I was watching a recent interview with Laugh-In great Dick Martin, and I flashed back to the time in the early 80s when I worked in the old Brill Building on Broadway. I bumped into Tiny Tim in the elevator. He was a large man. I felt like I came up to his elbow. Tongue-tied in the presence of a legend, I stumbled saying hello. He was very polite, soft-spoken and just seemed so surprisingly normal, despite the odd appearance.
The original “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” sung by crooner Nick Lucas, was part of a lost Warner Brothers’ 1929 technicolor musical called “Gold Diggers of Broadway,” a movie that was only recently restored, in sections, by The Vitaphone Project.
It’s recordings like this and The Wedding of the Painted Doll, also from 1929, that gives me the eerie feeling that all of these lively people from the Roaring Twenties are now all dead and gone.