eBay Window Shopping: Tiny Tim’s Beltona Ukulele

A rather gruesome piece of ukulele history up for sale this week: the Beltona ukulele Tiny Tim was playing when he had a heart attack. Complete with the dents that were made at time.

About a month late, but here’s a heart-shaped Valentine ukulele.

Keith Ogata gets more metal with each ukulele.

The new electric Oscar Schmidts obviously owe their design to Gibson guitars. The really interesting part is the sales copy: “Face it — there are thousands of smart, good looking guys just like you that will be at Spring Break. You need to be different to stand out. Since it now costs $75.00 to check a guitar on an airplane a uke might be the next best thing.”

Last week there was some discussion over the accuracy and legality of the new ClearwaterEleukes’. Clearwater are an official Eleuke OEM: so they are redesigned and rebranded Eleukes.

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  1. ronhale March 14th, 2009 9:21 am

    Poor Tiny. Perspective’s a funny thing. Back in the ’60s, despite all of his heroic efforts on behalf of our instrument, none of us around at the time budged from our guitars, or even took him the least bit seriously. Too bad, and with the prices then we could have ended up with seriously decent instruments (three or four hundred dollars in the mid-’60s bought very, very good guitars), our parents would have paid less than they did for our guitars (ever grateful) , we would have caused them much less distress with our banging about (now understand the fuss), & the ukes would have fit right into our high school lockers. Win-win all around. Now one of Tiny’s ukes (granted, not just any one of his ukes, but still) is being offered for thousands of dollars. Which of us watching his wedding on the Tonight Show could ever have guessed? Of course, if there had been any association at the time between George Harrison and the ukulele (after getting over our shock) popular music history would be different today.

  2. Woodshed March 14th, 2009 10:34 am

    ron: I wouldn’t blame anyone for giving the ukulele a wide berth after watching Tiny Tim.

  3. cardboardfrog March 15th, 2009 6:46 pm

    woodshed, i wouldn’t blame anyone for giving humanity a wide berth after seeing tiny tim

  4. John Birsner March 7th, 2010 1:54 am

    I wouldn’t blame Tiny Tim for a moment for being who he was after seeing this world of ours.

  5. Jesse Jamison May 3rd, 2013 10:11 pm

    How much did Tiny’s Beltona sell for?

  6. Ronny McCoy April 16th, 2017 4:24 am

    I was raised during Tiny’s career and most of my friends made fun of him but me as a Musician appreciated his style. I for sure miss him and all his wonderful music. I am proud that he took a stand for what he stood for, I wish there were more of him, thankyou Tiny ( Herbert ) for bringing a wonderful smile into my life and to all who accepted him. Thankyou so very much,
    Ronny McCoy

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