b. 19 July 1906, Sullivan, Illinois, USA, d. 13 December 1971, Denver, Colorado, USA. A heavyweight band leader in every sense, the inappropriately titled Harry ‘Tiny’ Hill was a massive man (nearing 400 lbs in weight) who formed his first dance band in 1933 in Illinois, USA. He had begun experimenting with music as the drummer in a trio while attending Illinois State Normal College. This informal group enjoyed significant local success at a variety of nightclubs and halls, and encouraged him to form his own, expanded unit. With a line-up including Jack Alexander, Sterling Bose, Bob Anderson, Ralph Richards, Dick Coffeen, Russ Phillips, Bob Kramer, Nick Schreier, Bob Walters, Norman Maxwell, Pat Patterson, Lloyd McCahn, Monte Mountjoy, Rolly Carpenter, Al Larsen, Leroy Hendricks and others, the Tiny Hill Orchestra quickly found themselves prime bookings on the Midwest one-nighter circuit. Augmented by vocalists such as Allen De Witt, Bob Freeman, Irwin Bendell and Hill himself, the group’s popularity soon extended to Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa, growing steadily throughout the 30s and 40s. Undeterred by the decline in the commercial appeal of the big band sound, Hill resolutely remained at the helm of the combo until his death in 1971. In that time the Tiny Hill Orchestra left behind many excellent recordings for Vocalion Records, Columbia Records, Decca Records, OKeh Records and Mercury Records, including their theme song, ‘Angry’.
Tiny Hill Biography