He appreciates being `just Aaron'

February 26, 1997


Staff Writer

Aaron Tippin has found success, but the down-to-earth country singer isn't concerned about its trappings.

"I've never taken to that star crap," Tippin said in a telephone interview from his farm in Dowelltown, Tenn., where he was watching it rain. "I like being like the guy that lives on the next ridge."

You can ask him about being famous or how it feels to sell more than 3.5 million albums, but he'd rather talk to you about your hat or take a look at your truck.

"I like to crawl under a guy's tractor or see a guy's farm," Tippin said.

Tippin also is a songwriter whose previous jobs include farmhand, factory worker, airplane pilot, heavy equipment operator, welder and truck driver. His blue-collar background and reputation for honesty and hard work have earned him a big following among fans who identify with his message.


Tippin, 38, said the feeling is mutual.

"My philosophy is their philosophy," he said.

His sixth album, "Greatest Hits...And Then Some," is scheduled for release Tuesday, April 15.

The album will include his No. 1 hits "There Ain't Nothing Wrong With the Radio" and "That's as Close as I'll Get to Loving You," as well as the Top 10 songs "You've Got to Stand for Something," "I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way," "My Blue Angel" and "Working Man's Ph.D."

It also will contain four new songs, including the rockabilly heartbreaker "Cold Gray Kentucky Morning" and the let's-get-back-in-love number, "A Door."

Tippin, who has been recording professionally since 1990, said he considers it an honor to have survived long enough in the business to have a greatest hits album.

What's better, he said, is that he hasn't had to change.

"I wholeheartedly appreciate just being Aaron," he said.

He also appreciates the support he gets from his wife, Thea, who serves as adviser to his management company, Tip Top Entertainment. Along with his teenage daughter, Charla, they live in a log home on 300 acres of woodland and pasture east of Nashville.

The farm is a haven for Tippin, a bodybuilder who works out six days a week. He loves to restore machines, and his collection includes 10 Mack trucks, some of which are used for parts. The Weather Channel is another of his passions.

He enjoys hunting turkey and deer, and he owns a chain of hunting supply stores called Aaron Tippin Firearms. He plans to open a third store in Cookeville, Tenn., this year.

Tippin grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of South Carolina and has been a fan of traditional country music since he was a teen.

Those influences will surface when he gives two shows at Apollo Civic Theatre in Martinsburg, W.Va., Saturday, March 1. The shows are in association with The Red Man Country Concert Series.

When you see Tippin in Martinsburg, don't hesitate to ask for his autograph. He said he's never turned anyone down.

And don't be afraid to inquire about where he got his shirt or talk to him about the weather because he always has time for his fans.

"The best thing about the whole deal is that people appreciate what you do," Tippin said. "They make it all worthwhile."

When: Saturday, March 1, at 6 and 8:30 p.m.

Where: Apollo Civic Theatre, 128 E. Martin St., Martinsburg, W.Va.

Tickets: $30 and $35

For information: Call JDA Productions at 714-0134 or 1-304-274-0222.

"You've Got to Stand for Something," 1991

"Read Between the Lines," 1992

"Call of the Wild," 1993

"Lookin' Back at Myself," 1995

"Tool Box," 1996

"Greatest Hits ... And Then Some," due for Tuesday, April 15, release

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