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Miss Sue Remembers

Memories of my husband, Tiny Tim.
by Susan Khaury, ©1998

adolescent rebellion. Many people who felt odd or different were inspired by the example of one unique person who wasn't afraid to be himself. Preadolescents going through the stage of establishing their sexual identities found his gender-bending personality riveting and incredibly funny, for reasons that older people did not even want to understand. The outrage of adults only fueled the fire. For one reason or another, Tiny Tim had struck a nerve.

After the first album was done, he was off on a whirlwind tour of concerts and TV appearances. He and Perry were both flown to London to play the Albert Hall. A full orchestra was provided, and Perry directed. It was a swanky benefit and the audience was full of wealthy people in tuxedos and formal evening gowns. Right before they went on, they found out that the audience included the Beatles, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful, and some members of the Royal family. He sang in both his natural and falsetto voice. He did a wide range of numbers from different decades, and not just novelty songs. Things went exceptionally well, and everyone was amazed that Tiny could really sing. The recording of this event deserves to be released someday on CD. It was a great success, and Tiny's recording of "Great Balls of Fire" hit the charts in England.

His managers kept assuring him that they were taking care of the business end of things. They gave him just $100 a week and free roomservice, but he was too thrilled to care. The most beautiful women in the world were throwing themselves at him everywhere he went. Girls were trying to sneak into his room. Because of his religious beliefs, he begged his managers to keep them away from him, which wasn't easy. He became convinced that the only way he could stay out of trouble was to marry someone. One day he was being interviewed on the radio and he mentioned that he saw a beautiful girl named Vicki the day before, when he was signing autographs. Within hours Vicki got a message to him, and they met. She was the most gorgeous girl he had ever seen, and before they knew each other very well, he impulsively asked her to marry him. When Johnny Carson heard of it, he offered to have the wedding on the show. Tiny accepted without considering how Vicki felt about it. She naturally wished she had been consulted, but the publicity machine was already rolling, and they couldn't back out.

Tiny and Vicki seldom saw each other for the next two months, since Tiny was traveling. They had several big arguments that probably would have ended their relationship if it weren't for the commitment they had made to the Carson show, and the huge publicity push that was going on. Before they knew it, the event was upon them. Vicki felt that she was hustled along, as if her opinions didn't matter. Soon they were up there in front of the cameras and it was all over; they were married. Tiny's family was in the audience, as were a lot of people from the neighborhood. Predictably, a lot of people who disdained him for years all of a sudden wanted to be his best friends, but the aunts had their usual caustic comments. The press asked Tillie if she were proud of her son. She replied suspiciously, "And why shouldn't I be?"

The reception was at a big, fancy hotel, and the cameras were still rolling. Twenty nine years later, the footage still conveys the incredible hype of the situation. Hundreds of gifts

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