The Story Of Tiny Tim
Tiptoe through the Tulips - Michel Sartre Sastre /YouTube
If you come across Tiny Tim’s music, you might think of only two things to perfectly describe it: charming and creepy. And in a good manner, his life is kind of like that as well.
Herbert Buckingham Khaury was born on the 12th of April 1972 to Butros Hanna Khaury his father, and Tillie Staff, his mother. Both of his parents were poor immigrants who moved to New York City to raise their own families. There, the young Herbert had developed a love for American Songs, a trait that he had gotten from his father. Inside his teenage years, he had struggled to belong to anything, and have a knack for self-isolation. However, as he admired the ways of the Americans, he had developed a desire for music, and eventually learned how to play the ukulele.
He then adopted the name “Tiny Tim” from a Charles Dickens character, and began to perform ukulele among clubs in Greenwich Village. The struggles he went through as an aspiring artist dismayed his parents, but Tiny Tim did not stop in pursuing his dream career. Eventually, all his hard work had a pay-off when he landed a small part in the You Are What You Eat (1968) movie that led him to get gigs from other popular variety shows. His eccentric look and bizarre persona became a hit to the audience, so he rode the wave of popularity and continued to show on different late-night shows, as well as concerts and recordings. From then on, he was an instant sensation when he made a cover version of “Tiptoe through the Tulips with Me” in a ukulele and falsetto voice.
He also had his iconic wedding done at the Ed Sullivan Show with his fiancé, Miss Vicki. The event was marked as the most viewed episode of the show’s history. But the two didn’t work out and got divorced.
Moreover, in the 60s era where rock is mostly observed and Beatles is at their peak, it’s not an easy catch for a ukulele player to maintain its demand. Tim had struggled to fit in the music scene as well.
But what made this poor man so absorbing is during his sudden, bizarre death from a heart attack while performing on-stage at a concert. He was strumming his ukulele to the rhythm of his iconic song when the tragedy happened. And at his funeral, he was buried with the instrument he loved.
What made the life of Tiny Tim so tragic yet beautiful was that, on the verge of all the complexities that the world had faced during his time, he remained pure and true to his love to perform with the instrument. And that shows ingenuity.