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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Stompin' Tom Connors born 9 February 1936

Charles Thomas "Stompin' Tom" Connors, OC (February 9, 1936 – March 6, 2013) was a Canadian country and folk singer-songwriter. Focusing his career exclusively on his native Canada, Connors is credited with writing more than 300 songs and has released four dozen albums, with total sales of nearly 4 million copies,
He was born to the teenaged Isabel Connors and her boyfriend Thomas Sullivan. Upon the deaths of Isabel’s mother and
stepfather, the young family were left homeless and by the time Connors was three they were hitchhiking around the Maritime Provinces in the east of the country.
Thomas was soon skilled as a street beggar, then lived with his mother and baby sister in jail for a short while before, at the age of eight, being taken into the care of Children’s Aid. Placed with a foster family in Skinner’s Pond, Prince Edward Island, he made numerous escape attempts. “It’s damn hard to run away when you live on an island,” he once told Country Music News. “All the Mounties had to do was wait at the boat for me to arrive in someone’s car, on the back of a pickup or even walking.” He was 13 years old when he finally succeeded in leaving care for good.
There followed a long period of travel and odd jobs: gravedigger, tobacco picker, short-order cook. He bought his first guitar at the age of 14, writing lyrics and picking up new songs, and falling in love with the sights and peoples of Canada.
“I learned that there are people from one end of the country to the other with grassroots history that they think can never be taken away from them,” he recalled. “I’d go to radio stations, and sometimes they’d let me play a song or two on the air.”
His break came in 1964, when he was five cents short on a 40-cent order at a hotel bar. The bartender eyed his guitar. “Do you sing with that thing, or do you just use it to carry your clothes?” Connors replied that he knew a few songs; in fact, he had about 2,300 committed to memory. His performance so impressed the owner, Pete Kotze,  that he booked Connors for 14 months of performances. As word spread the hotel was soon packed with his followers, who hailed him “Stompin’ Tom” for his habit of pounding the floor with his boots as he sang.
Connors’s first single, Carolyne, was recorded in 1965, and his first album followed two years later. In 1970 he had a hit with Bud the Spud, peaking at No 26 in the country charts. From the beginning his work was charged with patriotic feeling, including titles such as The Canadian Lumberjack and The Old Atlantic Shore.

His 1973 track, The Hockey Song, became an anthem for sporting fans across the nation: “Oh! The good old hockey game/Is the best game you can name/And the best game you can name/Is the good old Hockey game!”
He averaged an album a year until 1978, when he retired for a decade. In all he produced four dozen albums and more than 300 songs, selling nearly four million records. His autobiography, Stompin’ Tom: Before the Fame (1995) became a bestseller.
Connors was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1996. His second autobiography, The Connors Tone, followed four years later. Several of his trademark “Stompin’ boards” — pieces of plywood which he placed beneath his left foot while playing – have been auctioned off for charity, with one selling for $11, 000 in 2011.
Connors died of kidney failure on March 6, 2013 at his home in Ballinafad. He refused to seek medical treatment, as he was skeptical of the benefits of medical technology. On March 7, flags were lowered to half-mast at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and also in Tillsonburg, in order to mark his death. On March 9, that following Saturday night, Hockey Night in Canada broadcast a special tribute to Connors at the opening of its broadcast.     (Info Wikipedia, mainly

Stompin' Tom Connors - Bud The Spud Live From Hamilton Ontario Concert 2005.

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “25 Of The Best Stompin' Tom Souvenirs [Best Of]” go here:

1.Blue Berets
2.Cross Canada
3.Believe in Your Country
5.Ketchup Song
6.Gumboot Cloggeroo
8.Red River Jane
9.Hockey Song
10.Suzanne de Lafayette (Aka Girl from Lafayette)
11.Canada Day, Up Canada Way
12.Alberta Rose
13.Bud The Spud
14.Old Flat-Top Guitar
15.Prairie Moon
16.Long Gone to the Yukon
17.Polka Playin' Henry
18.My Home's in Newfoundland
19.I Am The Wind
20.Real Canadian Girl
21.Blue Nose
22.Okanagan Okee
23.Sudbury Saturday
24.Shakin' The Blues
25.To It and at It