First off, Tiny tuned his mandolin CGDAE. He used Black Diamond brand mandolin strings and a Black Diamond brand guitar low E string for his mandolin low C. These, as I recall, claimed to be silver plated. I tried them on my Roberts 5-string. They did indeed help get Tiny's distinctive tone but I hated the strings and they seemed to pretty much fall apart with very little playing.
Don, you brought back some great memories. Yes, we followed such similar paths.
A few Tiny related memories...
The first time I met Buck White (in the early 1970's) I asked him advice for picking up swing on the mandolin. He said "Listen to Tiny Moore" and proceeded to play several of Tiny's Texas Playboys solos from memory.
Yes, Don, the Glen Campbell story is true. Tiny told me that one of the finest compliments he ever received came when he taped the NBC special "Fifty Years of Country Music" with Merle Haggardhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbTJ8gDAvn8. Campbell was on the same show (doing, as I recall, a duet with Ray Charles of Bye Bye Love) and specifically hunted down Tiny on the set. Campbell brought Tiny to his dressing room and proceeded to play Tiny some of Tiny's mandolin solos from the Wills days. He told Tiny that those things had driven him nuts trying to learn -- amazing that he could still remember them. Years later I saw Campbell do a very slick medley-filled show at an Austin Texas rodeo. In the middle of a brief medley-tribute to Wills he fleetingly quoted some Tiny licks.
In perhaps 1978 or '79, as part of a very rickety tour, I ended up with an off-week in the Bay area. I phoned Tiny in Sacramento and asked if we could get together for a lesson. He had a break from his current gig with Merle Haggard and the Strangers and agreed to meet -- said he'd pick me up at the bus station in Sacramento. Tiny showed up to meet me wearing his blue monogrammed Strangers band windbreaker. We strapped my Roberts 5-string and my Gibson A-50 to the luggage rack of his motorcycle. He told me to hold on and I rode through Sacramento holding onto Tiny's waist, hoping I didn't fall off, while reading "The Strangers" on his upper back in front of me. I wish I had a photo of that one.
All the best,