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Uke Hall of Fame

My name is Mark Arsenault and I'm a reporter at the Providence Journal newspaper in Rhode Island. I'm working on a story about the Uke Hall of Fame, which is incorporated in Massachusetts, but is still writing grants to get physical display space somewhere. Two of the Hall of Fame's board members live in Cranston, R.I. I believe Tiny Tim played the group's first Uke expo in Massachusetts in 1996, though I understand he took ill at the start of the performance.

Anyway, in speaking with the board members, I learned that Tiny Tim is not yet among the Uke players inducted into the Uke Hall of Fame. This surprised me, since he is, I admit, the only Uke player I had ever heard of before I started this story. (And I saw him play on press night at the opening of a Halloween theme park in Berlin, Mass. in the early 1990s.)

Apparently, he has not been inducted into the hall to date because of a bias among serious Uke players that Tiny Tim was not "serious" enough about the instrument.

I was hoping you would be kind enough to provide your thoughts on Tiny Tim's credentials for the Uke Hall of Fame, and any other comments you would like to make, for my story.

Thank you very much
-Mark Arsenault
Providence Journal

Miss Sue's Reply

Dear Mark,

I am sorry to take so long to get back to you. I am very behind in my email as you can see. Please let me know if you still need my input, and I will try to respond promptly. Just in case it is not too late, I guess in brief I would say that Tiny was not a virtuoso ukulele player, though frankly the ukulele is not an instrument that lends itself to virtuosity. The essence of the instrument is accessibility, and Tiny inspired many people to take up the ukulele. I think he should be inducted because he did much to popularize the instrument. That in itself is an accomplishment. For instance, the people who played ukulele on Tiny's Warner Brothers records were greater players than he was, but they would not have been on the records, and in fact the records would not have existed, if not for Tiny. Its safe to say that no best selling record would have had a ukulele on it in 1968 if not for Tiny. True?

Sue Khaury

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