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So Long Stompin' Tom - A Unique and Legendary Canadian


Offbeat  (tags: Stompin Tom, Canada, Country Singer, hitchhiking troubadour, Maritime Provinces, British Columbia, Halton Hills, Ontario, death )

Dandelion
- 758 days ago - youtube.com
Canadian country-folk singer whose odes to the vast country he had roamed as a hitchhiking troubadour made him a beloved figure from the Maritime Provinces to British Columbia, died on March 6 at his home in Halton Hills, Ontario. He was 77.



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Dandelion G. (385)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 7:35 pm
Song by Mike Plume:

I just wanted to honor this man of very humble beginnings who against all odds brought smiles to many a face in Canada with his witty songs and trademark foot stomp.

Stompin’ Tom Connors, a Canadian country-folk singer whose odes to the vast country he had roamed as a hitchhiking troubadour made him a beloved figure from the Maritime Provinces to British Columbia, died on March 6 at his home in Halton Hills, Ontario. He was 77.

Mr. Connors wrote more than 300 songs, most notably “The Hockey Song,” his paean to the country’s national obsession. His albums sold nearly four million copies.

That music was shaped by his love and knowledge of Canada, gleaned from youthful wanderings in which he worked as a dredge-boat sailor, a tobacco-picker, a short-order cook and a gravedigger.

With three-quarters of Canadians living within 100 miles of the United States border and flooded by American media, many Canadians strive to preserve a distinct cultural identity. Mr. Connors seemed eager to lead the fight. In a letter he had asked be published after his death, he said that all his work had been inspired by “Canada, the greatest country in the world.”

Thomas Charles Connors was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, on Feb. 9, 1936, to an unwed teenager. She left town with him when he was 3, and the two begged and stole in order to eat. When his mother was jailed for theft, he was sent to an orphanage and from there to foster parents, who treated him badly.

In his autobiography, “Stompin’ Tom: Before the Fame,” published in 1995, Mr. Connors wrote that he had started hitchhiking around the country at 12, bought his first guitar at 14 and survived by doing odd jobs and literally singing for his supper. In the coldest days of winter, he welcomed vagrancy arrests in order to have a warm place to sleep.

Legend, well burnished by Mr. Connors, has it that his big break came in 1964 at the Maple Leaf Hotel in Timmins, Ontario, when he was 28. He was a nickel short of a beer, and the bartender agreed to give him a drink if he would play a few songs.

That led to a 14-month engagement at the hotel and the chance to make records at the local radio station. He ultimately recorded 61 albums, 10 of which have yet to be released.

Mr. Connors said his heroes were “average Joes” whose struggles, in Canada’s uncountable nooks and crannies, he claimed to know like his own palm. He married Lena Welsh in 1973 and she survives him as do two sons, two daughters and several grandchildren.

A few of his songs:
Big Joe Mufferaw

Sudbury Saturday Night

Gumboot Cloggeroo










 

Lauren Kozen (166)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 9:28 pm
Noted. Great song! Thanks for sharing Dandelion.
 

Christeen Anderson (608)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 9:31 pm
Thank you so much for sharing this. I really enjoyed it.
 

Tamara Noforwardsplz (185)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 9:49 pm
Thank you for sharing Sheryl. May he rest in Stompin` peace.
 

Jennifer C. (168)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 9:52 pm
Thanks.
 

Giana Peranio-Paz (415)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 9:59 pm
I never heard of him but I love country music and so does my hubby, thanks for sharing Sheryl.
 

Rosemary Rannes (646)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 10:08 pm
Dandelion your thoughtful tribute to a very humble man Stompin’ Tom Connors is beautiful. He was Canadian through and through to the extent that he packed up all his awards in a box and gave them back when he found out Canadian singers were going 'south' to record!
Loved Stompin' Tom !
 

SusanAWAY Allen (219)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 10:31 pm
Thanks
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 11:02 pm
RIP
 

Jae A. (320)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 11:12 pm
Enjoy country music Thanks for sharing the tune Dandelion...May he rest in peace.
 

Natasha Salgado (610)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 11:13 pm
Thanks Dandelion for posting this tribute to a very unique and proud Canadian icon!! One of his most famous songs was the ''Hockey song'' which is today still played in many hockey arenas in both Canada and U.S. He was a very humble and sincere man. He will be missed. Thanks again.
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (292)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 11:30 pm
Thanks Dandelion I have never heard of him till now may he RIP
 

Lynn D. (0)
Monday April 8, 2013, 1:36 am
Thanks, my prayers and thoughts go out to him and his family!
 

MmAWAY M. (475)
Monday April 8, 2013, 2:23 am
Thanks, I am actually typing this with wet eyes! Keeping to forward to others hopefully tomorrow if I can sign in again! xx
 

Terry V. (30)
Monday April 8, 2013, 2:31 am
Thank you, will check out more of his music later on youtube.
 

Patricia H. (454)
Monday April 8, 2013, 2:50 am
noted, thanks for sharing
 

Birgit W. (157)
Monday April 8, 2013, 3:08 am
Thank you Dandelion.
 

TomCat S. (232)
Monday April 8, 2013, 4:27 am
Condolences and thanks!
 

Darlene W. (287)
Monday April 8, 2013, 5:25 am
Absolutely beautiful--RIP Tom Connors--thank you so much Dandelion for the share. Blessings to all who love Mother Earth.
 

Daniel Partlow (189)
Monday April 8, 2013, 6:22 am
Noted. Sounds like he was a passionate man who brought a lot of joy into this world. May he RIP.
 

Dandelion G. (385)
Monday April 8, 2013, 7:10 am
Thomas Charles Connors was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, on Feb. 9, 1936, to an unwed teenager. She left town with him when he was 3, and the two begged and stole in order to eat. When his mother was jailed for theft, he was sent to an orphanage and from there to foster parents, who treated him badly.

In his autobiography, “Stompin’ Tom: Before the Fame,” published in 1995, Mr. Connors wrote that he had started hitchhiking around the country at 12, bought his first guitar at 14 and survived by doing odd jobs and literally singing for his supper. In the coldest days of winter, he welcomed vagrancy arrests in order to have a warm place to sleep.

I was really impressed by his humble beginnings and how he rose up to find his own way and sing for others to enjoy.

As Rosemary said, he was pure Canadian through and through and I respect his appreciation of his heroes who were “average Joes” whose struggled in Canada’s uncountable nooks and crannies.

 

Cher C. (1471)
Monday April 8, 2013, 7:13 am


Thnx so much for posting this hun!!

He truly was a Canadian icon!!!


 

Russell R. (87)
Monday April 8, 2013, 7:25 am
"So Long Stompin' Mike" RIP
 

Gene Jacobson (263)
Monday April 8, 2013, 9:34 am
Well, talent will out, regardless. Great story, Sheryl, thank you for making us all aware of it, not enough good news stories to go around these days in which the only news fit to print is bad. So it is a treasure when I come across something that isn't. Take that, media! Getting to live your dream is the greatest life of all here, I think. Would that we all could.
 

Liliana D. (124)
Monday April 8, 2013, 10:22 am
an inspirational story, I enjoyed listening the song and pray for light for Mike, thank you Dandelion
 

l L. (1)
Monday April 8, 2013, 10:23 am
May he rest in peace...Again Sheryl... Dandelion.... Thx again for your well rounded articles about the living in all spheres of living.
Whether one thing over another.. It is about the living and how we fare and why we fare.

Those grow up behind us need to know.. as much as possible.. so they can navigate their lives. If they don't know.. they can be taken advantage of..
This man didn't choose his circumstances and probably not his mom and ...people are forced into stealing not because they are bad people.. but sometimes people are in dire circumstances ... not of their choosing... Like this is just the way it is.......

And when it is just the way it is.... "one" is at the mercy of the "elements" of it all.
So thanks to him and to you D and all of us who dare to share in whatever way we do.. You never know what good can come of it... This what I/we call reality.. The bad/good/ugly/surviving the stuff.. with a sound mind and later able to laugh theu the tears or pain of it all..
Just think; He's free...

Condolences to his family and strength to continue in peace of mind and in the memories made.
 

l L. (1)
Monday April 8, 2013, 10:28 am
Let me correct these errors.. I call myself proof reading and correcting stuff. So here goes.

"Those ..growing up... behind us need to know.." " If they don't know...****Have trouble seeing somethings.
 

Mary R. (261)
Monday April 8, 2013, 11:12 am
THANKS FOR SHARING THIS. MAY HE RIP.
 

Edwin M. (349)
Monday April 8, 2013, 1:33 pm
RIP, Tom thank you for sharing Sheryl
 

john byrne (53)
Monday April 8, 2013, 3:24 pm

forget R.I.P.TOM HAVE A BLAST YOU MORE THAN ANYONE DESERVE A GREAT HERE AFTER FOR THE INSPIRATION YOU HAVE SPREAD BY YOUR EXAMPLE. DAMN I HOPE I CAN DANCE TO THAT MUSIC WHEN I GET THERE.
 

Barbara K. (74)
Monday April 8, 2013, 3:40 pm
R.I.P. I didn't know you, but can see by the tributes that it was my loss. Keep the music going.
 

Aletta Kraan (146)
Monday April 8, 2013, 5:31 pm
Thank you !!!!!!
 

annie statton (365)
Monday April 8, 2013, 5:42 pm
Thank you.
 

Jude Hand (56)
Monday April 8, 2013, 6:07 pm
Noted and thoroughly enjoyed his life story and the video honouring him. Thanks!
 

Mary T. (185)
Monday April 8, 2013, 7:59 pm
Rest in Peace Tom, Thanks Dandelion.
 

Deborah B. (54)
Monday April 8, 2013, 9:13 pm
RIP, Tom. Thank you, Sheryl, for sharing his story with us.
 

Judy C. (102)
Monday April 8, 2013, 11:38 pm
Thanks for posting this tribute for this man of humble beginnings, who deserves to be heard and known. Goodbye to a one of a kind performer. R.I.P., Stompin' Tom.
 

Mariette G. (157)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 3:00 am
Noted. Thanks for sharing Sheryl! Great song!
 

Abdessalam Diab (147)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 7:11 am
R.I.P great singer. You have and will continue to draw a smile on many faces every time we listen to to your immortal songs.
 

Petra M. (259)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 3:42 pm
Thank you, Dandelion for sharing; I like it :-)
 

Carol Dreeszen (359)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 5:45 pm
Never heard of him! May he RIP! Thanks Sheryl!!
 

Franco Di Palma (374)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 7:43 pm
Thank you......
 

lee e. (114)
Saturday April 13, 2013, 12:57 pm
thanks -- such an extraordinary life!
 

Caitlin Mac Iver (103)
Sunday April 14, 2013, 8:07 am
Another interesting find and education from Dandelion. I was born on the Canadian border (in the USA); my grandmother was Canadian; and yet, I'd never heard of Stompin' Tom. What a shame it is that we don't know nearly as much about Canada as they do about us. The US is so ego-centric, I think, that we don't realize what we're missing. Stompin' Tom represents just one aspect of what we don't know. It's time we recognize that Canada is just as much "the greatest county in the world" as the US may be. Isn't it a shame that this is a statement he may have felt would be ridiculed, so that he said it in a letter he wanted hidden until after his death? But, then again, his music was making that statement all his life, wasn't it. So he didn't keep that secret at all. RIP Stompin' Tom and may your family be ever proud of you.
 
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