Ramblin' Rhodes: Tippin proud of his American freedoms
Thursday, 01 May 03
By Don Rhodes
South Carolina native Aaron Tippin headlines the 18th annual A Day in the Country festival on Sunday at Riverfront Marina.
Fans have come to know and respect Mr. Tippin for his intense dedication to his music as a songwriter and performer, his physical fitness (competing in muscle-building contests) and his fierce support of American troops, whom he has entertained overseas and at home.
So, it's no surprise that he had some choice words for the Dixie Chicks, whose vocalist Natalie Maines recently told an audience in London, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."
The Dixie Chicks "are going to have to pay for their smart-mouth remarks," even if it hurts their record sales and career, Mr. Tippin said in a phone interview from his farm in Dowelltown, Tenn.
Mr. Tippin, known for the hit You've Got To Stand For Something (Or You'll Fall For Anything), remarked: "The girls (Chicks trio) have a right to say what they feel like saying.
"But, after I've said that, I want to say that they should be glad they live in a country where they have the right to say something like that.
"If they were citizens of Iraq and said that, up until a few weeks ago, they would be dead within an hour."
Mr. Tippin added that he was impressed with the strong outcry of country music fans who also let it be known that they disagreed with Ms. Maines.
"I'm proud of country music fans for going, 'Hey, wait a minute, we boycott, we protest and it's going to cost you."
Mr. Tippin grew up around Greenville, S.C., where The Dixie Chicks launched their new U.S tour with a sold-out concert Thursday in the Bi-Lo Center.
His first performance in Augusta was in September 1981 at Smokey's Saloon on Washington Road with his Greenville-area group, The Darby Hill Band.
On Sunday, he headlines the 18th annual A Day in the Country festival at the Riverfront Marina, which also features Craig Morgan (Almost Home), Amber Carter, the Rhes Reeves Band, the Rhythm and Class Cloggers, Louie and the Bandits and the Augusta Clogging Company.
Gates open at 11 a.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $20 the day of the show. Children 6 or younger get in free. Call (803) 278-4849 or visit tixonline.com.
Mr. Tippin's most recent single, (Baby, Let's) Love Like There's No Tomorrow, is a duet with his wife, Thea. It was released Dec. 16 and made it into several Top 30 charts. Mrs. Tippin also was the inspiration for an earlier hit, Kiss This.
All in all, Mr. Tippin said he remains a pretty happy guy and devoted father to his two young sons, Teddy and Thomas. He doesn't mind turning 45 on July 3.
"Yeah, I'm happy about turning 45," he said, "because not turning 45 ain't good. I know that much."
ON THE TOWN
WHAT: A Day in the Country, with Aaron Tippin, Craig Morgan, Amber Carter, the Rhes Reeves Band, the Rhythm and Class Cloggers, Louie and the Bandits and the Augusta Clogging Company; car and arts and craft show, mechanical bull, children's rides, clowns and rock climbing wall
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., music begins at noon Sunday
WHERE: Riverfront Marina, 101 Riverfront Drive
ADMISSION: $10 advance, $20 the day of the show, free age 6 or younger; (803) 278-4849 or Web site tixonline.com.