Tiny Tim was born In New York and grew up in an old apartment building in Washington Heights in Manhattan. He was the son of a Lebanese father (Butros Khaury) and a Polish Jewish mother (Tillie Staff). When he was five years old his father brought home a wind up gramophone and a 78 rpm record that featured a 1905 recording of Henry Burr singing "Beautiful Ohio". Young Herbert immersed himself in the music of the past, listening for hours in his room to Rudy Vallee, Al Jolson, Henry Burr, Irving Kaufman, Billy Murray, Ada Jones, Byron G. Harlan, and Bing Crosby. Khaury began singing and playing the ukulele in his natural voice, but it was not until 1952 that anyone paid him any attention. In a 1968 interview on the Tonight Show, Khaury described the discovery of his high voice: "I was listening to the radio and singing along as I was singing I said 'Gee, it's strange. I can go up high as well.'" He then entered a local talent show and sang "You Are My Sunshine" in his newly discovered voice, and it brought the house down. From there Khaury began to experiment with different stage names like Darry Dover, Vernon Castle, Larry Love, and Judas K. Foxglove. He finally settled on Tiny Tim in 1962 when his manager at the time, George King, booked him at a club that favored midget acts.