Morning Music: For All My Little Friends

For All My Little FriendsIn 1969, Tiny Tim put out his third album, For All My Little Friends. As it’s title suggests, it was a children’s album. And it is delightful. But it is perhaps a specialized taste. Mark Deming at AllMusic described it in a way that probably has wider resonance, “Ultimately, this album suffers from a severe case of the cutes.” He says that like it’s a bad thing.

What’s interesting about this album is that Jonathan Richman spent several years trying to make this album, and generally failed (although it led to better later albums). There is a natural fit for Tiny Tim in this material. But I don’t even know where most of these songs come from. There is “On the Good Ship Lollipop.” And there are a couple of Bing Crosby songs from the 1940s. But the rest are not well know. A number are like public service announces: “Two Times a Day” (brushing your teeth); “They Always Pick on Me” (bullying); and “Remember Your Name and Address” (just what it says).

Most of the songs, however, are about animals. I’ve picked “Mickey the Monkey,” mostly because I really like the production on it. But other favorites are: “Chickery Chick” and “I’m A Lonesome Little Raindrop” and “Bill The Buffalo.” You can listen to the whole album with a YouTube playlist. It’s a pleasant way to spend a half hour.

4 thoughts on “Morning Music: For All My Little Friends

  1. Nice to see a mention of Jonathan Richman; I never particularly thought of him in the same sense as Tiny Tim, but it’s obvious now. For nearly a decade, I hosted a classic (but offbeat) rock show on the college radio station here, called “Dinosaur Sunday.” I refered to it as “the music you forgot to remember, but the music I rememberd not to forget.” My theme song? “I’m a Little Dinosaur.”
    http://myweb.nmu.edu/~dowilkie/w.class/nf.room2.html

    • I liked your article a lot. It reminded me a bit of the most magical radio show I ever knew. I can’t remember what station it was on (if it even broadcast on-air at all), I had friends in Duluth who listened to it every Saturday night on the Internet. It was some old Native American guy in love with old country music. Like you, he’d play the big names (Hank & Patsy) but preferred their obscure B-sides, and played a ton of old country nobody’s ever heard of.

      It was really intimate, just one guy at odd hours with his collection of 45s/78s talking about what he enjoyed in those records. Sounds like you did the same type of thing and people enjoyed it for many years!

    • Cool. I like those albums. But I do feel they were affected. Richmond got far better with Jonathan Sings! and especially Rockin’ and Romance. Maybe I’ll do a week on him in a while. His work is uneven, but there are always flashes of genius. Of course, I haven’t kept up with him the last few years.

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