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View Full Version : George Formby vs Tiny Tim***



ukecantdothat
11-10-2009, 10:20 AM
OK. Put up yer dukes! Let's let these blokes come to blows. If you love 'em, let us know. There's no shame in this thread! If you hate 'em, feel free to rip 'em a new one!

In this corner: George Formby - Uke hero, or thickheaded twit?

In this corner: Tiny Tim - Uke savior, or horse-toothed jackass?

Remember: this is a clean fight - no hitting below the belt, i.e. no insulting people's tastes/opinions.

***(please dump this thread, mod, if it's inappropriate)

nohandles
11-10-2009, 10:26 AM
I really don't have a problem with either but Tiny did do a great great disservice to Uke playing with that obnoxious falsetto voice. TT on the other hand has some great tunes and a nice voice. scored some great vinyl from both over the years and love to play them still today. Doug

Pukulele Pete
11-10-2009, 10:31 AM
If if wasnt for Tiny Tim most people wouldnt know what a ukulele was.
I've never heard George Formby play but I've heard Tiny Tim many many times. Now Roy Smeck...................

ukecantdothat
11-10-2009, 10:35 AM
If if wasnt for Tiny Tim most people wouldnt know what a ukulele was.
I've never heard George Formby play but I've heard Tiny Tim many many times. Now Roy Smeck...................
True, true! But does the "disservice" trump the promotion?

hoosierhiver
11-10-2009, 11:14 AM
It's not Tiny Tim's fault that alot of ignorant people quickly associate the ukulele with "Tiptoe thru the Tulips". It's the world at large's fault for not being more informed about the greatness of the ukulele.

mailman
11-10-2009, 11:14 AM
This is no contest....the wimpiest kid in the second grade could've kicked TT's butt.... ;)

thejumpingflea
11-10-2009, 11:19 AM
This is no contest....the wimpiest kid in the second grade could've kicked TT's butt.... ;)

That sure spreads the aloha spirit, doesn't it?

I have respect for both of them. They made people laugh and made people happy. What more can you really ask for?

Latinleaders
11-10-2009, 11:19 AM
I can agree but I think it's worse on George Formby's side because everyone I know in UK who's heard of George Formby will surely says one of two things when I take out my uke.

1. Is that a Banjo?
2. When I'm Cleaning Windows

I've never wanted to throttle so many people before in my life. So I'm gonna have to say it's a vote for Mr Tiny Tim from me.

rogue_wave
11-10-2009, 11:54 AM
All of our rear view mirror opinions of these two players aside, in their individual times, as musicians, they found a way to reach millions of people and become enough of a household word so as to impact the culture still today.

While neither are really my cup of tea, if I had to pick one of the two to take a look at as a player, I'd say that I have some curiosity about the "banjolele" as well as Formby's playing style. In all fairness I haven't even given TT a glance. Who knows, maybe there is some gold out there. (Anyone out there game to take 'Tulips" and turn it on its head? Shove a sweet version down the requester's throat?)

Formby recorded over 70 years ago and Tim 40 years and yet they remain enough of an force to agitate uke players today.

Fast forward to ukulele jam session in 2079? The audience pleads- "Can you play 'Weeps' on that thing?"

sukie
11-10-2009, 12:01 PM
Fast forward to ukulele jam session in 2079? The audience pleads- "Can you play 'Weeps' on that thing?"


:rotfl: but seriously -- he's an ukulele GOD!:D

mailman
11-10-2009, 12:25 PM
That sure spreads the aloha spirit, doesn't it?

I have respect for both of them. They made people laugh and made people happy. What more can you really ask for?

I might suggest you re-read the original post. The whole thing was posed as a "combative" comparison. It was introduced much like the intro to a boxing or wrestling match. Folks were literally invited to "rip 'em a new one". I think TT came across as a buffoon and a wimp, and I said so.

I watched him numerous times live on TV back in the day (did you?), and feel he was not so much a musician as a pathetic, creepy oddity. He was openly ridiculed on the Tonight Show, by Johnny Carson, and by others.

I believe the OP also cautioned us not to insult "peoples' tastes/opinions."

That said, I stand by my original reply. Aloha!

GrumpyOldMan
11-10-2009, 12:53 PM
In the 1930's George Formby was the most succesful entertainer in the UK. In the 1960's Tiny Tim was regarded as a bit of an oddity who had one hit single.

I'm 51 and was brought up watching George Formby films, although even in my childhood they were well over 20 years old. George was also a very fine Ukulele player and although his songs are primarily for comedy they are extremely well written both lyrically and musically. Have a proper listen to Leaning on a Lamppost and you'll see it is actually a great LOVE song.

He was also a huge inspiration to many musicians such as George Harrison, Joe Brown, Neil Innes and (dare I add) Doc Cox/Ivor Biggun.

To top it all he is a Lancastrian!!

TT or GF? There's no contest really.

Ian.

ukecantdothat
11-10-2009, 01:12 PM
It's not Tiny Tim's fault that alot of ignorant people quickly associate the ukulele with "Tiptoe thru the Tulips". It's the world at large's fault for not being more informed about the greatness of the ukulele.
Ding, ding... Good call!

ukecantdothat
11-10-2009, 01:15 PM
That sure spreads the aloha spirit, doesn't it?

I have respect for both of them. They made people laugh and made people happy. What more can you really ask for?
That's right! Happy is always a good thing, no matter how high the voice, or how high the moon!

buddhuu
11-10-2009, 01:16 PM
I'm 49 and I also grew up with Formby movies. I like George, and I ain't scared to say it.

I know little of Mr Khaury's act beyond 'Tulips' which was popular in the UK when I was a kid. I have nothing against him. I gather that he was a serious collector and preserver of traditional songs, which makes him a good bloke in my book.

Both are fine with me. No need to fight. :)

ukecantdothat
11-10-2009, 01:20 PM
I might suggest you re-read the original post. The whole thing was posed as a "combative" comparison. It was introduced much like the intro to a boxing or wrestling match. Folks were literally invited to "rip 'em a new one". I think TT came across as a buffoon and a wimp, and I said so.

I watched him numerous times live on TV back in the day (did you?), and feel he was not so much a musician as a pathetic, creepy oddity. He was openly ridiculed on the Tonight Show, by Johnny Carson, and by others.

I believe the OP also cautioned us not to insult "peoples' tastes/opinions."

That said, I stand by my original reply. Aloha!
Oooof! Right back with a jab to TT's plexus! That's good, too, to remind everyone of the "no insults" rule. Check yourself... You're OK - just a small cut above the eye. No offense taken I hope!

BTW - TT was openly mocked over and over, in front of his face I might add, on the Howard Stern show. And he kept coming back for more. What a sport!

ukantor
11-10-2009, 01:23 PM
They had their day, but I'm happy to ignore them both equally.

Ukantor.

haole
11-10-2009, 01:27 PM
I'll take a cheerfully goofy artist that has fun with the ukulele than a humorless, stuck-up musical elitist who has superior technique but trashes other artists and genres any day.

(Not targeting anyone in this thread, or on this whole forum, for that matter. But I've run into musicians with HUGE chips on their shoulder, and their attitudes suck the fun out of music.)

ukecantdothat
11-10-2009, 01:32 PM
In the 1930's George Formby was the most succesful entertainer in the UK. In the 1960's Tiny Tim was regarded as a bit of an oddity who had one hit single.

I'm 51 and was brought up watching George Formby films, although even in my childhood they were well over 20 years old. George was also a very fine Ukulele player and although his songs are primarily for comedy they are extremely well written both lyrically and musically. Have a proper listen to Leaning on a Lamppost and you'll see it is actually a great LOVE song.

He was also a huge inspiration to many musicians such as George Harrison, Joe Brown, Neil Innes and (dare I add) Doc Cox/Ivor Biggun.

To top it all he is a Lancastrian!!
Oh, Doctor!!! Give TT some ice for that blow! One wonders how much of an influence HE had on the likes of George Harrison and that lot! TT's stumbling around like he just drank a bottle of cough syrup!

FYI - George Harrison did more for the uke than anyone I can think of. A true master. Evidence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5k-OE0-fWs

ukecantdothat
11-10-2009, 01:34 PM
I'll take a cheerfully goofy artist that has fun with the ukulele than a humorless, stuck-up musical elitist who has superior technique but trashes other artists and genres any day.

(Not targeting anyone in this thread, or on this whole forum, for that matter. But I've run into musicians with HUGE chips on their shoulder, and their attitudes suck the fun out of music.)
Yep. I run into these buzzkills on a daily basis. They wouldn't know a good time if it punched 'em in the face!

SnakeOiler
11-10-2009, 01:38 PM
(Anyone out there game to take 'Tulips" and turn it on its head? Shove a sweet version down the requester's throat?)

How's this...
SnakeOilers Tiptoe Hard (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3Qn-DqOwPg)

But speaking of musicianship, Formby seriously kicks TT's ass.

bornagainjeeper
11-10-2009, 01:38 PM
I'm gunna go Tiny tim for the win...if i had to pick...I agree that without tiny tim most people wouldn't recognize the uke as well as they do...interesting story
I couldn't tell you the year, about 1990 when i was 4 or so...i was riding in my dads car and there was a large, ugly, horse toothed jackass on the side of the road with a small case...My dad said "Don't forget this, that is tiny tim..." I never did forget it...and maybe thats why i picked up uke 18 some odd years later...
and for the record...Formby is quite the horse tooth himself.

ukecantdothat
11-10-2009, 01:46 PM
How's this...
SnakeOilers Tiptoe Hard (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3Qn-DqOwPg)

But speaking of musicianship, Formby seriously kicks TT's ass.
Wow, what a "Tulip!" Anybody got a "Lamppost" like that. I'd love to hear it.

ukecantdothat
11-10-2009, 01:48 PM
I'm gunna go Tiny tim for the win...if i had to pick...I agree that without tiny tim most people wouldn't recognize the uke as well as they do...interesting story
I couldn't tell you the year, about 1990 when i was 4 or so...i was riding in my dads car and there was a large, ugly, horse toothed jackass on the side of the road with a small case...My dad said "Don't forget this, that is tiny tim..." I never did forget it...and maybe thats why i picked up uke 18 some odd years later...
and for the record...Formby is quite the horse tooth himself.
TT's back up, now! They're going tooth to tooth! That kid's got some dad! Lesson learned...

KC8AFW
11-10-2009, 02:25 PM
I'm gonna have to go with Formby. I really like his playing style. His lyrics are humorous, creative, and a little naughty (Fanlight Fanny is one of my favs).

ukecantdothat
11-10-2009, 03:00 PM
I'm gonna have to go with Formby. I really like his playing style. His lyrics are humorous, creative, and a little naughty (Fanlight Fanny is one of my favs).
OK, our fun-loving fighters are back in their corners. Now, I'm just wondering, without "weighing in" (pun intended) on the bout; this Formby does seem to have a ton of original material and playing ability on his side. My only lasting impression of Mr. Tim is that of a one-hit wonder of extraordinary intelligence, an admittedly great entertainer who brought joy to millions, who goofed on himself along with everyone else, and who happened to suffer from OCD. There's more to him than a tulip, I know. Now, I can see myself reading up on him and would like to know if anyone knows a reliable and definitive source of information on this complex personality. Otherwise, I'll just google the dude.

Ding, ding, ding... Next round!

UkuleleHill
11-10-2009, 03:58 PM
It's not Tiny Tim's fault that alot of ignorant people quickly associate the ukulele with "Tiptoe thru the Tulips". It's the world at large's fault for not being more informed about the greatness of the ukulele.

Too true! Both were good players and Tiny Tim just had a weirder act... But they were both very accomplished... I like Formby myself more but that's just me!

bt93
11-10-2009, 04:29 PM
formby foshoooo

ukecantdothat
11-10-2009, 05:15 PM
Too true! Both were good players and Tiny Tim just had a weirder act... But they were both very accomplished... I like Formby myself more but that's just me!You, and a lot of other people. TT? - weirder, no doubt. Formby? - maybe too mainstream too make this a fair fight. Weird = scary to a lot of people. My late mother hated TT when I was a kid, as I recall. "What is this guy?" she wondered. Maybe that alien quality made people mistake his uke for a prop, when actually there was a fondness toward it that was overlooked(???). One thing's for certain; No matter the outcome here, these two are certainly getting some long overdue respect from ukers all of the world. Talk about a "Thrilla From Manilla!" Ho-ly cow!!!

Programming note: Next week, there's a bout between Arthur Godfrey and Ukulele Ike that you'll not want to miss. Now, back to this one...

This next round is brought to you by Chesterfield. Chesterfield! Now you're smokin'!

Ukulele JJ
11-10-2009, 05:21 PM
No contest.

Formby was a better player, better singer, better showman, and had a string of great, original material.

TT had an impressive knowledge of repertoire and music history, but that's about it.

JJ

ukecantdothat
11-10-2009, 07:33 PM
No contest.

Formby was a better player, better singer, better showman, and had a string of great, original material.

TT had an impressive knowledge of repertoire and music history, but that's about it.

JJ
Of course, better this, better that... That's a matter of taste. Formby appears to score heavily on original material, but TT is hitting back hard on the intellect - a little bit of the ol' "rope-a-dope" could be a challenge for our Mr. Formby. What about it, Georgie?

Pippin
11-10-2009, 10:33 PM
There are some old films converted to video and on YouTube that show "Tiny Tim" singing in his normal baritone voice. TT did a couple of tunes with Bing Crosby and they were really well done. On a lot of TT videos, though, his ukulele was not in tune and his "head voice" just never did it for me. Unfortunately, most people have never heard the "other" side of TT.

Ask most of the ukulele players in the UK what they think of Formby and they will vent. He was a "star" entertaining the troops in WWII, but, lots of people thought he was crude and many people did not like his voice. Oh, yes, he could play. Steven Sproat has mastered Formby's style of playing and has a much better voice.

ukantor
11-10-2009, 10:42 PM
I've rethought my response to this thread. My first comment was dismissive and unworthy, and I would not like to be seen as a humourless elitist - perish the thought.

Both TT & GF were primarily entertainers. They both created an on screen (or on stage) persona that was individual and attention grabbing, and dorky. If the general public see the ukulele as the instrument of choice of socially inept, strange people, these two gents could be the reason why.

They were both decent musicians, in their own ways. TT was serious about the songs he sang, and really seemed to care about saving them for posterity. GF had an amazing strumming technique, and an irrepressibly cheerful attitude. GF had a long career, TT had a relatively short one.

The thought of them slugging it out in the ring is - erm - interesting. I'd pay for a ring side seat. TT's Beltona reso would pack quite a punch, but the GF banjo is surely the weapon of choice in a bar fight.

My money is on GF by a knock-out.

"Turned out nice again!".

Ukantor.

paw123los
11-10-2009, 10:44 PM
I like both of them ... I even bought my own banjo ukulele because of George Formby .. I'm going to do a review soon :)

JCMcGee
11-11-2009, 02:18 AM
"In the 1930's George Formby was the most succesful entertainer in the UK."

I'll correct that:

"In the 1930's & 40's George Formby was the most sucesful entertainer in the WORLD."

Go look at some stats...UK, Russia, Africa...

No-one outside of the US had really ever heard of tiny tim.
Did T-T write his own stuff (other than that thing about Santa with AIDS)?

George was a phenominal player & entertainer...someone called Jake "The Jimmy Hendrix of the uke"....really Jimmy Hendrix was just "the George Formby of the guitar"....and with my hand on my heart and my heart full of Aloha spirit, Jake is realy just a technical wizz and good at covers...his own stuff is really quite bland...can't be seriously be compared to either Jimi or George.

So...A crazy fundamentalist homophobe with a squeeky voice Vs a world famous entertaining struming revolutionary.

No contest.

retrozombi
11-11-2009, 02:42 AM
I'll happily listen to either. Of the two I prefer Formby, but I did win a costume contest with my Tiny Tim impression.

But I'd much rather bust out the Ukulele Ike any day. :)

ukecantdothat
11-11-2009, 06:09 AM
There are some old films converted to video and on YouTube that show "Tiny Tim" singing in his normal baritone voice. TT did a couple of tunes with Bing Crosby and they were really well done. On a lot of TT videos, though, his ukulele was not in tune and his "head voice" just never did it for me. Unfortunately, most people have never heard the "other" side of TT.

Ask most of the ukulele players in the UK what they think of Formby and they will vent. He was a "star" entertaining the troops in WWII, but, lots of people thought he was crude and many people did not like his voice. Oh, yes, he could play. Steven Sproat has mastered Formby's style of playing and has a much better voice.
Thanks, Pippin, I'll check that other side of TT out. That out of tune TV stuff is so stuck in my head, it will be nice to counterpunch it with some of that.

berylbite
11-11-2009, 08:20 AM
Fromby blows door on tiny tim who had a mere one-hit wonder which was more of a hokey goofsong anyways.

Ukuleleblues
11-11-2009, 11:38 AM
Tiny Tim brought on the dark ages for Ukuleles. Forty years of isolation and ostracism for the happy tiny instrument because of him. All the uke manufacturers but one went out of business or at least quite making ukes. Most folks between 65 and 30 are afraid to even listen to the uke becase of the tag TT put on it. A massive DORK tag. Was that his intent, no he just wanted to make a buck, but the result was he killed the uke for 2 generations. Formby was a gem, the entire world loved him, his music is great to listen to and it's fun to watch him play. Go watch Tiny Tim and let me know if you aren't frightened.

ukecantdothat
11-11-2009, 12:46 PM
I've rethought my response to this thread. My first comment was dismissive and unworthy, and I would not like to be seen as a humourless elitist - perish the thought.

Both TT & GF were primarily entertainers. They both created an on screen (or on stage) persona that was individual and attention grabbing, and dorky. If the general public see the ukulele as the instrument of choice of socially inept, strange people, these two gents could be the reason why.

They were both decent musicians, in their own ways. TT was serious about the songs he sang, and really seemed to care about saving them for posterity. GF had an amazing strumming technique, and an irrepressibly cheerful attitude. GF had a long career, TT had a relatively short one.

The thought of them slugging it out in the ring is - erm - interesting. I'd pay for a ring side seat. TT's Beltona reso would pack quite a punch, but the GF banjo is surely the weapon of choice in a bar fight.

My money is on GF by a knock-out.Ukantor.

That's the point of this "bout" - to gain some insight on these two icons, change some minds maybe, or just have some fun of our own at their expense. Their collective influence on the "dorkometer" as I have called it is huge, and to some of us who are openly dismissed as hackneyed purveyors of a quaint instrument, it has been troubling and ponderous. These two names come up over and over when it comes to the subject of playing what is otherwise an innocuous melody maker. And yet it happens. Slugging it out, of course being the metaphor I chose largely based on the name "George Formby" being so close to boxing icon "George Foreman" (too hard for hardcore lampooner to resist!), seemed an appropriate form to frame the debate. I'm happy that no overt disrespect has been displayed to either of these men or the contributors to this thread. It's been a fair fight so far, and so far the point leader appears to be Formby, but in the end, I think we all know where this is heading...

ukecantdothat
11-11-2009, 12:55 PM
So...A crazy fundamentalist homophobe with a squeeky voice Vs a world famous entertaining struming revolutionary.

No contest.
Oooofah! That's not the first reference to TT's dark side to come up. Is this documented? If so, the world at large is blissfully unaware - could be a huge blow!

ukecantdothat
11-11-2009, 12:59 PM
I'll happily listen to either. Of the two I prefer Formby, but I did win a costume contest with my Tiny Tim impression.

But I'd much rather bust out the Ukulele Ike any day. :)
Cliff Edwards - a.k.a. Ukulele Ike! Now here's a true ambassador of the uke! Look him up if you're not familiar with his work - top notch!!!

ukantor
11-11-2009, 01:10 PM
I don't know if our American contributors know this, but in Britain there are many active branches of the George Formby Appreciation Society (I think that's what they call themselves). They have weekly meetings, at which they all play banjoleles (with very rare exceptions) they play (almost exclusively) songs made famous by the great man. They copy his mannerisms, strumming techniques, accent etc. They have National get togethers when they celebrate the life and works of George Formby.

There is some contact between the GF enthusiasts and general uke lovers, but not much.

I've been to some of their meetings, and they seem like a very nice bunch of people. Myself, I find a little bit of GF goes a very long way.

He was extremely good at what he did, and his continued popularity, so long after his death, is amazing.

Ukantor.

Edit:- Cliff Edwards was THE MAN!

ukecantdothat
11-11-2009, 01:18 PM
Tiny Tim brought on the dark ages for Ukuleles. Forty years of isolation and ostracism for the happy tiny instrument because of him. All the uke manufacturers but one went out of business or at least quite making ukes. Most folks between 65 and 30 are afraid to even listen to the uke becase of the tag TT put on it. A massive DORK tag. Was that his intent, no he just wanted to make a buck, but the result was he killed the uke for 2 generations. Formby was a gem, the entire world loved him, his music is great to listen to and it's fun to watch him play. Go watch Tiny Tim and let me know if you aren't frightened.
BOOM!!! A direct hit! Formby's gotta feel good about this! There's no question that, while bringing a smile to many, many more turned their backs on TT.

This is exactly why I get the "Who are you? Tiny Tim?" comments that are not intended as a compliment. That's when I get defensive and play some Radiohead or anything that shuts 'em up. But sometimes it's, "Oh, how cute! Like Tiny Tim, " with a smile. When that happens I smile back and say, "Yeah. Something like that," and play some Harry Belafonte or something sweet because I know they don't mean anything by it. Of course this is all due to fact that I playing it out of context, because as has been pointed out, you don't hear this in Hawaii where it is and always has been respected, and yes, cool, to play an ukulele. Leave it to the white man to water this genre down, too! So when the initiated bring up current players like Jake, I really start to have faith again...

rogue_wave
11-11-2009, 01:25 PM
How's this...
SnakeOilers Tiptoe Hard (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3Qn-DqOwPg)

But speaking of musicianship, Formby seriously kicks TT's ass.

Thank you! Love the intro- like J. Geils taking Tiny Tim out in a bar fight.

existence
11-11-2009, 03:04 PM
There are some old films converted to video and on YouTube that show "Tiny Tim" singing in his normal baritone voice. TT did a couple of tunes with Bing Crosby and they were really well done. On a lot of TT videos, though, his ukulele was not in tune and his "head voice" just never did it for me. Unfortunately, most people have never heard the "other" side of TT.

Ask most of the ukulele players in the UK what they think of Formby and they will vent. He was a "star" entertaining the troops in WWII, but, lots of people thought he was crude and many people did not like his voice. Oh, yes, he could play. Steven Sproat has mastered Formby's style of playing and has a much better voice.

Oh good, then I'm not crazy. I saw a clip of TT performing Tulips on Youtube, and was almost sure the ukulele was out of tune. Then I thought, "naah, can't be..."

ukecantdothat
11-11-2009, 03:30 PM
Thank you! Love the intro- like J. Geils taking Tiny Tim out in a bar fight.
Down for the count? I'm not sure. We may have to call this one soon if our man isn't able to get up. They say he died pretty much broke in the end. He had a heart attack on stage while performing "Tulips" at a uke festival, then later after another event, a second heart attack, an hour after performing the same song, this time fatal. It could be said he died doing what he loved, but one wonders if that was truly what he loved or was "forced" to do, over and over, just to make ends meet. Sad, sad, sad. I'm thinking we should call this one for Formby now and let it be said that Tiny Tim had a lasting impact on popular culture AND uke culture, positive and negative, but to compare him to Formby is the old apples & oranges bit if you're talking about who was "better". This "fight" is really about the negative aspect of these guys, i.e. who would you rather be compared to by the random ignoramus who's trying to give you a backhanded insult? It's looking more and more like the one to be compared to would be Mr. Formby.

So now I'm going to have to stand over TT and start the count unless some miracle happens and he gets up:
ONE... TWO... THREE... :anyone:

mailman
11-11-2009, 03:34 PM
*towel thrown into ring from outside the ropes*

ukecantdothat
11-11-2009, 03:41 PM
Oh good, then I'm not crazy. I saw a clip of TT performing Tulips on Youtube, and was almost sure the ukulele was out of tune. Then I thought, "naah, can't be..."
Oh, you may well be crazy, my friend (kidding!) and yes, that uke was almost always out of tune, which leads me to think of it more as a prop than anything else...

...FOUR...FIVE...SIX...:uhoh:

ukecantdothat
11-11-2009, 05:01 PM
*towel thrown into ring from outside the ropes*
:eek:...Noted!

Pukulele Pete
11-12-2009, 12:30 AM
Hey.......Hoosierhiver.........I associate the ukulele with "tiptoe through the tulips" I don't think i'm ignorant. I'll bet most people in the USA do the same thing. Wait a minute.........maybe that means I AM ignorant.

Captain_Lovehandles
11-12-2009, 01:28 AM
I've tried listening to both of them, so I'd have to say... neither.

ukecantdothat
11-12-2009, 05:37 AM
Hey.......Hoosierhiver.........I associate the ukulele with "tiptoe through the tulips" I don't think i'm ignorant. I'll bet most people in the USA do the same thing. Wait a minute.........maybe that means I AM ignorant.
:stop:Whoa!!! That was a direct jab at Hoosierhiver. No hitting below the belt, remember? That was the ONLY rule! I think he was speaking in generalities, saying it's the "world at large" being at fault for many people's ignorance. "Ignorance" is a word meaning "uninformed" and shouldn't be taken as synonymous with "stupid." I'm ignorant about a lot of things, often intentionally. Hoosierhiver's point, I think, was that to associate TT only with the uke shows ignorance of the instrument, but that it wasn't TT's fault. And you are right. Most people in the USA do that, which is why when the one's who refer to him derisively to me (at gigs, work,etc.) and sarcastically say to me, "Who are you, Tiny Tim?" I call them "ignoramuses." Never to their faces, but in this forum, I think I used the term "random ignoramus." I know you don't have TT as the sole association, otherwise you wouldn't be here at UU. But you made your point well and it's a good check!

ukecantdothat
11-12-2009, 06:15 AM
He was also a huge inspiration to many musicians such as George Harrison, Joe Brown, Neil Innes and (dare I add) Doc Cox/Ivor Biggun.

To top it all he is a Lancastrian!!

TT or GF? There's no contest really.

Ian.
Earlier, after this post I wondered in reply if TT was of any use to George Harrison, and I just came upon this from a reliable source in a Q&A forum:

Tiny did indeed meet George Harrison in New York in the Fall of 1968. Part of their meeting ended up on the Beatles Christmas flexi disc at the end of that year. Harrison asked Tiny to sing "Nowhere Man" during their meeting. All four Beatles loved Tiny and can be heard praising him during an interview with British DJ Kenny Everett. According to the October 1968 Beatles Monthly book, John and George and their companions were in one of the boxes at the Royal Albert Hall for Tiny's performance on October 30th, 1968.

I found several references to the meeting between George Harrison and TT where TT asked GH if he could sing for him and he sang "Nowhere Man" to GH's delight, but that GH then said "Could you just say 'Merry Christmas' on the record?" Here it is, though, wonderfully horrible in all of its campy glory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5EcrraNTQo

As George says at the end, "Thank you, Tiny." I'll let you decide if there's any sarcasm in GH's voice. But there does seem to be some genuine affection over the years between the two. Hey, Formby! Ever meet a Beatle?

Wait!!! Tiny is getting up! DING DINGGGG...! SAVED BY THE BELL!

Ahnko Honu
11-12-2009, 06:30 AM
I am SO blessed to have been raised here in the islands listening to my Dad on his Kamaka pineapple, and also listening to his Ohta San LPs, and later on Peter Moon and Sunday Manoa, etc.. Saw TT on the Ed Sullivan Show a couple times and thought he was just an oddity, a joke with the 'ukulele as his prop, distracting for about 2 minutes total in my life. I always thought TT gave the 'ukulele a negative impression that still sticks to this day with many Mainlanders. Never heard of George Formby until I came here to UU, oh the sheltered life on an island in the middle of nowhere. ;)

ukecantdothat
11-12-2009, 07:17 AM
I am SO blessed to have been raised here in the islands listening to my Dad on his Kamaka pineapple, and also listening to his Ohta San LPs, and later on Peter Moon and Sunday Manoa, etc.. Saw TT on the Ed Sullivan Show a couple times and thought he was just an oddity, a joke with the 'ukulele as his prop, distracting for about 2 minutes total in my life. I always thought TT gave the 'ukulele a negative impression that still sticks to this day with many Mainlanders. Never heard of George Formby until I came here to UU, oh the sheltered life on an island in the middle of nowhere. ;)I'm so glad to hear from the islands on this matter. You are truly blessed to be in that shelter, and in the company of all those wonderful players. We here on the mainland had to be spoon fed that drivel, but it's only because... ummm... that's what we do, but happily, with the passage of time, things are changing for the better. I think you are correct to see the uke as a prop in the hands of this sometimes misunderstood and often unfairly maligned performer. Whatever works, y'know? I am learning a lot about both him and Formby here, and now I look forward to learning about Peter Moon and Sunday Manoa. Mahalo for that. On behalf of the all the mainlanders who care, I apologize for your two wasted minutes. You will never get them back. You are not in the Middle of Nowhere, you are at the Center of the Universe.

Ding... Dingggggg... Next round!

SnakeOiler
11-12-2009, 07:21 AM
Here it is, though, wonderfully horrible in all of its campy glory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5EcrraNTQo


I think my eardrums popped from some of those notes. I don't know if you'd call it a talent or not, but not too many men can hit those high ones like he could.

sukie
11-12-2009, 07:39 AM
I think my eardrums popped from some of those notes. I don't know if you'd call it a talent or not, but not too many men can hit those high ones like he could.

Looks like TT is slowing getting back up. Has the fight been stopped yet?

ukecantdothat
11-12-2009, 07:48 AM
Looks like TT is slowing getting back up. Has the fight been stopped yet?Yeah, he's back up now, but I don't know how much more of this I can take, so this is going to have to be the FINAL ROUND!!!

Ahnko Honu
11-12-2009, 08:33 AM
Next match I'd like to George Formby take on Roy Smeck or 'Ukulele Ike, real American champions from the same era. ;)

JCMcGee
11-12-2009, 08:59 AM
Roy Smeck- disqualified for substance abuse (using guitars)!

ukecantdothat
11-12-2009, 09:22 AM
Next match I'd like to George Formby take on Roy Smeck or 'Ukulele Ike, real American champions from the same era. ;)


Roy Smeck- disqualified for substance abuse (using guitars)!Maybe if Formby "advances" we can put him up against another banjolele "heavyweight" like Two-ton Tessie O’Shea. I know, she's a girl, but take a look. This dame can handle herself!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBXihp2cbEI

Ukulele Ike, Cliff Edwards, is almost untouchable. Hey, he was the voice of Jiminy Cricket for god's sake! Plus he was a druggie, too. Disqualified! For more on Mr. Ed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6omeanjaweA

Ahnko Honu
11-12-2009, 09:59 AM
Roy Smeck- disqualified for substance abuse (using guitars)!

He's a mixed martial artist of strings, as long as he keeps his guitar out of the ring I see no problem. ;)

ukecantdothat
11-12-2009, 10:17 AM
DING DING DING DING DING DING DINGGGGGG........

Ladies and Gentlemen, I think it is time to put these two out of our misery. On the one hand, we have Mr. Formby, a hands down winner when it comes to style and technique. I don't see any YouTubers giving lessons on Tiny Tim's playing techniques like I do with him. However, Mr. Tim has him beat when it comes to the annoying factor and pushing the uke into the dork bin, although Formby did his best there, too, just not to extent of TT. TT had a ton of charisma behind the quirk that put him, like it or not, in the upper echelon of entertainers. His is ultimately a sad story when looked into, like so many of our disposable icons. I've learned probably more than I wanted to about this man, but I think now when some "random ignoramus" asks me in that disrespectful tone, "Who are you, Tiny Tim?" I'm not going take it as an insult, but still go into my usual "Creep" by Radiohead, now with a renewed purpose:

I'm a creep / I'm a weirdo / What the hell am I doing here? / I don't belong here / I don't belong here...

Thank you! Thank you! Any more requests?

So this bout is officially a draw. (Boooooo!) I can't really have one win over the other. They're both winners who brought joy to people, as was pointed out, and that is always a positive thing. Sure, TT had his faults. Michael Jackson had some pretty horrifying "faults" of his own with the pedophilia and the Jesus Juice and the Elephant Man bones and that "Sue me Jew me / Kick me kike me" anti-semite B.S., but that shouldn't stop thejumpingflea from blowing my mind with his rendition of "Thriller," which he did (check THAT out...). So thanks to all who weighed in, and continue on if you'd like, but this one's in the books now. I gotta go change my baby's diaper. He loves the uke BTW. LOVES it!!!

ukecantdothat
11-12-2009, 12:47 PM
He's a mixed martial artist of strings, as long as he keeps his guitar out of the ring I see no problem. ;)Looks like I have some more homework to do. I'm checking this guy out...

GrumpyOldMan
11-12-2009, 12:53 PM
Sorry, just have to add one more.

There are at least TWO george Formby Statues. How many Tiny Tims?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v706/Brockyman/GfStatue2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v706/Brockyman/GFisle_of_man.jpg

(Apologies to the takers whose photo's I pinched off t'internet).

Interesting that you should refer to Tiny Tim as TT. George Formby's best (IMO) film was based around the TT races in the Isle Of Man, which is where the lower picture is taken. I wonder if there's a connection. (actually, I don't wonder that at all, I'm sure it's just a coincidence so I don't know why I asked it!).
What I do wonder though is why George is holding a Ukulele in the IOM statue and not a Banjolele which he is famous for. I tried to find a pic of George holding a Uke but can't find one anywhere.

Cheers,
Ian.

ukecantdothat
11-12-2009, 12:56 PM
Looks like I have some more homework to do. I'm checking this guy out...OMFG!!! This guy is the shizzle! He's tapping like Van Halen and doing windmills like Pete Townsend!

And to those beginners who keep getting advice to use only their "pointer" finger, and to play over the fingerboard, and other "proper" instructions, I give you this in support of my argument that the entire length of the string, as well as every finger and part thereof, should be used.

I rest my case:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcQYt7xvA8M

And check out this slide work (followed by another virtuoso uke-out). This MF'er knows his circle of fifths! I see this stuff and I realize this: I suck. I blow chunks. I thought I was a toddler on the uke, and am reminded once again I am an embryo. I have a lot of practice to do and, sadly, not enough time. Jake who???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqg1-kZxHHU&feature=related

JCMcGee
11-12-2009, 02:15 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeD8xNeNqzM

:-O

mailman
11-12-2009, 02:21 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeD8xNeNqzM

:-O

The dude blew me away....and he never played a note! :eek:

ukecantdothat
11-12-2009, 02:33 PM
The dude blew me away....and he never played a note! :eek:I have arthritis and it hurts to watch that. This guy was scary good. All hail The Wizard of Strings!
:worship::bowdown::nana:

Pippin
11-12-2009, 08:47 PM
Sorry, just have to add one more.

There are at least TWO george Formby Statues. How many Tiny Tims?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v706/Brockyman/GfStatue2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v706/Brockyman/GFisle_of_man.jpg

(Apologies to the takers whose photo's I pinched off t'internet).

Interesting that you should refer to Tiny Tim as TT. George Formby's best (IMO) film was based around the TT races in the Isle Of Man, which is where the lower picture is taken. I wonder if there's a connection. (actually, I don't wonder that at all, I'm sure it's just a coincidence so I don't know why I asked it!).
What I do wonder though is why George is holding a Ukulele in the IOM statue and not a Banjolele which he is famous for. I tried to find a pic of George holding a Uke but can't find one anywhere.

Cheers,
Ian.

I believe I have seen a movie clip or two where he played a wooden figure 8 ukulele.

buddhuu
11-12-2009, 10:18 PM
Yup, me too.

There's a good movie extract on YT of him singing "The Window Cleaner" playing a traditional shape wooden ukulele.

snowy_zoe
11-13-2009, 01:38 AM
They are both fun but it's got to be george for me, I had to look Tiny Tim up on youtube to be honest because I didn't know who he was, however I couldn't escape George Formby growing up, that probably has something to do with it.

Later
zoe

Pukulele Pete
11-13-2009, 01:52 AM
I've been watching tiny tim and noticed he plays guitar right handed and plays the ukulele left handed. Strange. I'm left handed but I play guitar and uke right handed. Does anyone know why he played the ukulele left handed??

Harold O.
11-13-2009, 05:40 AM
I'm in the Formby camp.

But in looking through the links in this thread, I also came across this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zyx8EFkXOEA&feature=related

It didn't change my mind, but it did give some new insight as to the reach of the dark side.

ukecantdothat
11-13-2009, 05:53 AM
I've been watching tiny tim and noticed he plays guitar right handed and plays the ukulele left handed. Strange. I'm left handed but I play guitar and uke right handed. Does anyone know why he played the ukulele left handed??I don't know what could explain that. I haven't seen him on guitar. Maybe the guitar you saw him play wasn't his and it was strung for a rightie. Many lefties play the guitar both ways. Otherwise that would make this guy... ummm... strange.

mailman
11-13-2009, 05:57 AM
I've been watching tiny tim and noticed he plays guitar right handed and plays the ukulele left handed. Strange. I'm left handed but I play guitar and uke right handed. Does anyone know why he played the ukulele left handed??

I kind of suspected that TT was one of those guys that swung from both sides of the plate, so to speak....

Harold O.
11-13-2009, 05:59 AM
http://www.tinytim.org/

Enter at your own risk.