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hoosierhiver
01-13-2013, 05:56 AM
The thread about Tiny Tim got me thinking, what if he had never existed?
Would the ukulele have avoided ridicule as a toy and a joke and become widely accepted and respected years ago?, and if so where would we be today?
Would you have started playing ukulele if it hadn't a little fringe and quirky?

From the other thread some people seem to think for better or worse Tiny Tim significantly changed the public's perception of ukuleles., but was it really for the worse in the long run?

The Dali Llama once said something to the effect," Very few things in the world are all black or white, if the Chinese had never invaded Tibet, you probably would have never heard of me."

Newportlocal
01-13-2013, 06:07 AM
It would have caused a butterfly effect Weird Al Yankovic wouldn't have existed. Howard Stern would have taught grade school. Sam Kinison and Bobcat Goldthwait wouldn't have done screamer comedy.It would have been a strange version of It's a Wonderful Life. I appreciate performers and entertainers with crazy humor.

HBolte
01-13-2013, 06:14 AM
Had he never picked up the Uke, I think a lot fewer people would roll their eyes and laugh when they think of a ukulele. I'm not a hater but I think in his time he was a joke, people laughed at him not with him...

hoosierhiver
01-13-2013, 06:15 AM
It would have caused a butterfly effect Weird Al Yankovic wouldn't have existed. Howard Stern would have taught grade school. Sam Kinison and Bobcat Goldthwait wouldn't have done screamer comedy.It would have been a strange version of It's a Wonderful Life. I appreciate performers and entertainers with crazy humor.

Kind of what I envisioned, but maybe a little more Orwellian.

Paul December
01-13-2013, 06:19 AM
We wouldn't have ShamWow.

Dan Uke
01-13-2013, 06:21 AM
Less people would play ukulele

gyosh
01-13-2013, 06:23 AM
What would have happened if Martin and Rowen didn't use him as the butt of their routine.

mds725
01-13-2013, 06:34 AM
I don't think the ukulele was all that known outside of Hawaiian music in the 60s. Whatever cache it had in the Arthur Godfrey era went away with the British Invasion and the rise of the electric guitar. I think Tiny Tim brought the ukulele back into the public conscience, albeit in a ridiculing sort of way. But if people in the 60s hadn't seen Tiny Tim and didn't know what an ukulele was (outside of Hawaiian music), maybe The Who would have recorded Blue Red and Grey (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7SliN-82P0) with an acoustic guitar instead of with an ukulele.

BassGuyukin'
01-13-2013, 06:38 AM
Had Tiny Tim never existed, nothing would be different with the ukulele and the way it is perceived today, however we would be without the Tiny Tim jokes. I really think he had very little or next to no influence on anything regarding the uke. Other than those little jokes. Tiny Tim was a crazy performer and had a fun little act, but I just do not believe anything he did had much influence on the ukulele going forward.

Newportlocal
01-13-2013, 06:40 AM
I don't think the ukulele was all that known outside of Hawaiian music in the 60s. Whatever cache it had in the Arthur Godfrey error went away with the British Invasion and the rise of the electric guitar. I think Tiny Tim brought the ukulele back into the public conscience, albeit in a ridiculing sort of way. But if people in the 60s hadn't seen Tiny Tim and didn't know what an ukulele was (outside of Hawaiian music), maybe The Who would have recorded Blue Red and Grey (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7SliN-82P0) with an acoustic guitar instead of with an ukulele.

Couldn't get the link to work on my iPad. Found this one. Great video.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=hqWP7uDsjPo&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DhqWP7uDsjPo

Thanks so much for making me aware of that song. If it wasn't for Tiny Tim this thread wouldn't have existed and I wouldn't be aware of this Who song now.:D

hoosierhiver
01-13-2013, 06:42 AM
I don't think the ukulele was all that known outside of Hawaiian music in the 60s. Whatever cache it had in the Arthur Godfrey error went away with the British Invasion and the rise of the electric guitar. I think Tiny Tim brought the ukulele back into the public conscience, albeit in a ridiculing sort of way. But if people in the 60s hadn't seen Tiny Tim and didn't know what an ukulele was (outside of Hawaiian music), maybe The Who would have recorded Blue Red and Grey (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7SliN-82P0) with an acoustic guitar instead of with an ukulele.

That is a good point, he was playing ukulele at one of it's lowest points since it was introduced outside of Hawaii.

Fuzzy
01-13-2013, 06:49 AM
Hmm... I think the ukulele would have become one of those "old-fashioned", "forgotten" instruments like the dulcimer, autoharp, or the spinet. For better or for worse, Tiny Tim kept the uke in the public conciousness and "modernised" it somewhat.

Chris Tarman
01-13-2013, 06:55 AM
The ukulele was considered a joke instrument in popular culture long before Tiny Tim, all the way back to the silent movie era. Maybe that would have faded from memory a little if Tiny Tim hadn't used a uke, but then again, maybe the ukulele would have faded from popular consciousness too.

Chris Tarman
01-13-2013, 06:58 AM
I don't think the ukulele was all that known outside of Hawaiian music in the 60s. Whatever cache it had in the Arthur Godfrey error went away with the British Invasion and the rise of the electric guitar. I think Tiny Tim brought the ukulele back into the public conscience, albeit in a ridiculing sort of way. But if people in the 60s hadn't seen Tiny Tim and didn't know what an ukulele was (outside of Hawaiian music), maybe The Who would have recorded Blue Red and Grey (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7SliN-82P0) with an acoustic guitar instead of with an ukulele.

Actually, Pete Townsend and a good number of other British guitarists of his era played ukulele as kids because of George Formby. If anything, I would think that Tiny Tim would have made Pete think twice about using a uke on a song.

ukemunga
01-13-2013, 07:02 AM
The thread about Tiny Tim got me thinking, what if he had never existed?

I'd still be ukin'... on the other hand, if Jake never existed I probably wouldn't be.

mds725
01-13-2013, 07:07 AM
Actually, Pete Townsend and a good number of other British guitarists of his era played ukulele as kids because of George Formby. If anything, I would think that Tiny Tim would have made Pete think twice about using a uke on a song.

Your point about George Formby is a good one. John Lennon and George Harrison were also ukulele players before The Beatles. But the ukulele was virtually unknown in the 60s to people in the US who, like me, grew up on the mainland and had no exposure to Hawaiian music. Considering how much British musicians loved George Formby and the ukulele back then, I wonder if Pete Townshend was annoyed at what Tiny Tim was doing to the ukulele's image and decided to record a song with one specifically to help rehabilitate that image.


I don't think the ukulele was all that known outside of Hawaiian music in the 60s. Whatever cache it had in the Arthur Godfrey error went away with the British Invasion and the rise of the electric guitar. I think Tiny Tim brought the ukulele back into the public conscience, albeit in a ridiculing sort of way. But if people in the 60s hadn't seen Tiny Tim and didn't know what an ukulele was (outside of Hawaiian music), maybe The Who would have recorded Blue Red and Grey (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7SliN-82P0) with an acoustic guitar instead of with an ukulele.

Ha ha! "the Arthur Godfrey error." Typo or Freudian slip?

pdxuke
01-13-2013, 07:08 AM
I'm not certain Tiny Tim had any impact on the popularity of the ukulele. I see no evidence that uke sales soared, like they did in the 20s because of Ukulele Ike (the great Cliff Edwards) or in the 50s because of Arthur Godfrey. Correct me if I'm wrong on this.

Tiny Tim was a novelty act with a uke. But did people then run out and buy ukes because they wanted to play them? don't think so.

So my conclusion is, he had zero impact on the popularity of the instrument. So if he had never lived? Not much change in the uke-us-sphere.

PhilUSAFRet
01-13-2013, 07:17 AM
Well, here's what I think: "it's not very classy to trash an artist without having any facts."

At his Workshop Friday evening, Lil Rev pointed out that the ukulele has a rich place in Amercan music history and Tiny Tim is a valuable part of that history. TT seems to be getting judged only for his "schtick."

He was one of America's greatest ukulele/old time music archivists. Much valuable old time music, includng early Americana and vaudeville might have been lost if not for him. What most people "know" about Tiny Tim only scratches the surface. Check out his Memorial Site and Allmusic.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_Tim_(musician)

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/tiny-tim-mn0000603980

seneystretch
01-13-2013, 07:17 AM
The thread about Tiny Tim got me thinking, what if he had never existed?

Oh Nooooooooooooes! Ripping the time-space continunums! Then we wouldn't have had Zooey Daschanel!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSq1cez_flQ

Seriously, if Marilyn Monroe couldn't spark interest with Some Like It Hot (it's fun watch it) and Taylor Swift toting around that concert size gig bag, I don't what will. In the meantime, I'll just amuse my friends and housepets with this instrument of innocent merriment...

vanflynn
01-13-2013, 07:21 AM
Eddie Vedder would do a pan flute album because of Zamfir's influence on Pop culture.

Chris Tarman
01-13-2013, 07:23 AM
Had he never picked up the Uke, I think a lot fewer people would roll their eyes and laugh when they think of a ukulele. I'm not a hater but I think in his time he was a joke, people laughed at him not with him...

I think having people laugh AT him was part of the joke. He was a performance artist as much as anything. Much like Andy Kaufman. I was 10 years old when SNL premiered, and when I was 11 or 12 and already a confirmed fan of late night comedy, Andy Kaufman made an appearance on SNL. Absolutely all he did was stand next to an old fashioned record player which was playing the theme from the old "Mighty Mouse" cartoon. He just stood there, until the song came to the chorus, at which point he puffed up his chest, lifted his chin and held out his arm in a heroic pose while LIP-SYNCHING the "Here I come to save the day!" line. Then right back to just standing until the next chorus. I couldn't tell if he was a genius or insane. I'm still not entirely sure. There was a LOT of laughter from the audience, but a good deal of it was pretty uncomfortable-sounding. I got the impression even at my age back then that that was exactly what Andy Kaufman was trying to accomplish.

I have a feeling that Tiny Tim was doing the same thing. I'm pretty sure he didn't think he was singing like Cliff Edwards or playing like Roy Smeck. Actually, his REAL singing voice was a fairly deep baritone (check out his cover of "Stairway to Heaven" with Brave Combo). If he had not wanted people laughing AT him, he wouldn't have presented himself in that persona on TV.

Lalz
01-13-2013, 07:26 AM
Most people I know, including the ones who think ukuleles are toys, have never heard of Tiny Tim actually. Myself, I only heard about him a couple of years ago and only saw one short video of him on youtube. Had he not existed, it would have made no difference for me.

Many of my UK friends know about George Formby and of George Harrison's fondness for the ukulele, I think these are the two that first come to mind for most people here.

Funny anecdote: My best friend - who currently lives in the US - asked me yesterday if anyone has actually been playing the ukulele since Marilyn Monroe haha :)

mds725
01-13-2013, 07:26 AM
I'm not certain Tiny Tim had any impact on the popularity of the ukulele. I see no evidence that uke sales soared, like they did in the 20s because of Ukulele Ike (the great Cliff Edwards) or in the 50s because of Arthur Godfrey. Correct me if I'm wrong on this.

Tiny Tim was a novelty act with a uke. But did people then run out and buy ukes because they wanted to play them? don't think so.

So my conclusion is, he had zero impact on the popularity of the instrument. So if he had never lived? Not much change in the uke-us-sphere.

It may be fair to conclude that, if it's true that there was no correlation between Tiny Tim's appearances with an ukulele and an increase in ukulele sales, Tiny Tim had no direct impact on the popularity of the ukulele. However, any lack of uptick in sales from his appearances doesn't negate the possibility that he had an indirect influence on the uke's popularity by bringing it back into the public's consciousness in the midst of Western popular music's love affair in the 60s with electric guitars. When I first heard Blue Red and Grey, I knew the instrument I was hearing was an ukulele because I'd already seen Tiny Tim play one on TV. I might have otherwise thought it was a guitar treated with sound effects or some other instrument I'd never heard of.

People didn't run out in droves to buy sitars when George Harrison began playing one on Beatles songs. But what Harrison did raised awareness of sitars, probably caused an uptick in sales of records featuring sitars, and bolstered the popularity of sitar players. My point is that increased sales of an instrument is not the only way to measure an increase in that instrument's popularity.

soupking
01-13-2013, 07:27 AM
I think having people laugh AT him was part of the joke. He was a performance artist as much as anything. Much like Andy Kaufman. I was 10 years old when SNL premiered, and when I was 11 or 12 and already a confirmed fan of late night comedy, Andy Kaufman made an appearance on SNL. Absolutely all he did was stand next to an old fashioned record player which was playing the theme from the old "Mighty Mouse" cartoon. He just stood there, until the song came to the chorus, at which point he puffed up his chest, lifted his chin and held out his arm in a heroic pose while LIP-SYNCHING the "Here I come to save the day!" line. Then right back to just standing until the next chorus. I couldn't tell if he was a genius or insane. I'm still not entirely sure. There was a LOT of laughter from the audience, but a good deal of it was pretty uncomfortable-sounding. I got the impression even at my age back then that that was exactly what Andy Kaufman was trying to accomplish.

I have a feeling that Tiny Tim was doing the same thing. I'm pretty sure he didn't think he was singing like Cliff Edwards or playing like Roy Smeck. Actually, his REAL singing voice was a fairly deep baritone (check out his cover of "Stairway to Heaven" with Brave Combo). If he had not wanted people laughing AT him, he wouldn't have presented himself in that persona on TV.

Hilarious...


http://youtu.be/kGx94VPb8V8

Lalz
01-13-2013, 07:28 AM
He was one of America's greatest ukulele/old time music archivists. Much valuable old time music, includng early Americana and vaudeville might have been lost if not for him.

Wow! I think we have the answer to the question right here. Thanks Tiny Tim!

pdxuke
01-13-2013, 07:29 AM
Well, here's what I think: "it's not very classy to trash an artist without having any facts."

At his Workshop Friday evening, Lil Rev pointed out that the ukulele has a rich place in Amercan music history and Tiny Tim is a valuable part of that history. TT seems to be getting judged only for his "schtick."

He was one of America's greatest ukulele/old time music archivists. Much valuable old time music, includng early Americana and vaudeville might have been lost if not for him. What most people "know" about Tiny Tim only scratches the surface. Check out his Memorial Site and Allmusic.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_Tim_(musician)

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/tiny-tim-mn0000603980

That's very interesting. Maybe his "behind the scenes" work in saving music has been a more valuable contribution, more-so than his public persona.

Chris Tarman
01-13-2013, 07:29 AM
Interestingly, I have had a few older English friends who, upon hearing that I play ukulele, go straight to the George Formby references. I'm not sure they even know who Tiny Tim was. Where an American of a certain age would say something about TT or "Tiptoe Thru The Tulips", my English acquaintances would start strumming an invisible uke and sing either "With Me Little Ukulele In Me Hand" or "When I'm Cleaning Windows".

hoosierhiver
01-13-2013, 07:46 AM
Tiny Tim was a novelty act with a uke. But did people then run out and buy ukes because they wanted to play them? don't think so.

So my conclusion is, he had zero impact on the popularity of the instrument. So if he had never lived? Not much change in the uke-us-sphere.

At that time (late 60's early 70's), you'd have a hard time finding one to buy. I think by the early 70's Kamaka was the only remaining ukulele company.

OldePhart
01-13-2013, 07:48 AM
What if TinyTim had never existed?
I would have led worship on a soprano this morning instead of on a baritone... :)

John

mds725
01-13-2013, 07:53 AM
......I have a feeling that Tiny Tim was doing the same thing. I'm pretty sure he didn't think he was singing like Cliff Edwards or playing like Roy Smeck. Actually, his REAL singing voice was a fairly deep baritone (check out his cover of "Stairway to Heaven" with Brave Combo). If he had not wanted people laughing AT him, he wouldn't have presented himself in that persona on TV.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQylt3TVFrI

hoosierhiver
01-13-2013, 08:00 AM
He tried to warn us about global warming before it was even a thing, if we had only listened..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DEoOdcYKbc

Chris Tarman
01-13-2013, 08:10 AM
Hilarious...


http://youtu.be/kGx94VPb8V8

Thanks for posting that! I'm not sure if I've seen it since it originally aired. I love how he looks like he's not sure when to come in during the second verse, and I had totally forgotten about the water glass.

This is still the first thing I think of when someone mentions Andy Kaufman, and I think that would have pleased him!

bodhran
01-13-2013, 08:12 AM
I read the other day that Rory Galagher's first string instrument was a ukulele bought from Woolworths.

Love them or hate them both Tiny Tim and George Formby kept the ukulele in the public eye.

Freeda
01-13-2013, 08:28 AM
Oh Nooooooooooooes! Ripping the time-space continunums! Then we wouldn't have had Zooey Daschanel!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSq1cez_flQ

Seriously, if Marilyn Monroe couldn't spark interest with Some Like It Hot (it's fun watch it) and Taylor Swift toting around that concert size gig bag, I don't what will. In the meantime, I'll just amuse my friends and housepets with this instrument of innocent merriment...
That video was delightful.

ScooterD35
01-13-2013, 08:51 AM
I pretty much ignored the other Tiny Tim thread, simply because of the "hate" factor.

Tiny Tim was a beloved character in American pop-culture. During his run in the 60's and 70's, any show was pretty much guaranteed high ratings on nights when he was scheduled to appear. His orchestrated recording of "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" hit number 17 on the billboard charts and his album of children's music "For All My Little Friends" was nominated for a Grammy. He was a regular guest on Laugh-In and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (and actually got married on Johnny's show), got standing ovations just for walking on stage and literally continued to perform with his beloved ukuleles until the day he died of a heart attack (he suffered the heart attack on stage and died later that day at the hospital).

I believe that Tiny Tim single-handedly saved the ukulele from total obscurity and is a vastly more important part of American entertainment/pop culture history than many of todays "celebrities" (Paris Hilton and the Kardashians immediately come to mind).

A far cry from just "a novelty act with a ukulele" Tiny Tim was (and is) an enduring American Icon.


Scooter

pdxuke
01-13-2013, 08:59 AM
I pretty much ignored the other Tiny Tim thread, simply because of the "hate" factor.

Tiny Tim was a beloved character in American pop-culture. During his run in the 60's and 70's, any show was pretty much guaranteed high ratings on nights when he was scheduled to appear. His orchestrated recording of "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" hit number 17 on the billboard charts and his album of children's music "For All My Little Friends" was nominated for a Grammy. He was a regular guest on Laugh-In and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (and actually got married on Johnny's show), got standing ovations just for walking on stage and literally continued to perform with his beloved ukuleles until the day he died of a heart attack (he suffered the heart attack on stage and died later that day at the hospital).

I believe that Tiny Tim single-handedly saved the ukulele from total obscurity and is a vastly more important part of American entertainment/pop culture history than many of todays "celebrities" (Paris Hilton and the Kardashians immediately come to mind).

A far cry from just "a novelty act with a ukulele" Tiny Tim was (and is) an enduring American Icon.


Scooter

I'm certainly not a Tiny Tim hater. He may have been a wonderful man, for all I know. Perhaps he was everything you described him as being. But I lived through the time of his popularity, and I just did not witness a boom in the popularity of the ukulele as an instrument. There was certainly a boom in the popularity of Tiny Tim. I'm just not sure that he rescued the uke from obscurity. It's a long way from being a hugely popular, and perhaps influential artist in the 1960s and 1970s, to the current ukulele boom. I'm not sure what started this ukulele boom, but I'm pretty certain it was not Tiny Tim. However, Formby and Edwards and Godfrey all had a direct impact on the sale and the playing of ukuleles. That's my only point.

BTW, there's nothing wrong with being a novelty act with a ukulele. It's not a pejorative. It's a pretty accurate description of the man's act--which I happened to enjoy with most of America at the time.

acmespaceship
01-13-2013, 09:23 AM
Oh boy, I love alternate history! My turn next:

After the Arthur Godfrey Error, the ukulele slipped from public consciousness in the mainland US. Ukes were known only to nostalgia buffs, historians, and tourists who returned from Hawaii with souvenir ukes made from coconuts. The 1971 Broadway production of No, No, Nanette sparked some interest among musical-comedy fans. But for the most part, by the early 1970s, no 20-year-old American would recognize a uke if they saw one.

In the UK, however, it was a different story. Musicians who grew up listening to George Formby knew about the ukulele. Pete Townshend played uke on The Who By Numbers, released in 1975. Videos and recordings of George Harrison, playing uke, caught the attention of American fans. Bob Dylan was inspired to try this exotic instrument in live performances released on his Hard Rain album in 1976. By the time Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead started playing uke, young rockers were clamoring for ukuleles. Seeing a market, Gibson introduced its Les Paul electric ukulele in 1978 and rock and roll was never the same since.

Meanwhile, Herbert Khaury, a uke player and collector of old songs, continued to perform in the coffee houses of Greenwich Village. His small-but-loyal following grew, and in 1980 he made his first of many appearances on The Tonight Show. His sweet and eccentric performances made him famous, but did little to derail the ukulele juggernaut in popular music.

Many years later, young millennials would discover the mountain dulcimer as an obscure and quirky instrument. In the early years of the 21st Century, legions of hipsters recorded YouTube videos of themselves playing dulcimer while wearing ironic tiny hats.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Extra credit: How many of the above "facts" actually happened?

wendellfiddler
01-13-2013, 09:29 AM
Had Tiny Tim never existed, nothing would be different with the ukulele and the way it is perceived today, however we would be without the Tiny Tim jokes. I really think he had very little or next to no influence on anything regarding the uke. Other than those little jokes. Tiny Tim was a crazy performer and had a fun little act, but I just do not believe anything he did had much influence on the ukulele going forward.

I agree. And would add that musicians have been aware of and using the uke in all sorts of ways ever since it's original development. Many string players I know had their first string experience on a uke - including me (mine was plastic, but it worked well enough for me to learn a few chords and play folk songs - banjo was next, then guitar, then dobro, then violin, then mandolin, then cuatro, then chromatic harmonica, then back to the uke!)

Duk

ScooterD35
01-13-2013, 09:30 AM
Oh, don't get me wrong.

I'm not suggesting that he elevated the uke to any new heights of popularity, but I do think he kept it from being completely forgotten about. The chances that anyone was likely to recreate the ukulele buzz that Godfrey did during the Golden Age of Rock Music were pretty much nill. Which, IMO, makes Tiny Tim's popularity that much more amazing.


Scooter

wendellfiddler
01-13-2013, 09:32 AM
Oh boy, I love alternate history! My turn next:

After the Arthur Godfrey Error, the ukulele slipped from public consciousness in the mainland US. Ukes were known only to nostalgia buffs, historians, and tourists who returned from Hawaii with souvenir ukes made from coconuts. The 1971 Broadway production of No, No, Nanette sparked some interest among musical-comedy fans. But for the most part, by the early 1970s, no 20-year-old American would recognize a uke if they saw one.



I'm sorry, man, but this just isn't true. It might be true that you didn't see them in popular music, but that doesn't mean people didn't know what they were - and it sounds like you would be amazed at how many people had one and could actually play it, including a significant number of guitar players - and we know how many of those there are in the US.

Duk

Fuzzy
01-13-2013, 09:43 AM
On a side note, anyone else notice that Tiny Tim, Zooey, and Joe are all playing left-handed?

acmespaceship
01-13-2013, 09:58 AM
I'm sorry, man, but this just isn't true. It might be true that you didn't see them in popular music, but that doesn't mean people didn't know what they were - and it sounds like you would be amazed at how many people had one and could actually play it, including a significant number of guitar players - and we know how many of those there are in the US.

You must have hung out with a better class of people than I did in the 1970s. Heck, even today I run into people who ask me "what is that, some kind of guitar?" Did you really know a lot of boomers (born in the 1950s) who played uke in the 70s? I went to high school and college and lived in a big city and met lots of people, and I knew exactly one person my age who played uke. Yes, he is a hero of mine.

RichM
01-13-2013, 11:02 AM
On a side note, anyone else notice that Tiny Tim, Zooey, and Joe are all playing left-handed?

Tiny Tim was left handed, but I'm pretty sure the Zooey/JGL video is flipped.

seneystretch
01-13-2013, 11:39 AM
Tiny Tim was left handed, but I'm pretty sure the Zooey/JGL video is flipped.

Here's another ZD video, lefthanded.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkg4W-k3eUA

John Belushi did that scene way better than Tom Arnold.

Here's another uke video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9Mjl26D6IM

pdxuke
01-13-2013, 11:51 AM
Oh, don't get me wrong.

I'm not suggesting that he elevated the uke to any new heights of popularity, but I do think he kept it from being completely forgotten about. The chances that anyone was likely to recreate the ukulele buzz that Godfrey did during the Golden Age of Rock Music were pretty much nill. Which, IMO, makes Tiny Tim's popularity that much more amazing.


Scooter

I was into the music scene in the late 60s, just like most young people at the time. I was into an eclectic mix of styles, from Cream and Hendrix to bluegrass legends. I played in a bluegrass band. I loved Tiny Tim's act, but about the only thing I can say about him playing the uke was it was a Martin. My experience is completely my own, and this, needs to be taken for what it is, but here's the thing: we were all buying banjoes and all manner of folk instruments, in addition to our electric guitars and Fender basses. But not one person I knew or played music with--not one--during the height of Tiny Tim's popularity, ever had a uke. It just did not occur to us. Perhaps it's because we were not covering tin pan, we were covering folk and bluegrass standards. I don't know. But I find that interesting. Had we been young folks in 1926, we would have all had Martin ukes, and it would have been because of Cliff Edwards.

Tiny Tim was a huge pop figure persona, and others have pointed out that he used that for good works, including archiving of music which is a great gift to us all. But check you tube for uke videos: lots of people covering and teaching Formby style, but how many videos covering and teaching Tiny Tim style? He was what he was, and what he was has value-- but I don't think he has anything to do with why most of us now own and play ukes, or why the uke is now as popular as it is.

mds725
01-13-2013, 12:35 PM
It's been amusing watching everybody extrapolate their personal experiences with the people they've known (which would comprise, even for the most popular people, an unimaginably small sample) to the world at large. I think it's fair to say that some people grew up in a community in which people had personal or indirect experiences with ukuleles and some people didn't. There are some things that are verifiable - ukulele sales for each year in which such statistics have been kept, as well as sales of ukulele records and ukulele sheet music -- but they don't necessarily completely reflect how much in the public conscious the ukulele was for any given year, although they would provide some indication. There may be no scientific way to ever determine what Tiny Tim's effect on the ukulele's popularity was, because for the most part it was probably subtle and indirect, but it's fun to speculate. Please just don't throw your own personal experiences around as if they were facts you use to tell other people they're wrong about their own personal experiences.

uketeecee
01-13-2013, 12:41 PM
I remember seeing Tiny Tim on TV growing up. To me has was just another crazy 'Laugh-In' performer. What I do remember is that I liked the melody to his Tiptoe song.


On a side note, anyone else notice that Tiny Tim, Zooey, and Joe are all playing left-handed?

If you watch YouTube clips of Tim, you'll notice he plays the uke both right and left handed.

Plainsong
01-13-2013, 12:49 PM
Ok so we've done contemporary music history, and alternate music history... how about a reason that has nothing to do with the uke?

Before the WWW, the internet was a hit with college kids. But we didn't have a graphical internet. We had black screens with green text. Instead of the WWW, we had gopher, FTP, Usenet, IRC, and telnet. So geeks would find space on university servers to host virtual hangouts, called MUDSs and MUSHes, for us to hangout. Think of Second Life, but text-based, and free. No forums, no chat rooms, just text and a cool vibe.

The biggest one of its day, was a place called TinyTim. If not for TinyTim (http://www.tim.org/), I'd not be with my husband of 14 years.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it. :D

Harold O.
01-13-2013, 01:20 PM
This site has a lot of period TT articles archived: http://www.tinytim.org/articles

Reading a few will give you good sense of how he was perceived in his own time. Be aware, though, that you may also stumble upon an article or two exposing more than you wanted to know.

Freeda
01-13-2013, 01:30 PM
This site has a lot of period TT articles archived: http://www.tinytim.org/articles

Reading a few will give you good sense of how he was perceived in his own time. Be aware, though, that you may also stumble upon an article or two exposing more than you wanted to know.

Clicking, and praying you don't mean nudity. I don't think I could handle a nude Tiny Tim.

Plainsong
01-13-2013, 01:36 PM
Clicking, and praying you don't mean nudity. I don't think I could handle a nude Tiny Tim.

I just made the face in your avatar.

Hey, you changed it! Now it doesn't make sense, but it was a great face for that comment!

pdxuke
01-13-2013, 01:36 PM
It's been amusing watching everybody extrapolate their personal experiences with the people they've known (which would comprise, even for the most popular people, an unimaginably small sample) to the world at large. I think it's fair to say that some people grew up in a community in which people had personal or indirect experiences with ukuleles and some people didn't. There are some things that are verifiable - ukulele sales for each year in which such statistics have been kept, as well as sales of ukulele records and ukulele sheet music -- but they don't necessarily completely reflect how much in the public conscious the ukulele was for any given year, although they would provide some indication. There may be no scientific way to ever determine what Tiny Tim's effect on the ukulele's popularity was, because for the most part it was probably subtle and indirect, but it's fun to speculate. Please just don't throw your own personal experiences around as if they were facts you use to tell other people they're wrong about their own personal experiences.

Speaking for myself, I don't believe I threw anything around as fact. I threw around my personal experience and identified it as such :D
Since this is not a thread about scientific samples, and instead about "what if," my personal experience is as good as anybody else's, and in no way is meant to indicate a scientific sample.

The reality is, I don't much care what effect Tiny Tim had on the popularity of the ukulele. All that really concerns me is my own experience with the ukulele, which has always been, and remains, with or with out Tiny Tim, positive.

I think Mike's comment that a uke would have been hard to find during this time is a telling one, however. I find that very interesting.

-30-

Harold O.
01-13-2013, 04:36 PM
I think Mike's comment that a uke would have been hard to find during this time is a telling one, however. I find that very interesting.

The article archive website I referenced above has many reviews of "last night's" TT show and very few even mention the ukulele. They'll tell of baritone, falsetto, vintage songs, and a good time overall.

No nude Tim shots.

rreffner
01-13-2013, 04:51 PM
Just think how much Tiny Tim could have benefitted our UU ohana if he were alive today. I for one would have loved to know him and learn from him. Just a thought.

Plainsong
01-13-2013, 06:56 PM
Just think how much Tiny Tim could have benefitted our UU ohana if he were alive today. I for one would have loved to know him and learn from him. Just a thought.

Yeah, I may not dig his performance style, but that doesn't mean I'd hate on the guy. I bet he'd be a fun addition to the forums, especially with his knowledge of songs.

consitter
01-13-2013, 07:29 PM
Eddie Vedder would do a pan flute album because of Zamfir's influence on Pop culture.

*SNORK* lcl

Skrik
01-13-2013, 07:58 PM
No nude Tim shots.

Well I'm not clicking on the link, then.

mds725
01-13-2013, 10:55 PM
I think having people laugh AT him was part of the joke. He was a performance artist as much as anything. Much like Andy Kaufman. I was 10 years old when SNL premiered, and when I was 11 or 12 and already a confirmed fan of late night comedy, Andy Kaufman made an appearance on SNL. Absolutely all he did was stand next to an old fashioned record player which was playing the theme from the old "Mighty Mouse" cartoon. He just stood there, until the song came to the chorus, at which point he puffed up his chest, lifted his chin and held out his arm in a heroic pose while LIP-SYNCHING the "Here I come to save the day!" line. Then right back to just standing until the next chorus. I couldn't tell if he was a genius or insane. I'm still not entirely sure. There was a LOT of laughter from the audience, but a good deal of it was pretty uncomfortable-sounding. I got the impression even at my age back then that that was exactly what Andy Kaufman was trying to accomplish.....

I normally don't like to send threads off in a slightly different direction, but - OMG! Andy Kaufman appeared on The Dating Game as the same character who "sang" Mighty Mouse! You guys have to see this!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z7RLOiqzdk

Please return now to our previously scheduled discussion of Tiny Tim.

finkdaddy
01-14-2013, 01:40 AM
Wow, this thread got big fast!
I don't have too much to contribute, since I don't remember Tiny Tim from when he was alive. But I would like to say that he is still influencing people today. Do I have proof of that, you ask? Well yes I do.
There is an acquaintance of mine, Denny, who also goes by the stage name, King Kukulele. His whole act is sort of a Tiny Tim-ish comedy routine. He also leads a band called, The Freaky Tikis. Now, while his act is very campy and silly, he is actually an amazing musician. I've heard some session stuff he's done and it is amazing and completely different than his King Kukulele shtick.
Here is a video of his from a long time ago:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kP5hq8cwRQ
Here is a slightly more serious song (only slightly):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSWyRquyaew
And lastly, a bit of street improve done in front of a bar in London:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLXLlM0-uZI

He has hosted/MC'ed many events that I have been too and he is always a show stopper.
I think the influence of Tiny Tim here is undeniable. And, not unlike Tiny Tim, he has a HUGE collection of music from the 20's and 30's.
Here is his website in case you want to learn more:
http://www.kingkukulele.com/

hoosierhiver
01-14-2013, 02:14 AM
Just think how much Tiny Tim could have benefitted our UU ohana if he were alive today. I for one would have loved to know him and learn from him. Just a thought.

I could definitley picture him having fun at UWC