The strum of Tippin’s guitar and the twang in his deep country voice have embodied country barroom brawls, backwoods ballads and homegrown patriotism now for more than 18 years, and he will be making a one-night stop at John Ascuaga’s Nugget on Saturday.
Born in 1958, Tippin inherited a love of aviation from his father. By 15, he had earned his pilot’s licenses and by 20 he was taking the wheel on commercial flights. However, after a round of airline deregulation in 1978, Tippin started to veer away from his career in the airline industry.
His white-collared pilot’s dress shirt was put away and Tippin made his way in the world working various blue-collar jobs while writing songs about Americana and the common working man ... until that day in a Nashville night club with an RCA executive.
Towing the classic country music line and embodying grassroots American values, Tippin’s first big hit came from the title track on his first album, “You’ve got to stand for something (or you’ll fall for anything).” This sound advice, set to the tune of a fiddle and guitar, skyrocketed him to country stardom. The principled ballad became a Top 10 smash in light of the patriotic feelings during the Persian Gulf War and Tippin was subsequently invited along on Bob Hope’s USO tour.
The country star’s sophomore release, “Read Between the Lines,” was his first album to go platinum. The release also marked his first No. 1 Billboard hit, “There Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong with the Radio,” which spent three weeks at the top of the Country Billboard charts.
Tippin released five more albums with RCA throughout the 1990s, making the jump to Disney-owned Lyric Street Records in 1998. It was then that his wife told him to “kiss this.”
The bitter breakup anthem, released as a single in 2000, was written by his wife, Thea Tippin. Following the song’s jump to No. 1 on the Country Billboard charts, the couple is still happily married with a 4-year old son.
The song was followed by Tippin’s second Lyric Street album release, “People Like Us,” which was his final gold album.
Then after the events of 9/11, Tippin took home-grown patriotism to the airwaves with his anthem “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagles Fly.” The song struck a chord with the American people, reaching the No. 2 spot on the Country Billboard charts and entering the Top 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Throughout his career, Tippin has remained true to his country roots while becoming the champion of the blue-collar working man’s anthem. Since “Stars and Stripes,” Tippin has taken a political tone in his work. After founding his own record label in 2006, Tippin released a new single called “Drill Here, Drill Now,” which was inspired by the “drill here” movement led by former House leader Newt Gingrich. The movement supported the controversial issue of drilling for oil in the Alaskan wildlife reserve.
His most recent release takes Tippin back to trucker ballads with his 2008 album “In Overdrive.”
If you close your eyes in the Nugget’s Celebrity Showroom Saturday night, you may think you are in a honky tonk bar. Then again, when Aaron Tippin strums out the first chords of one of his country ballads, you may be taken to the realms of a backwoods troubadour. No matter what, Tippin can guarantee a night of classic country values and patriotism.
Tippin and his guitar will take the stage Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 and are available by calling 1-800-648-1177 or 356-3300 or by visiting www.janugget.com.