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Stompin' Tom Connors

From Academic Kids

Stompin' Tom Connors OC (born February 9, 1936) can, arguably, be called Canada's Woody Guthrie. He is a singer-songwriter from Skinner's Pond, Prince Edward Island and has travelled to practically every town in Canada.

Connors was born as Charles Thomas Connors (known as Tommy Messer) in Saint John, New Brunswick to Isabel Connors, an unmarried teenager, and was adopted and raised by a family in the farming/fishing community of Skinner's Pond in rural western Prince Edward Island.

He got his nickname because he always stomps his foot when he is performing to the point where he places a board to prevent damage to the stage. It's reported that once when asked about his "stompin' board", Tom replied, "it's just a stage I'm going through". Stompin' Tom periodically auctions off his stompin' board for charity.

Drawing upon influences such as Hank Snow and Wilf Carter, some of Connors' better-known songs, which usually include an explicit Canadian theme to them, include:

  • "Bud the Spud"
  • "The Hockey Song" (a.k.a. "The Good Old Hockey Game")
  • "Big Joe Mufferaw"
  • "The Ketchup Song"
  • "The Consumer"
  • "Margo's Cargo"
  • "I am the Wind"
  • "Sudbury Saturday Night"

At 17 armed only with a guitar and with 2300 popular country songs learned in his youth Stompin' Tom went on the road filled with an ardent desire to be paid for performing his own songs. He hitchhiked across Canada eleven times before motels or the inter-provincial Trans-Canada Highway system were built. He wrote incalculable numbers of songs about the people, places, legends and history he met. His personality, musical talents and unique performance style delighted and united all regions of Canada. Independently producing and selling his records at shows, he sold more than two million records. Always a crowd pleaser, he was held over in Timmins, Ontario for eighteen consecutive months before his wanderlust and fame could not be contained for any price. During the mid-1970s, Connors wrote and recorded "The Consumer", an ode to bill-paying that became the theme song for the popular CBC consumer affairs program, Marketplace. Connors appeared in the opening credits of the program for its first several seasons, performing the song and winning more fans.

As the 1970s progressed, he retired to his farm in Norval, Ontario to protest the lack of support given to Canadian stories by the policies of the Federal government, particularly the CRTC. He remained in retirement for 12 years before persistent love from young roots revivalists drew him back into the studio and on to the stage. To this day, Stompin' Tom never fails to sell every available ticket for a performance, and remains one of Canada's more prolific recording artists.

A heart-wrenching autobiography detailing his childhood years in a female prison, in an orphanage, and as an indentured farm labourer became a bestseller in 1997. It details his life "before the fame". Recent years have seen the re-release of 25 of his record albums.

In 1996 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

In 2000, Connors was awarded an honourary doctor of law degree from the University of Toronto and proudly calls himself Dr. Stompin' Tom Connors.

Connors' music is rarely heard outside Canada, with the possible exception of his anthemic "The Hockey Song" which has been recorded by many artists. It has been suggested that Connors refuses to allow foreign release of his material, although a more likely reason is that the very Canadian-specific subject matter of many of his folk songs has resulted in limited demand in foreign markets. When Late Night with Conan O'Brien taped a week's worth of shows in Canada in 2004, Connors was one of the guests of honor, leading the Toronto audience in a rendition of "The Hockey Song".

In The Greatest Canadian list, he ranked #13, the highest placing for any artist on the list.

He currently lives in Erin, Ontario.

Discography

  • 1967 The Northlands' Own Tom Connors
  • 1969 On Tragedy Trail
  • 1970 Bud the Spud and Other Favorites
  • 1970 Stompin' Tom Meets Big Joe Mufferaw
  • 1970 Merry Christmas Everybody
  • 1971 Live at the Horseshoe
  • 1972 My Stompin' Grounds
  • 1972 Love & Laughter
  • 1973 Stompin' Tom and the Hockey Song
  • 1973 To It and at It
  • 1974 Across This Land with Stompin' Tom Connors [live]
  • 1974 Stompin' Tom Meets Muk Tuk Annie
  • 1975 The North Atlantic Squadron
  • 1975 The Unpopular Stompin' Tom Connors
  • 1976 Stompin' Tom at the Gumboot Cloggeroo
  • 1985 Stompin' Tom Is Back to Assist Canadian Talent
  • 1994 Fiddle and Song
  • 1995 Stompin' Tom and the Moon Man Neufie
  • 1995 Northlands Zone
  • 1995 The Unpopular Stompin' Tom Connors
  • 1996 More of the Stompin' Tom Phenomenon
  • 1996 Once Upon a Stompin' Tom
  • 1997 Believe in Your Country
  • 1997 Long Gone to the Yukon
  • 1997 The Confederation Bridge
  • 2001 Sings Canadian History

Compilations

  • 1971 The Best of Stompin' Tom Connors
  • 1972 Stompin' Tom Connors Sings 60 Old Time...
  • 1973 Northlands Zone
  • 1976 Stompin' Tom Sings 60 More Old Time Favorites
  • 1978 Pistol Packin' Mama
  • 1978 Bringing Them Back
  • 1990 A Proud Canadian
  • 1991 Dr. Stompin' Tom, Eh?
  • 1993 K.I.C. Along with Stompin' Tom
  • 1998 25 of the Best Stompin' Tom Souvenirs
  • 2001 And the Moon Man/Unpopular

External Link

Official Website (http://www.stompintom.com/)

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