You Don’t Know What Love Is

Tiny had impeccable tone and phrasing, with a lot of blues feeling and swing. She was a great scat singer too. Fans...


  • Tiny Irvin is a native Pittsburgher who is a quiet, private person, who loves people and always tries to be happy. Tiny has sung with Sammy Davis, Jr., Carmen McRae, Dean Martin, Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie and Betty Bebop Carter.

    Tiny left home in her late teens to sing for a year in the Dizzy Gillespie Band. She quit the road after a love affair sadly ended. She returned to Pittsburgh and continued singing, most often in the band of jazz pianist Carl Arter. Carl played gigs at many clubs and private affairs around Pittsburgh, In the late 1970s, Carl and Tiny played most weekends at Eileen’s Zebra Room, where Earwig Music Company CEO Michael Frank first heard them in 1978.

    Tiny had impeccable tone and phrasing, with a lot of blues feeling and swing. She was a great scat singer too. Fans of Ella Fitzgerald, Betty Carter, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn will hear their influences in Tiny’s singing, but she was no copyist, she had a distinctive style of her own. Tiny made her only recording,  accompanied by the Carl Arter Trio, for Earwig Music Company in 1982. She retired from singing in the late 1980s.

    Listening to her style of singing is stimulating yet soothing, and pleasing to the ear. When she was asked to describe her style, she said, “My style is like that of Billy Eckstine. I love the deep tonal qualities of his voice, I love Baritone sounds. I just love sounds, the hitting and missing of sounds.”

    1. You Don’t Know What Love Is 5:29
    2. Watch What Happens 3:47
    3. My One And Only Love 6:00
    4. Moanin’ 3:57
    5. Skylark 4:43
    6. I’ll Remember April 4:25
    7. You Stepped Out of a Dream 5:36
    8. You’ve Changed 5:27
    9. Satin Doll 2:5
  • Release Date: May 16, 1983

    © P 1983 Earwig Music Company, Inc.
    Produced by Michael Robert Frank

    Tiny Irvin, vocals
    Carl Arter, grand piano
    Mike Taylor, upright bass
    Ron Tucker, drums on march 27, 1982 session
    Dave Thompson, drums on May 23, 1982 session
    Edward “Rabbit” Barnes

    Photography by Harold Corsini
    Graphic Design by Paul Chen
    Recorded at Audio Innovators, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania March 27, 1982 and May 23, 1982
    Recorded by John Struthers, with assistant engineering by Janet Davis
    Tracks 1,2,4,5,7 mixed by John Struthers at Audio Innovators
    Tracks 3,6,8,9 mixed by Larry Sturm at Heddin West Studios, Schaumburg, Illinois
    Special appreciation to Chuck Nessa, Nessa Records for his invaluable advice, production assistance and encouragement
    Thanks to my brother Allan Dodds Frank for liner notes and for introducing me to the music of Tiny Irvin and Carl Arter in 1978
    Most of all, special thanks to Tiny Irvin and Carl Arter for their trust in me as producer of their first album.
    Carl Arter can also be heard on his 2nd album Song From Far Away
    Tiny and Carl made their only commercially released recordings for Earwig Music Company, Inc.