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Thursday, March 7, 2013

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RIP, Stompin' Tom Connors


You may have known him (she says optimistically) from "The Hockey Song," but he also wrote "Bud the Spud" and the excellent "Sudbury Saturday Night," and he was a hell of a great Canadian with a classic country backstory:

He was born in Saint John, N.B., on Feb. 9, 1936 to an unwed teenage mother. According to his autobiography, Before the Fame, he often lived hand-to-mouth as a youngster, hitchhiking with his mother from the age of three, begging on the street by the age of four. At age eight, he was placed in the care of Children's Aid and adopted a year later by a family in Skinner's Pond, P.E.I. He ran away four years later to hitchhike across the country.

Connors bought his first guitar at age 14 and picked up odd jobs as he wandered from town to town, at times working on fishing boats, as a grave digger, tobacco picker and fry cook.

I mean, he would have called me a "border jumper," but that was his right.
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13 Comments / Post A Comment

thiscallsforsoap

I once made a CD that was just his Sudbury Saturday Night and Stan Rogers' Acadian Saturday Night on alternating repeat for the whole disc. RIP, the both of them.

Coal Tar Epoxy

Plywood and stage floorboards may breathe a sigh of relief, but he will be missed.

jhonsons

Even people who are not hockey fans know this song, well, Canacks know it. Maybe those foreigners too....@j

heyderpette

My boppa hated the song "Tilsonburg" so much. So now I have this image of Stompin' Tom singing that song in heaven and Boppa is freaking out and St Peter is trying to intervene but he has to bring in the Big Guns, so God comes over and is like, "Settle down, y'all, in his booming (and apparently Southern) voice. This mental image will get me through the difficult, stomp-less times ahead.

zamboni

It got very dusty when I read his farewell letter.

uemmak

I haven't listened to him very much in years but as a child my sister and I used to insist on his greatest hits album on our yearly drive from Ontario to New Brunswick for summer holidays. (When we weren't listening to Anne of Green Gables on audiobook). I bet I still know all the lyrics.

He will be missed.

gobblegirl

A good place to post Kate Beaton's Stompin Tom comic from several years back:
http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=60

Probs

@gobblegirl you beat me to this. That was my introduction to the man.

jengetsaround

Sudbury reppin'! Gettin' stinko for you tonight, buddy!

Dizzy

@jengetsaround We'll miss you Stompin' Tom, I'll be thinking of you at porketta bingo this weekend. (PS Another Sudbury pinner???)

geek_tragedy

RIP Stompin' Tom! You were my intro to Canadiana. You are missed.

Nicole, it's all good. I jumped the border in the reverse direction, so hopefully that balanced things out.

Amphora

My husband and I were listening to Bud the Spud just last night! He started singing it to my parents during a conversation about Canadian music culture (because the only Canadian artist they are familiar with is Neil Young). He's gonna be devastated.

Riaana

As a fellow border jumper, I was sad there was nobody here with whom to commiserate! Glad to see The Pin giving him the recognition he deserves.

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