Aaron Tippin, Mike Huckabee Unveil Project for Buying Musical Instruments for Kids

Aaron Tippin and former Arkansas governor and Fox News personality Mike Huckabee unveiled a new album Wednesday (Oct. 13) to raise money to buy musical instruments for children. The two made the announcement at the W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville. Titled I Wanna Play!, the album spotlights songs from Tippin, Lorrie Morgan, John Anderson, George Jones, Neil Sedaka, Ray Price, Ronnie Milsap, Darryl Worley, Louise Mandrell and Tracy Lawrence. Huckabee, an ardent amateur musician who often features country artists on his television show, plays bass on three of the tracks. NAMM — the National Association of Music Merchants — is backing the album and used Wednesday’s ceremony to present a check for $10,000 to the school, which specializes in providing low-cost music instruction to underprivileged students. Huckabee said he got his first guitar — a $99 electric model from J. C. Penney — when he was 11 and credited the instrument with helping him get over his “innate shyness.” He contended that instruments can have the same transformative power for anyone who’s drawn to them. Tippin and his wife, Thea, co-wrote the album’s title cut, and students from the music school sing on it. Talent booker Bobby Roberts, who put the project together, says he contemplates a series of such albums.