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.