When it comes to this year's headliner for the Franklin County Watermelon Festival, you don't get more country, or more patriotic, than Aaron Tippin.
Tippin was announced this week as the August 19th Saturday headliner for the 2017 Watermelon Festival. Eagles tribute band Seven Bridges will headline Friday night's entertainment lineup.
Tippin's debut single came in 1991 with You've Got to Stand for Something. That song, his first on the RCA label, vaulted to number 6 on the Billboard Country Singles chart. And it immediately drew attention from Bob Hope's daughter, Linda, who heard the song and asked Tippin if he'd be interested in traveling overseas and entertaining the American troops.
“I said 'Are you kidding me? Bob Hope? I never in a zillion years dreamed I would be on the Bob Hope Show,'” Tippin recalled.
Soon thereafter, the hits began to pile up for Tippin, including There Ain't Nothing Wrong With the Radio, My Blue Angel and Workin' Man's PhD. Tippin has released nine studio albums and two compilations, with five gold certifications and one platinum certification among them. He's charted more than 30 singles on Billboard including three number ones: There Ain't Nothing Wrong with the Radio (1992), That's as Close as I'll Get to Loving You (1995) and Kiss This (2000).
Tippin's unique baritone country voice, combined with his blue-collar patriotic themes in his music, continue to resonate with country fans. Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cassie Medley believes her board hit a home run with Tippin.
“We are so excited to have Aaron Tippin coming to this year's Franklin County Watermelon Festival. He's a great artist who stands for patriotic values and he continues a tradition of big-name acts coming to Russellville,” Medley said.
Tippin's song Where the Stars and Stripes Fly soared to the top of the charts and became part of the American soundtrack in the aftermath of 9/11.
“I wanted to talk to Americans about who we are at heart, and the fact that when the going gets tough, that's when we really stand up.
“We may have a lot of differences when everything is calm and fine, but when it hits the fan, I think we're the best in the world at sticking together, and rallying around the cause,” Tippin said.
After more than 25 years on the road, Tippin will make his first stop in Russellville. Expect a packed house for his August 19th concert.
Fan voting during the month of March decided what groups will fill out the entertainment lineup both nights. Medley said results of online voting were being verified and she expected an announcement soon. As of March 29, Southern Heat had garnered the most votes, followed by Joseph Baldwin, Purpose, First Born Sons and the Kerry Gilbert Band.