Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tiptoe through the Tulips:
the progression of a twentieth century standard

Baby boomers are most familiar with the version popularized by eccentric musicologist and ukelele star Tiny Tim, whose rendition of the song charted at #17 in 1968, the year in which he performed the standard on the Tonight Show, (below) and a year before he gave Johnny Carson his highest-ever rating by marrying 17-year-old "Miss Vicki" on the host's NBC late night talk show, attended by a studio audience of 268 family members and friends and watched later that night via tape-delay by 45 million Americans.

America was introduced to Tiptoe Through The Tulips in the now-lost 1929 two-strip technicolor talkie, Gold Diggers of Broadway (later remade in black and white as Gold Diggers of 1933) by Nick Lucus. Below is Lucas singing the song 15 years later.

AKSARBENT really likes Robbie Banfitch's cover of Tim's version used in the 2011 horror film Insidious.

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