It was a long hard bumpy road, but this great country kept me inspired with it’s beauty, character, and spirit, driving me to keep marching on and devoted to sing about its people and places that make Canada the greatest country in the world. – A quote from a message Tom Connors left to his fans on www.stompintom.com/
Stompin’ Tom Connors dies at 77
Something that I’ve realized over my lifetime is that Canadians tend to hold their homegrown music very close to their hearts. I grew up w/ great Canadian bands like The Tragically Hip, I Mother Earth, Big Sugar, oh, there are so many more great Canadian bands that I’m missing. Bands that seemed to be somewhat unknown as soon as you step outside the confines of our country, yet while inside the borders, they are blockbusters, selling out shows and just about as famous as you can get. That’s why when I heard of the death of Stompin’ Tom Connors Wednesday night it kind of hit me like a ton of bricks.
For those that don’t know of Stompin’ Toms music let me fill you in. A country and folk singer with a huge library (over 300 songs, almost 48 albums) focusing solely on the people he met and things he has done while travelling across this great country of ours. Songs like Big Joe Mufferaw (a french Canadian logging legend), Sudbury Saturday Night (the mining industry in Sudbury), Bud the Spud (about hauling potatoes from Prince Edward Island to Toronto), Tillsonburg (about working in the tobacco fields of the town), and of course The Hockey Song (self explained) are just a handful of his most famous songs that you can still hear being played daily throughout arenas, bars, and wedding venues across Canada.
There’s no other artist that I can think of that can even come close to exhuberating the patriotism, character and spirit that Tom Connors did. He made you excited about your country and truly proud to be a Canadian He’s certainly touched the lives of many by taking the everyday life of someone or something and translating that into words (sometimes humorous and slapping a guitar behind them. I can’t even begin to think about the number of shows he has performed, since he never discriminated – one night he’d be in front of 20 000 people, the next he’s playing at a bar with 10. I had the privilege of catching one of them and let me tell you there is nothing more thrilling than watching this man walk up on stage, thrown down his peice of plywood (his stomping board 🙂 ) and dazzle the crowd for an hour with his stories and songs. At the end of the night he’d have almost wore a hole through a piece of 3/4 inch board.
So a final goodbye to a man that has left his mark on our country, 300 songs that will continue the inspiration and patriotism just they did while he was here. May you rest in peace, eh?