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Manchester's only weekly newspaper

August 30, 2001

Cyrus and Tippin bring country to the city

By Dan Szczesny & Christine Welsh

“Why don’t you kiss, kiss this, and I don’t mean on my rosy red lips. Me and you, we’re through, there’s only one thing left for me to do. So come on over here one more time, pucker up and close your eyes and kiss this goodbye.”

That’s the refrain from Aaron Tippin’s hit, “Kiss This.” You can gear up to hear that one at his September 2 concert in Singer Park.

Tippin has been topping the charts for about 20 years with hits that vary in style from the fun and attitude of “Kiss This” to the sentiment of “That’s As Close As I’ll Get To Loving You.”

When he lost his original record deal, times looked bleak.

“I wasn’t sure I wanted to cut records anymore,” Tippin says. “The last couple albums I had done, we were cutting all outside material, and it didn’t feel like there was much Aaron in the records.”

But after two years of continued committment to his wife and children and his music, he landed a contract with Lyric Street Records, who were still fairly new to Nashville at the time.

“One thing they really wanted was for my writing to be a bigger part of my career,” he says. “They also wanted me to co-produce my first album for them. I thought, ‘Maybe these guys really do want Aaron music.’ ”

And that is precisely what Aaron Tippin wanted but wasn’t able to get with his former label, Aaron Music.

“Musically, I’m still about the same guy,” Tippin says. “I’m still about classic country, I’m still a big fan of the big bands, and I still love bluegrass.”

As for his music, Tippin is considered a working man’s star.

“His music is almost as American as apple pie itself,” according to WKBR’s Sean Sullivan. “He keeps to what he thinks country is all about.”

Unlike traditionalist Aaron Tippin, Billy Ray Cyrus came into the country market a pioneer of both line dancing and cross-over artistry.

When most people hear the name Billy Ray Cyrus they picture a chiseled man with a mullet singing “Don’t tell my heart, my achy breaky heart...” That was 10 years ago.

Billy Ray has always been about more than his mullet and his “Achy Breaky Heart.” His hit “Some Gave All” became an anthem to many war veterans and survivors of all kinds. To this day, at any country show, if you scan the crowd, you’re likely to see at least one t-shirt with Some Gave All written on it.

Recently, however, Cyrus has been busy changing his tune and his image. With his latest tour and his television program on PAX, Cyrus’ growth as an entertainer is notable.

According to Sullivan, “In the past couple of years he really has come far. People are in awe of what he’s accomplished. His music has more of a calmed down acoustic, homey folksy feel. Not necessarily traditional, but a mix of traditional and new country, with an improved writing style that has grown with his career.

“As far as family shows where you can bring kids and have a good time, I would say this will be the big draw,” says Sullivan. “These guys can draw an immense crowd.”

With the R-rated nature of the music on most other charts, country music concerts are a great opportunity for a family outing. The fans do tend to get rowdy, but it’s all in good fun.

Billy Ray Cyrus and Aaron Tippin will play Singer Park on Sunday, Sept. 2, starting at around 6 p.m.

Dan J. Szczesny can be reached at
Christine Welsh can be reached at

Copyright 2001 HIPPOPRESS LLC. All rights reserved.


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Aug 30, 2001

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