There wasn’t a moment in Richie Tipton’s life when he wasn’t on the path toward being a musician. Some of his earliest memories are of listening to the legends of country and rock music played on the radio stations of Weaverville, North Carolina.
As he grew up, his obsession hit new heights when he discovered a box of 45s his mother acquired from a neighbor that included recordings by Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, and more.
The contents of that box was like gasoline poured onto a creative flame that was already burning.
He was not yet 10 years old, but Tipton spent hours as a child playing those records over and over again on his parent’s stereo. Listening to the rhythm and the driving beats that permeated from the speakers in songs like Elvis Presley’s “Tell Her Jim Said Hello.” The drumming of DJ Fontana sounded like the wheels of a train clacking by on the railroad tracks, and it was a train Tipton was determined to catch.
Within a few years he got his first guitar as a Christmas gift. The Yamaha quickly became his acoustic friend. Armed with a book of chords and a determination firmly affixed on the tracks toward musicianship, he spent hours strumming away at the strings until even the F chord came out of him with fluidity.
He played along to recordings by music legends like Waylon Jennings, a man whom he would encounter later in life while recording in Jennings’ Nashville studio. While doing so, he continued to learn how to put chords together and studied the way songwriters constructed impactful lyrics.
Before long he sought out other musicians in the area and became part of his first band, The Maxx Gibbz Band. He set foot on stage to play music for the first time in 1982. Since then, his band names have changed, his songs have changed, and even his sound has changed, but the one thing that has remained the same is his desire to keep writing and playing.