Sunday, December 4, 2016

Collection Recommendation #7: Tiny Tim's Christmas Album

Though a Tiny Tim fan since I was a kid, I was tardy in getting his 1994 Yuletide CD. I finally broke down and paid a far higher price than if I had been on the ball a couple decades prior, but man, oh, man, was it worth every penny!

TINY TIM'S CHRISTMAS ALBUM, like its creator (aka, Herbert B. Khaury), is eccentric yet traditional. In other words, the classic Christmas collection consists of many familiar favorites: RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER; ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT TEETH; I SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS; WHITE CHRISTMAS (long version); THE CHRISTMAS SONG (perhaps the wildest, jazziest rendition ever recorded); O HOLY NIGHT; SILENT NIGHT; and a stirring, epic medley of HARK THE HERALD ANGLES SING/O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM/AMAZING GRACE/THROW OUT THE LIFELINE. However, it's the manner in which Tim sings (and acts out) these classics that makes them unique and perhaps for the narrow-minded ear (adverse, no doubt, to ukulele accompaniment), bizarre (though as we all know, anything bizarre, in the context of this realm, is always worth considerable praise.) 

As any fan would expect, Tim gives each selection his personal, caring touch. The songs come from the heart, or rather from a special place in his ticklish throat. He also sometimes turns the selections into sermons, particularly SILENT NIGHT, which does slip into a concerned narrative on hypocrisy: why people only practice/advocate loving deeds during Christmas, when they should be implementing such year round. 

The album is supplemented by what could be dismissed as semi-secular and separate, Sunday hymn filler, but in the context of Tim's emotional presentation, such choices only add to the holiday jubilation. If one gives them the chance, one will find that RAINBOW ON THE RIVER; MISSION BELL (which would have been a surefire, comeback hit if only pushed);and WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS capture the euphoric essence of the season as much as the traditional tracks. 

(Fortunately, the album is devoid of one, never-intended-for-this-collection submission from '85, but I'll leave it to you to search that one out; Tim, in his offbeat way, probably meant well, but still...)

Anyway, that it took this one-of-a-kind performer several decades to conjure this collection is perplexing, since it would have been only natural to have done so earlier in his career, if only considering his Dickens-character namesake. Nonetheless, at least the album exists, so treat yourself to it. It may require a little extra effort to track down (and afford), but when all's said and done, you'll be ever the merrier for it. 

God bless, Tiny Tim!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment