Thin Lizzy Broke Through with Jailbreak
National Public Radio celebrated Black History Month with a special program called “Tiny Desk,” which turned out to be a huge success. Appropriate because of the name, the show brought in as its first performer the rapper Too $hort.
Tiny and short, however, are just two of the size references used in the names of music artists, many of whom made it real big. Here are the ten most well-known music artists whose names indicate a size.
1. Big Star
Having been introduced to the music world as the teenage lead singer of the Box Tops, Alex Chilton founded this very influential alt-rock band.
2. Widespread Panic
Comparisons to the Grateful Dead and Phish have followed the 1986 formation of this southern rock band, who has lost two of its original members in the past two decades.
3. The Tallest Man On Earth
Based on the name one would expect 8'11” Robert Wadlow to front this indie rock act, but instead it is Swedish singer songwriter Kristian Mattson.
4. Fats Domino
“I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill” is the most famous line on this list, undoubtedly the words most associated with the early rock icon.
5. The Small Faces
Rod Stewart was the face of this British Invasion group, who grew big enough to drop the size adjective from their name.
6. Tiny Tim
Until he went tiptoeing through the tulips, the only Tiny Tim anyone ever knew about was the child in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
7. Average White Band
Nothing is average about these guys, the first rock band ever to hit number one with an instrumental when “Pick Up the Pieces” topped the charts.
8. Big Country
Tragedy would follow the British new wave band, but things were certainly looking up when “In a Big Country” dominated Top 40 radio and the early days of MTV.
9. Little Feat
Few knew of the group when they appeared in an episode of the sitcom F Troop, after which Lowell George and gang made a name for themselves with Southern rock classics like “Dixie Chicken” and “Oh Atlanta.”
10. Little Eva
Everybody was doing a brand new dance, thanks to this petite singer and “The Loco-Motion.”
11. Reel Big Fish
Ska punk is the genre most associated with the California group, who broke through the mainstream with hits like “Monkey Man” and “Where Have You Been.”
12. Memphis Slim
John Len Chatman was born, believe it or not, in Memphis, where he first gained notoriety for his recording of “Everyday I Have the Blues.”
13. Thin Lizzy
Phil Lynott famously fronted the band, whose Jailbreak album made them household names because of the title track and “The Boys Are Back In Town.”
14. They Might Be Giants
Named after the George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward film, John Flansburgh and John Linnell broke through with the huge single “Birdhouse in Your Soul.”
15. Gentle Giant
Their giant album Octopus, having eight tracks, helped propel a huge interest in progressive rock in the early Seventies.