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Dudley "Big Tiny" Little, Jr. (August 31, 1930 – March 3, 2010)[1] was an American musician who appeared on The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1959. His primary instrument was the piano.



Born in Worthington, Minnesota,[1] and the son of Tiny Little Sr., a prominent musician and bandleader, Big Tiny first took up playing piano at the age of five, becoming both a honky-tonk, ragtime pianist and playing other instruments such as the organ, bass horn and bass fiddle.[1] After playing in his father's band for a while, he joined the United States Air Force and did a tour in the Far East. He became a member of Lawrence Welk's famous "Champagne music makers" just one month after Welk's national TV debut in 1955. A regular feature of Welk's popular show, Tiny's outstanding keyboard artistry has earned him millions of fans from coast to coast.

After his tenure on the show (where he was replaced by Jo Ann Castle), he went solo again; recording more than 45 albums and making guest appearances on several television programs over the years. More recently, he played with Mary Lou Metzger, Jack Imel, Ralna English, Ava Barber and Dick Dale in the touring Live Lawrence Welk Show. Little also performed at President Ronald Reagan's inaugural balls in 1985 and returned to television in the PBS special; Lawrence Welk: Milestones and Memories, which featured a reunion of stars from the Welk show.

The Dinah Shore Chevy Show of January 20, 1963, was devoted entirely to masters of the piano, featuring Dinah Shore's four guests, Liberace, Peter Nero, Ray Charles and Big Tiny Little.

He lived in Carson City, Nevada, and died there on March 3, 2010, aged 79.[1]


  • Make Room for Tiny (Brunswick Records BL-54030) (Released 1957)
  • Honky Tonk Piano (Brunswick Records BL-54049) (Released 1959)
  • Big Tiny Little In Person (Coral Records CRL 757390) (Released 1961)
  • Christmas With Big Tiny Little (Coral Records CRL 757391) (Released 1961)
  • "Golden Piano Hits" (GNP Crescendo Records GNPD 2113) (Released 1978)
  • "Honky Tonk Piano" (with Mickey Finn) (GNP Crescendo GNPD 2127) (Released 1979)
  • "Big Tiny Little's Music of the 20s(Brunswick Records BL-757057) (Released 1959)
  • " "Big" Tiny's Little Black Book" (Coral Records CRL 757356) ( Released 1960)
  • "Tiny Little's Forties" (Coral Records CRL 757445) (Released 1963)
  • " "Big" Tiny Little's Singing Honky-Tonk (Coral Records CRL 757335) (Released 1960)
  • "Big Tiny Little Movin' On" (Coral Records CRL 57425) (Released 1963)
  • "Mr. Piano Personality "Big" Tiny Little" (Coral Records CRL57461) (Released 1964)
  • 'Big' Tiny Little-"Honky Tonk Hootenanny" (Coral Records-CRL-57448) (Released 1963?)
  • "Little Land | 'Big' Tiny Little" (Coral Records-CRL-757386)

Popular CultureEdit

"Big Tiny" Little's Brunswick recording of Twelfth Street Rag, from the album "Honky Tonk Piano" (Side 1, track 4), was the theme for Joe Franklin's long-running TV show on New York City station WOR-TV (now WWOR-TV, licensed to Secaucus NJ). Little's version served as the opening and closing theme until the mid-1990s.


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