It has been some time since I posted a song for Tune Tuesday. Part of the reason for this is that I have been spending most of my drive to and from work listening to Old Radio Shows. This week, I plugged the old iPod in and hit shuffle. I used to keep my “To Blog” Journal next to me in the car and when I heard a song that I felt might work for Tune Tuesday, I’d jot it down. During my drive, I heard today’s song and I figured it would be a good one to write about.
Most of my radio career, I worked in Country radio. I have had the chance to meet and interview many Country singers. One of my favorites, is Aaron Tippin. He broke on the seen with a great song called “You’ve Got To Stand for Something” in 1991. Follow up songs included “Kiss This,” “There Ain’t Nothing Wrong With the Radio,” “Working Man’s Ph. D.,” “I Got It Honest,” and the post 9/11 patriotic song “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Flies.”
I’ve had the chance to interview him a couple of times, the first when I worked at B95 in Flint and then when I worked at 94-5 The Moose. The first time we chatted, we chatted about his upcoming show at the Genesee County Fair that summer. It would have been 1998, because he opened his show with today’s song, more on that in a minute. His show at the fair was the first time I had ever seen him perform. During one song, he puts together a children’s bike while singing and donates the bike to a local charity. That’s the kind of guy he is – he has a heart of gold. Later in the show, he donned a fedora and sang a Frank Sinatra song, which just blew me away!
The second time I interviewed him was in the studios at the Moose. We chatted about his love for flying, his patriotism, support of the armed services and so much more. I had to ask him about the Sinatra song! He told me what a big Rat Pack fan he was and we chatted about some very cool Dean Martin Box Sets I had. He was so gracious with his time when he was there. Before he left, I asked if I could get an autographed picture for my dad, who was also a big fan of his music. He asked me about my dad. I told him how he was a Vietnam Vet and how it was my dad who introduced me to his music. He wrote on the picture for my dad, “To Sam. I KNOW you got it honest! Thank you for your service! Aaron Tippin.” Classy guy!
On to today’s song. As I listened to the words in the car, I got to thinking about all the politics and such going on today. The country is so divided. We are hearing trash talk from each party about each candidate and so on and so forth. I remembered Aaron doing this song as his opening song at the fair. I remember introducing him and there was a podium set up in front of the microphone. It had one of those red, white, and blue, flowery banners on it. When I introduced him, he comes walking out with a suit jacket on and shirt and tie. He goes to the podium and starts singing the song like it’s his campaign speech! I loved every damn minute of it! If he ever DID decide to run for office, he’d have my vote!
The opening lyric of the song says so much “keep what’s good, pile up what’s bad and then I’d strike a match”. Going “back to the basics” would really be a good idea! And let’s face it, Washington DC could use a cool statue of Hank Sr.! Wouldn’t it be great if all the country really needed was some “steel guitar” to bring us all together? I love the USA and yes, I am “proud of it” and I will “always love it”.
This song is one of my top 10 most played songs on my iPod. Thanks, Aaron, for your friendship and your music!
What This Country Needs
If I was runnin’ this country
I’d start it over from scratch
Keep what’s good, pile up what’s bad
And then I’d strike a match
Yeah, we’d go back to the basics
Of how things ought to be
Yeah, there’d be a lot of changes
If it was left up to me
Cause what this country needs
Is a little more steel guitar
And put a little fiddle right in the middle
Straight out of a Texas bar
And give us a song, we can all sing along
From sea to shining sea
Be proud of it and always love it
That’s what this country needs
Now if you want to hear about livin’
Just twist that radio dial
Til you come to a singer singin’
What life is all about
Cause you can’t deny that people still cry
They laugh and they smile and they hurt
And that’s my humble opinion y’all
You can take it for what it’s worth
Yeah, turn it on up and let it ring out
Across the land of the free
They ought to build a statue of Hank Williams, Sr.
In Washington, D.C.
You just be proud of it and always love it
And that’s what this country needs.
You can stop by his website and see what he is up to and try his wine here: