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 me 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. 


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