I had recorded Tiny Tim in New York in 1966 before I moved to Los Angeles in 1967. Obviously Tiny was unique and different, and therefore he was quite a surprise to the musicians on my first recording session in Hollywood. I can still see their faces. The album was called “God Bless Tiny Tim.” The single was “Tiptoe Through The Tulips.” Richard Perry was the producer and I was the arranger. It was a huge hit.
Putting all of that aside, I must say that Tiny was a very sensitive, intelligent and genuinely kind soul. We never knew how old he really was, but I think he was really much older than we thought by at least ten or twelve years. Perhaps more. Tiny also had a vast knowledge of songs from the glory days of burlesque and vaudeville. He was a walking encyclopedia when it came to music. He knew the verse to almost every old standard. He knew who wrote it, sang it, arranged it, published it, what year it was released and what record label it was on.
I vividly remember his wedding to Miss Vicki on the Tonight Show and his performing in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace. I was there. How the audience rolled in the aisles when this guy walked on the stage in his plaid jacket with a shopping bag and pulled out a ukulele and started to play and sing. They laughed uncontrollably. I ran into Tiny a few times on an airplane and we sat together and talked about music and the music business. He was really very charming. He always called me Mr. Butler. I always had the feeling that Tiny knew something that we did not. Just what that was we will never know. God Bless Tiny Tim.