July 7, 1916|
Newport News, Virginia, United States
|Died||March 4, 1989
New York, United States
Lloyd "Tiny" Grimes (July 7, 1916 – March 4, 1989) was an American jazz and R&B guitarist. He was a member of the Art Tatum Trio from 1943 to 1944, was a backing musician on recording sessions, and later led his own bands, including a recording session with Charlie Parker. He is notable for playing the tenor guitar, a four-stringed electric instrument.
Grimes was born in Newport News, Virginia, United States, and began his musical career playing drums and one-fingered piano. In 1938 he took up the electric 4-string tenor guitar. In 1940 he joined the Cats and the Fiddle as guitarist and singer. In 1943 he joined the Art Tatum Trio as guitarist and made a number of recordings with Tatum. The early Tatum Trio recordings contain some of the more interesting early examples of Tiny Grimes’ guitar work.
After leaving Tatum, Grimes recorded with his own groups in New York and with a long list of leading musicians, including vocalist Billie Holiday. He made four recordings with his own group augmented with Charlie Parker that are considered excellent examples of early bebop jazz: "Tiny’s Tempo", "Red Cross", "Romance Without Finance", and "I’ll Always Love You Just The Same", the latter two featuring Grimes' singing. He was one of the 52d street regulars.
In the late 1940s, he had a hit on a jazzed-up version of "Loch Lomond", with the band billed as Tiny "Mac" Grimes and the Rocking Highlanders and appearing in kilts. This groups included top tenor saxman Red Prysock and singer Screaming Jay Hawkins. Grimes continued to lead his own groups into the later 1970s and he recorded on Prestige Records in a series of strong blues-based performances with Coleman Hawkins, Illinois Jacquet, Pepper Adams, Roy Eldridge and other noted players including, in 1977, Earl Hines.
With Paul Williams, he co-headlined the first Moondog Coronation Ball, promoted by Alan Freed in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 21, 1952, often claimed as the first rock and roll concert. In 1953 he may have played on The Crows one-hit wonder, "Gee", that has been called the first original rock and roll record by an R&B group.
- Blues Groove (Prestige #7138, 1958; Swingville #2035; OJC #817) - with Coleman Hawkins
- Callin' the Blues (Prestige #7144, 1958; Swingville #2004; OJC #191) - with J. C. Higginbotham and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
- Tiny in Swingville (Swingville #2002, 1959; OJC #1796) - with Jerome Richardson
- Big Time Guitar With Organ And Rhythm (United Artists #UAL-3232, 1962)
- Chasin With Milt (Disques Black And Blue #33.017, 1968) - with Milt Buckner
- Tiny Grimes (Disques Black And Blue #33.030, 1970)
- Food For Thought (The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions) (Black & Blue #BB-981, 2004) CD
- The Guitar Album (Columbia #KG-31045, 1972) 2LP set - note: live recording from a 1971 concert at Town Hall, NYC featuring seven legendary guitarists; Tiny's trio performs 5 songs (all of Side 3): Frantic, Watermelon Man, Blues For Connie, Food For Thought, Threequarter Moon.
- Profoundly Blue (Muse #MR-5012, 1973) - with Houston Person and Harold Mabern
- Some Groovy Fours (Disques Black And Blue #33.067, 1974)
- Some Groovy Fours (The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions) (Black & Blue #BB-874, 2002) CD
- One Is Never Too Old To Swing (Sonet #SNTF-736, 1977) - with Roy Eldridge and Frank Wess
- Live In Paris, 1974 (France's Concert Records-Esoldun #FC-133, 1989) - with Arnett Cobb and Lloyd Glenn
With Art Tatum
- Art Tatum Trio: Piano Solos With Rhythm Accompaniment (Brunswick #BL-58013, 1950) - note: recordings made for the Brunswick label in 1944.
- Art Tatum Trio (Dial #DLP-206, 1950) - note: recordings made for the Comet label in 1944.
- The Complete Trio Sessions With Tiny Grimes & Slam Stewart, Vol. 1 (Official #3001, 1988)
- The Complete Trio Sessions With Tiny Grimes & Slam Stewart, Vol. 2 (Official #3002, 1988)
- Trio Days (Charly-LeJazz #CD43, 1999) CD - note: recordings made for the Brunswick, Comet, and Asch labels in 1944.
With Charlie Parker
- The Complete Savoy Studio Sessions (Savoy #SJL-5500, 1978) 5LP set - note: includes the 4 tracks that Tiny's quartet recorded with Bird for Savoy in 1944: Tiny's Tempo, I'll Always Love You Just The Same, Romance Without Finance (Is A Nuisance), Red Cross.
- The Complete Savoy & Dial Master Takes (Savoy Jazz #17149, 2002) 3CD set - note: a new "remastered" release that also includes the 4 tracks with Tiny's quartet from 1944.
With Coleman Hawkins
- The Chronological Coleman Hawkins 1944-1945 (Classics #863, 1996) CD - note: includes the 4 tracks that Tiny recorded with Hawkins & His All Stars for Regis/Manor in 1944: All The Things You Are, Step On It, Riding On 52nd Street, Memories Of You.
- Hawk Eyes (Prestige #7156, 1959; Swingville #2039; Prestige #7857; OJC #294)
- Things Ain't What They Used To Be [with The Swingville All Stars (ensemble includes Tiny)] (Swingville #2024, 1961)
- Years Ago [with The Swingville All Stars (ensemble includes Tiny)] (Swingville #2025, 1961)
- Jam Session In Swingville (Prestige #24051, 1994) CD - with Pee Wee Russell too!
With Hot Lips Page
- The Chronological Hot Lips Page 1940-1944 (Classics #809, 1996) CD - note: includes the 4 tracks that Tiny recorded with Page & His Orchestra for Savoy in 1944: I Got What It Takes, Good For Stompin', Lips Blues (Double Trouble Blues), Blooey.
With Cozy Cole
- The Chronological Cozy Cole 1944-1945 (Classics #865, 1996) CD - note: includes the 8 tracks that Tiny recorded with Cole's All Stars for Continental in 1944: Willow Weep For Me, Look Here (Cool Jive), I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance (With You), Take It On Back, Memories Of You, Comes The Don (Harlem Nocturne), When Day Is Done, The Beat (The Drag); also includes the 8 tracks that Tiny recorded with Cole's Quintet for Guild in 1945: Hallelujah, Stompin' At The Savoy, Dat's Love, Through For The Night, Strictly Drums, Night Wind, Why Regret, Now's The Time.
With Earl Bostic
- The Chronological Earl Bostic 1945-1948 (Classics 'Blues & Rhythm Series' #5005, 2001) CD - note: includes the 4 tracks that Tiny recorded with Bostic & His Orchestra for Majestic in 1945: The Man I Love, Hurricane Blues, The Major And The Minor, All On.
With Buck Clayton
- The Classic Swing Of Buck Clayton (Riverside #12-142, 1960; OJC #1709) note: includes the 4 tracks that Tiny recorded with Clayton's Big Four for H.R.S. (Hot Record Society) in 1946: Dawn Dance, Well-A-Poppin', It's Dizzy, Basie's Morning Bluesicale.
- The Chronological Dud And Paul Bascomb 1945-1947 (Classics 'Blues & Rhythm Series' #5061, 2003) CD - note: includes the 4 tracks that Tiny recorded with the Bascomb brothers and their orchestra (sextet) for Alert in 1946: (Back Home Again In) Indiana, Sweet Georgia Brown, After Hours [with the great Avery Parrish on piano], Walkin' Blues.
With Gatemouth Moore
- Cryin' And Singin' The Blues: The Complete National Recordings 1945-1946 (Savoy Jazz #17327, 2004) CD - note: includes the 4 tracks that Tiny's septet recorded with Gatemouth for National in 1946: Christmas Blues, Let's Go Back And Try One More Time, Love Doctor Blues, Nobody Knows The Way I Feel (This Morning).
With Walter Brown
- The Chronological Walter Brown 1945-1947 (Classics 'Blues & Rhythm Series' #5010, 2001) CD - note: includes the 4 tracks that Tiny's sextet recorded with Walter for Signature in 1947: Open The Door Richard, My Second Best Woman, Let's Get Some Understandin', I'm Living For You.
With Felix Gross
- The Complete Recordings 1947-1955 (Blue Moon #6040, 2004) CD - note: includes the 4 tracks that Tiny recorded with Gross & His Orchestra for Savoy in 1949: Love For Christmas, Who Can You Be, You Don’t Love Me, You’re Great To Me.
With Billie Holiday
- Billie's Blues (Blue Note #48786, 1988) CD - note: includes the 4 tracks that Tiny's sextet recorded with Lady Day for Aladdin in 1951: Detour Ahead, Be Fair To Me, Rocky Mountain Blues, Blue Turning Grey Over You.
With The Prestige Blues Swingers
- Outskirts Of Town [with Art Farmer, Idrees Sulieman, George "Buster" Cooper, Jerome Richardson, Jimmy Forrest, Pepper Adams, Ray Bryant] (Prestige #7145, 1958; Prestige #7787; OJC #1717)
With Johnny Hodges
- Triple Play (RCA Victor #LSP-3867, 1967; Bluebird/RCA #5903; RCA Victor/BMG #68592) - note: includes the 4 tracks that Tiny recorded with Hodges & His All Stars for RCA Victor in 1967: Monkey On A Limb, The Nearness Of You, Take 'Em Off-Take 'Em Off (Part 1 & 2), A Tiny Bit Of Blues.
With Johnny Letman
- A Funky Day In Paris (Disques Black And Blue #33.015, 1968)
With Hal Singer
- Milt And Hal (Disques Black And Blue #33.016, 1968) - with Milt Buckner too!
With Illinois Jacquet
- The Blues; That's Me! (Prestige #7731, 1969; OJC #614)
With Ray Nance
- Body And Soul (Solid State #18062, 1970)
With Jay McShann
- Jumpin' Blues (Disques Black And Blue #33.039, 1970)
- Jumpin' The Blues (The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions) (Black & Blue #BB-979, 2004) CD
With Lloyd Glenn
- Old Time Shuffle (Disques Black And Blue #33.077, 1974)
- Old Time Shuffle (The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions) (Black & Blue #BB-923, 2002) CD
With Arnett Cobb
- Jumpin' At The Woodside (Disques Black And Blue #33.175, 1974)
- Jumpin' At The Woodside (The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions) (Black & Blue #BB-940 (2002) CD
With Earl "Fatha" Hines
- An Evening With Earl Hines: Live At Dinklers Motor Inn (Chiaroscuro #CR-116, 1973; Vogue #VDJ-534, 1977) 2LP set
- Earl Hines Quartet (Chiaroscuro #CR-169, 1977)
With Rahsaan Roland Kirk
- Boogie Woogie String Along For Real (Warner Bros. #BSK-3085, 1977)
- The Cats & The Fiddle: I Miss You So (Bluebird #AXM2-5531, 1976) 2LP set - note: Tiny recorded 16 songs with 'The Cats' in 1941; 11 of the 16 are included here.
- The Cats And The Fiddle: We Cats Will Swing For You (ASV Living Era #AJA-5475, 2003) CD
- The Complete Blue Note Forties Recordings Of Ike Quebec And John Hardee (Mosaic #MR4-107, 1984) 4LP set
- Tiny Grimes: Rockin' And Sockin' (Oldie Blues #OL-8009, 1985)
- Tiny Grimes And His Rocking Highlanders: Loch Lomond (Whiskey, Women, And... #KM-706, 1986)
- Tiny Grimes And His Rocking Highlanders: Rock The House 1947-1953 (Swingtime #ST-1016, 1987)
- Tiny Grimes And His Rocking Highlanders (Riverboat #900.261, 198?)
- Tiny Grimes & His Rockin' Highlanders: 1950 (Caracol #CAR-442, 198?)
- Tiny Grimes And His Rocking Highlanders, Volume One (Krazy Kat #KK-804, 1986; Collectables #5304, 1990)
- Tiny Grimes And His Rocking Highlanders, Volume Two (Krazy Kat #KK-817, 1986; Collectables #5317, 1990)
- Tiny Grimes And Friends [including The Cats And The Fiddle] (Collectables #5321, 1990)
- Tiny Grimes: Electric Guitar Master 1944-1947 (EPM Musique #159372, 1999) CD
- The Chronological Tiny Grimes 1944-1949 (Classics 'Blues & Rhythm Series' #5048, 2003) CD - note: recordings made for the Savoy, Blue Note, and Atlantic labels.
- The Chronological Tiny Grimes 1949-1951 (Classics 'Blues & Rhythm Series' #5106, 2004) CD - note: recordings made for the Gotham label.
- The Chronological Tiny Grimes 1951-1954 (Classics 'Blues & Rhythm Series' #5146, 2005) CD - note: recordings made for the United, Gotham, Atlantic, Red Robin, and Apollo labels.
- The Complete Tiny Grimes, Vol. 1: 1944-1946 (Blue Moon #6005, 2004) CD
- The Complete Tiny Grimes, Vol. 2: 1947-1950 (Blue Moon #6006, 2004) CD
- The Complete Tiny Grimes, Vol. 3: 1950 (Blue Moon #6007, 2004) CD
- The Complete Tiny Grimes, Vol. 4: 1950-1953 (Blue Moon #6008, 2004) CD
- The Complete Tiny Grimes, Vol. 5: 1953-1954 (Blue Moon #6009, 2004) CD
- Tiny Grimes: Blues Groove 1958-1959 (Fresh Sound #FSRCD-644, 2011) 2CD set
- Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed September 2010
- "An Evening With Earl Hines": with Tiny Grimes, Hank Young, Bert Dollander and Marva Josie: Vogue VDJ-534, 1977
- Sheerin, Jude (March 21, 2012). "How the world's first rock concert ended in chaos". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- Jim Dawson, & Steve Propes (1992). What Was the First Rock'n'Roll Record. Boston & London: Faber & Faber. pp. 124–127. ISBN 0-571-12939-0.
- Review of singles by Tiny Grimes Quintet
- Hall of Twang at the Wayback Machine (archived October 27, 2009)