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Great Falls Native Pens Hits With Star Husband


Tribune Associate Editor

Good morning, Great Falls!

I got a chance to catch up with Thea (Corontzos) Tippin who says she's been busy collaborating on song-writing for her husband country star Aaron Tippin's new CD to be released this fall.

Not that she isn't busy already with sons Teddy, 5, a kindergartner, and preschooler Thomas, 2. She and her family live outside Nashville.

She is the daughter of longtime Great Falls residents Ted and Connie Corontzos.

Thea's credit line has been showing up on chart-topping songs like "Kiss This," and "The Best Love We Ever Made."

She has two collaborations and a duet with her husband on the "Stars and Stripes," CD and she co-wrote six songs on Aaron's Christmas album and sang three.

Thea said she and Aaron will do another duet on the upcoming CD.

"People enjoy the husband-wife team," Thea said. "And they think the kids are cool, too."

Although she is busy now, she doesn't rule out an eventual CD of her own when the kids are a little older.

She realized a lifelong dream last winter when she sang at the Grand Ole Opry.

I got a big kick out of how she described how she and Aaron came up with the words to the popular "Kiss This."

Apparently she and Aaron were having a fight and he suggested they kiss and make up, to which she responded, "You can kiss this."

Then they realized those words would make a good song. The rest is history. Aaron has suggested that perhaps they should fight more often.

Thea gets home every summer to see her folks, and her husband has played for Montana State Fair.

The two made quite a hit in 2002 when they sang the "Let's Love Like There's No Tomorrow."

Moving on up

Great Falls native Brian Zeleniak, a Salt Lake City musician, has a new CD and a great Web site where you can sample his adult contemporary music --

He also has a local friend, Dorothea Dustrude, who has been promoting and selling his music at the Farmers' Market.

Zeleniak attended Longfellow School and graduated from Great Falls High School in 1980.

He is a member of the Winds of Atlantis acoustic instrumental duo which recently released the CD "Acoustic Knight," some of which you can hear on his Web site and order.

His site has a photo of him playing guitar at the Nugget Bar at a very young age. He got his start in Bozeman when he filled in for a guitar player in the Shazzana band at the Molly Brown.

He joined the Sniper rock band that toured AA clubs in the Northwest during the '80s. He played as lead guitarist for Blue DeVille and Instigator rock bands

He has warmed up for Fleetwood Mac, Quiet Riot, Cinderella.

Zeleniak said he hopes to visit Great Falls soon ("and perhaps do a concert in Gibson Park") and misses it.

He said he's been all over the world and hasn't found a place that makes a pizza burger, which is found only at Burger Master. "Howard's Pizza is still the best in my book."

Dustrude reports that Zeleniak's "Area 51" songs are getting airplay on radio station 107.3 FM.

Tribune Associate Editor Tom Kotynski writes this column about Great Falls and Montana people and events. If you have an idea or suggestion contact him at the Tribune, 791-1477 or e-mail him at:

Copyright 2003 Great Falls Tribune. All rights reserved.

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Sep 29, 2003

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