Saturday, November 18, 2023

"Tiny Tim on MY country radio station? Oh, hell NO!"

 So I was broadcasting my midday, country radio show from our remote studio at the Burt Reynolds Ranch in Jupiter, Florida when our station photographer called to tell me of a celebrity he had in his van. They were coming down the Florida turnpike not far from my studio. He asked me if I wanted to put Tiny Tim of "Tip Toe Through the Tulips" fame on the air with me. He said Tim was in South Florida to cut a new record with a country music flavor. I told him, with some reservation, "OK. Bring him by."

They showed up, and I must say, Tiny Tim was just like he looked on the Tonight Show when he married Miss Vicki with Johnny Carson overseeing the proceedings.  Make up on, he was looking like a stretch from being masculine and a very quiet man. We chatted on air for a while and at the end, I told him we needed to hear a bit of "Tip Toe," his novelty hit song with his ever present ukulele and high falsetto. He gladly agreed, and then left after taking a picture with me. 

The negative phone calls I received afterwards from listeners was off the charts. I took heat. How could I put this feminine man on their macho country radio station?!

I shook it off. He was a well known celebrity at the time and a super nice guy. Too bad the good ol' boys had an issue. It saddened me to hear he died of a heart attack while performing on stage in Minneapolis in 1996. 

My broadcast studio is right behind me in the pic below. Those boxes over Tim's shoulder in the storage room have all manner of western wear in them...cowboy boots, jeans, shirts, etc.

When she was married to Burt, Lonnie Anderson came in one day with her daughter to buy some boots while I was on the air. I about fell off my chair in the studio. Prettier in person (if that's possible) but highly demanding of the staff that worked in this store. Boots were flying everywhere as she tried on the various styles and the staff tried to accommodate her. Between you and me, I think the ladies who worked in the store were happy to see her go! OK, I'll be quiet now.


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