The News Herald
Aaron Tippin is not afraid to take a chance. And now, he is doing it again, this time taking his band and his patriotism to the front lines in the war against international terrorism.
"We will be going to Afghanistan at Thanksgiving," he said from his home in Tennessee. "I can't say exactly when because it is top secret. But we will be there for about 10 days."
Tippin has done these types of shows before, performing with Bob Hope on USO tours in the early 1990s.
"I guess the USO remembered that I did work in 1990 during the Gulf War," he said. "My agent called to see if there was any chance of us going on another tour and they said they were about to call us. I think it was kind of a mutual thing.
"Those were the first shows I ever did in the music business. I was over in Saudi Arabia before my first single even came out. I hadn't even done my first show in the states. My first tour was in Saudi Arabia."
Tippin will head for Afghanistan but when he gets there, it will not be all base shows he will be performing. He will take his band and go out to the front lines, set up a couple of flatbeds and pay for the soldiers who put their lives on the line every day.
One of the downsides to going to visit the troops was everyone had to go in and take shots for protection. Tippin said it wasn't all that bad.
"Ouch!!" he said. "Actually it wasn't that bad. Those girls were great shot givers. The day after was what was really tough."
Tippin has just released a new CD, I Believed. The first single off the CD was I'll Take Love Over Money and the current single is If Her Lovin' Don't Kill Me. Love Over Money sounds a lot like Tippin's first single off his previous CD, Kiss This.
"I really thought that was a great record even if it didn't do that well on radio," he said. "I really thought it was a hit."
Also included on the CD is Tippin's patriotic anthem, Where The Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly. Tippin took some heat for jumping on the bandwagon after 9-11. But, in actuality, the song was written two years before 9-11 happened.
"I also hope people realize that I didn't receive any money from that song," he said. "All the proceeds from the record went to the Red Cross to help the victims as did all my royalties. Not a single penny went to me. I thought it was a great song and I think what we did was very appropriate. And it helped folks, that is what is so important."
Tippin burst on the music scene in the early 1990s having many Top 10 hits, including There Ain't Nothin' Wrong With The Radio, Working Man's PhD. and That's As Close As I'll Get To Lovin' You. But in the mid and late 90s, his career waned and he left his record label. It was thought that that aspect of his career was over by many, including Tippin.
"I thought I would just go back to writing songs and doing a few shows," he said. "It is very frustrating being in the record business because it is so opinionated that it is impossible to have a great record even if you truly do have a great record. But I am not telling anything, everyone cries this story.
"But I have gotten to a point where I don't worry about it anymore. I just let the chips fall where they may and do the best I can. I have wrung my hands over these records for way too many years. You just have to let it happen."
Lyric Street Records (home of Rascal Flatts and SHeDAISY) snapped Tippin up and have released three CDs that have regenerated his career.
"Coming to Lyric Street was just like being brand new," he said. "I went out to radio and some of the kids who were coming from rock 'n' roll didn't even know who I was. They didn't know or care. I was just some old guy."
Tippin said he gets his biggest pleasure from playing live for his older and newer fans.
"Playing live is the backbone for me and is something that rings true. The music business is very wishy-washy. But once you get on stage, you go do your job and get rewarded right then and there. It is like a race car driver at that point. You cross that finish line and you are first."
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