Even from the very beginning, Tim Hauser has had an interest in music and singing. He once asked his mother how long he had been singing, and she said, “As long as I can remember.” For the founder of The Manhattan Transfer, the love he has for music has been apparent throughout his career.
Born in Troy, New York on December 12, 1941, Tim, his sister Fayette, and their parents moved to the New Jersey shore when he was seven years old, living in Ocean Township and Asbury Park. When Tim attended St. Rose High School in Belmar, NJ in the 1950′s, he was in the glee club and was involved in another activity that he loves – baseball. It was also the era of “classic” rock and roll – and Tim lived it. His musical roots were heavily influenced by the black rhythm and blues music of the time. He tells of attending a rock and roll show starring Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers. “I went backstage and heard them warm up before the show. The sound of their harmony made me want to do the same thing.”
He began to sing professionally at age 15. He founded a teenage doo wop/R&B/rock & roll quintet called The Criterions. They cut several songs for the Laurie label. In 1959, “I Remain Truly Yours,” a song they cut during their third session, was a mild success, reaching #24 on the charts in New York. The group also performed at many R&B revues and record hops in the New York area, appearing alongside Dion & The Belmonts, The Elegants, and The Heartbeats. The Criterions also made an appearance on Alan Freed’s Big Beat television show. Tim also developed his producing skills at an early age. When he was 17, he produced a tune entitled “Harlem Nocturne” for The Viscounts. The song reached the #3 spot on the Billboard chart in 1959. Interestingly, it was Tim’s father who picked “Harlem Nocturne” to record from The Viscount’s repertoire.