Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

Main MenuConcept Refinement The Author..Wayne JancikGolden Age Of The 50sGolden Age Of The 60s1970s and There After




(AI Dubin, Joe Burke)

Reprise 0679

No. 17   June 29, 1968




“I’m the only living artist, probably the only celebrity in the world, who actually is able to duplicate the

sound of Byron G. Hardin.   He was Thomas Edison’s favorite singer in 1902,” quoth the not-so-tiny but

still very much Tiny Tim to Record Collector’s Monthly, in 1986.   Tim was quite a character, then as for

all his life, six foot­ one, with his unruly hair, prominent nose, loud clothes, childlike and seemingly

asexual demeanor, ratty-looking shopping bag, ukulele, wavering falsetto-and that featherheaded song

(initially popularized by Nick Lucas in 1929), “Tip Toe Thru’ the Tulips With Me:’


Tiny Tim seemed to sprout up fully formed from nowhere; his past is rather sketchy.   As Herbert Khaury

(b. possibly Apr. 12, 1930, New York City), he used to perform in the ’50s, but was booed quite often.

Appar­ently, audiences failed to understand that “the spirits of the singers whose songs I do are living

within me,” as Tim explained to Rolling Stone’ s Jerry Hopkins.


In the mid-’60s, as Darry Dover, Larry Love, later Tiny Tim (a name given him by an agent for midgets),

Tim played to increasingly receptive crowds in Green­wich Village coffee-and-bongo spots like the Fat

Black Pussycat Cafe.   Rowan and Martin’s “Laugh-In” and Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” brought him

national exposure; he starred with Paul Butterfield, The Electric Flag, and BARRY McGUIRE in the

hippie-era film You Are What You Eat (1968).   His televised wedding to his true love, 17-year-old “Miss

Vicki” (Victoria May Budinger), took place December 17, 1969 on “The Tonight Show,” as 35 million

viewers watched in won­derment.   Their daughter was named Tulip, and they split up in 1977.


“It’s important for me to see myself the way others see me–as a freak, a curiosity,” said Tim to the

Chica­go Sun Times’ Jeff Zaslow.   ”All of us have to look hon­estly at ourselves.”


The immediate follow-up to Tim’s “Tulip” tune was “Bring Back Those Rock-a-Bye Baby Days” (#95,

1968).   “Horribly done,” groaned Tim to Record Collector’s Monthly.   “Don’t mean a thing that it made

the Hot 100. … ‘Hello, Hello’ [Tiny’s fourth single] was also horri­bly done.   I’m an artist who needs a

sketch, and needs time to complete his work.   That song was first done in 1922, by Lee Morse … I did it

in August of 1968 when I was in Las Vegas and when that horrible album Con­cert in Fairyland came

out.   It wasn’t produced by Warn­er Bros., it was recorded six years before.   The owners wanted

$25,000 from Warner Bros. to withhold the release, and they refused to pay.   It was old studio tracks

with a canned audience, and it had 100,000 buyers.   That’s what killed me in the phonograph business.”


Reprise, the Warner Bros. subsidiary, dropped Tim in 1971.  Recordings thereafter, were issued but only

sporadically and on labels with limited distribution.   Some of these, if you can find them, are quite

interest­ing, such as:”I Saw Elvis Presley Tiptoeing Through the Tulips;’ “Am I Just Another Pretty

Face?,” ”I’m Gonna Be a Country Queen,” and “The Hicky on Your Neck.”  Notice I have said interesting;

not necessarily good.”


Again in the ’80s, he made appearances on TV talk shows, “acting” in the gory slasher flick Blood 

Harvest (1986), working rock’n’roll revival shows, and tour­ing with Alan C. Hill’s Great American Circus.


“Remember it’s better to be a has-been, than a never-been,” said Tiny to Zaslow, in 1984, when appearing

with a boxing kangaroo in a one-night stop in Ottawa, Ill.   “It’s okay.   Whether you’re a flash in the pan,

like me, or whether you last longer at the top, at least you know you accomplished something.   I can go

to any library 10 years from now and read the tons of public­ity I received.   It was wonderful to have

been there once.,


Added Tim: “People can humiliate you, only if you let them… :’


By the ’90s, Tiny’s situation had improved.   “I think this is my 39th comeback,” Tim quipped to the

paper’s Patricia Smith.   “I’ve been trying to record for years.”   His turn to the alternative scene seemed

promising, in a novel way.   A new generation gave listen to his work­ings with the Brave Combo, the New

Duncan Imperials and in particular, his redo of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.”   “It started out kinda

wobbly, but I sold 900 copies in the first week, and that’s more than I’ve sold in 20 years.   Who knows?

Maybe my future is in heavy metal.”   Tiny Tim, who had a history of heart trouble–and was told he

might only have a year or two to live–was stricken at a benefit for the Women’s Club of Min­neapolis. He

died of cardiac arrest, Nov. 30, 1996. Tim was 64; possibly 74, or somewhere in between.   His widow,

Susan Khaury, told the Associated Press that he had just cut short “Tulips” and had told her he was not

well.   She was trying to help him back to their table when he collapsed.   “I don’t think he had time to

feel pain,” she said. “He died singing ‘Tiptoe Thru’ The Tulips’ and the last thing he heard was applause,

and the last thing he saw was me.”