While performing at Caesar's Palace, he decided to reap the rewards of success--studying the hotel's room-service menu, he ordered one of everything they served.
Always seemed to prefer "the chase" in romance to actually being with someone, and favored long-distance relationships. He bought adjoining houses for himself and his wife, and one or the other would visit daily (when he wasn't on tour) rather than share a home.
As his career went on, "Tulips" became the only song he still performed in a falsetto voice; the rest of his act was in his natural baritone.
Toured with the Great American Circus in the 1980s, and also played a villainous circus performer in a low-budget movie (Blood Harvest (1987)).
Appeared on "The King's Court" segment of WWE Raw (1993), where his trademark ukulele was destroyed by Jerry Lawler after Tim rebutted the crowd's "Burger King" chants by calling Lawler the Dairy Queen.
Married 17-year-old Vicki Budinger--"Miss Vicki"--on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) on December 17, 1969. Over 45 million people tuned in to watch the marriage, which was broadcast live. It got the highest Nielsen ratings ever for a talk show--85% of all households watching television during that hour were watching the wedding. Photos of the ceremony ran in magazines and newspapers worldwide.
Was buried with both a ukulele and a single tulip in his coffin.
He never bought or used a professional carrying case for his ukulele. Through his career, he carried both it and his sheet music in a brown paper shopping bag.
His mausoleum crypt lists both his legal and stage names.
Used to take eight baths a day.
Once conducted a mock wedding ceremony with Muppet Miss Piggy as the bride.
Met Vicki Budinger ("Miss Vicki") on June 3, 1969, when she asked him to sign a book of his poetry during his appearance at a Philadelphia department store. Smittened, he tracked her down and arranged a date. They conducted a long-distance relationship by phone as he continued his tour. After Tim announced his engagement to Vicki on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) that September, Johnny Carson invited the couple to marry on the show.
On May 15, 1970 Tim's wife Vicki gave birth to a stillborn son. The unnamed boy was buried in the Memorial Oaks Cemetery in Houston, TX under a headstone that says "'IT' - Infant son of Herbert and Vicki Khaury, May 15, 1970 - May 15, 1970.".
Tiny Tim's last words were "No, I'm not." He was responding to the question "Are you feeling alright?".

Personal Quotes (2)

[on early 20th-century American popular songs] They put love on an angelic throne. Love is the same today, except it's gone down to a more debased situation. Too many do's and don'ts. I want to thrill the audience with these songs from the days of the Victrola. You know, everyone talks of black man's soul, rhythm, and blues. No one talks about the white man's soul. The white man's soul, in music, was songs like "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree" and "Give My Regards to Broadway".
I'd love to see Christ come back to crush the spirit of hate and make men put down their guns. I'd also like just one more hit single.

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