A Tiger Story

 

Tiger TigerLee Tiger tells the story about his childhood and his success as a music artist and businessman.

I was born in Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami Florida in 1950. My father, Buffalo Tiger and my mother, Anne Marie Winslow, were divorce when I was at the early age of two or three years old so I grew up with my father’s side of the family. My brother, Stephen Tiger, and I grew up as very tight brothers living sometimes in boarding homes and from time to time staying with our Miccosukee grandmother and uncle in Miccosukee Indian Villages. I attended Earlington Heights Elementary school in Hialeah Florida and later moved to Miami when my father was remarried to his second wife and I then attended Allapattah Junior High School. When I was in the eighth grade we moved back to Hialeah were I attended Hialeah Junior High School and then Hialeah High School.

At the age of twelve Steve and I got a hold of some plastic guitars that were among some of the Christmas gifts that were donated to the Miccosukee families. That was the beginning of the interest in pursuing a music career for my brother and me. While learning how to play the instruments we also learned that our neighbors had already started up a rock band and we were blown away by hearing them perform. We said to each other, if they can do it, we can do it, and we did. At the age of thirteen I got my first guitar which was a Harmony. At the age of fourteen I started playing with one of my school mates at roller rinks, school sock hops and parties. My brother was away at that time and when he got back we formed our first rock band called “The Renegades” in 1964. We became a successful local band in Miami performing anywhere and everywhere that our manager, George Kirdy, booked for us.

A few years later we formed other groups including ”The Charades”, “The Bangles”, “The Bangs”, “Sun Country”, and of course our main group “Tiger Tiger”. One of the high lights in my life was when our band “The Charades” was the opening act for this incredible group called “The 7 of Us” out of New York City, and when I say incredible they were totally out of this world and they were the house band at the night club called The Cheetah Disco tech in South Miami. Fortunate for me the guitar player Lenny Kimmil had an appendicitis attack onstage during their performance and the band immediately asked me to fill in his spot. I happily agreed not knowing that a few days later they would ask me to remain as their lead guitarist indefinitely. At that time it was a chance of a lifetime to play with such professional and charismatic group. I asked my brother his thoughts in leaving our group “The Charades” and joining “The Seven of Us’. My brother was incredibly enthused and said “it’s a chance of a lifetime and you must go for it” and I did. A few years later I rejoined my brother and a couple other musicians and that is when we started up a group called “The Bangs”. The group was a hit and that was one of the first versions of what became later the group “Tiger Tiger”. Before the group was named “Tiger Tiger” we started writing and performing our own compositions under the name of “Sun Country”, which was also a hit group in the early seventy’s. We also cut our first EP in 1969 which later was released in Germany under Sony ZYX Label. Sun Country toured throughout the country including L.A where we live and performed at places like “Whisky a Go Go”, “The Troubadour”, “The Experience”, and “The Coral”. We also performed at the first Miami Pop Festival along with Jimi Hendrix and others. We toured Ohio, New York, and Atlanta and then later came back to Miami in the early seventies when my father asked us to come back and help him in creating a positive awareness of the Miccosukee Tribe, which at that time hardly anyone knew much about the Tribe. So I asked “Pop, we are musicians, how can we be any help to your cause?” he replied “Well you guys are musicians, why don’t we put some concerts on out here in the Everglades and invite the South Florida Communities to come out and learn about us”. My brother and I agreed and we left L.A. to come back and start up these concert series in the Everglades. In 1976 my father asked me to help him design a boardwalk and structures to facilitate a museum with artifacts, paintings, etc… I got my ideas from Walt Disney World’s campgrounds and tree houses. It took about a year to complete and during that time my brother was hired as an artist to paint pictures that would go into the museum. All during that time and after we continued to write, perform, and record our music. When Tiger Tiger started up in Nashville we later started doing concerts globally to promote the Miccosukee tourist activities.

In the year 2000 we signed a five year record contract with Sound of America Records to produce three CDs. After that we continued on and opened up our own record company called TTM Records which produce three more CDs completing our six album catalog. My brother had an unfortunate falling in his Miami home in 2007 at the young age of 5and passed away. A week before he passed away we were awarded the Life Time Achievement Award from the NAMMYs. I became a bit depressed for a while and later snapped out of it and started writing music again which I plan to record a new CD sometime in the near future.

I currently own a company Lee Tiger & Associates which specializes in Native American Tourism Development. Also I own Native American Indian Global which designed a project called City of Rock Resort and Casino which is currently a project in works. TTM Records, mentioned earlier, keeps my office busy with marketing and sales of our catalog.

My future plans are to continue what I started out in life doing which was music and educate, communicate, and promote Native America Worldwide.