Stompin’ Tom Connors
[February 9th 1936 ~ March 6, 2013]
There’s a sadness across this great land, a melancholy that transcends all of our differences as Canada mourns Stompin’ Tom Connors, the man who united Canada with his music in a way that no one else has ever done.
[reprinted from my “Visual Laurel” Tumblog]
With his signature piece of plywood (necessary to keep the stage in the small venues intact under the force of his stomping), consummate entertainer, Stompin’ Tom Connors played his way back and forth across Canada, learning our stories and fashioning them into music, like a troubador of old.
An Indie musician, a singer/songwriter, Tom self published his own music the hard way, long before there was an Internet to make such things relatively easy. He made himself into a superstar, one record sale at a time.
Stompin’ Tom Connors breathed new life into Canadian culture. He opened our eyes to the history and commonalities of this great nation, entertaining and educating us with his wit and wonder. He resurrected folk legends like (my personal favorite) Big Joe Mufferaw and shared our stories from Sudbury Saturday Night to the Black Donnelly’s Massacre and The Hockey Song.
He wrote this last letter to his fans, shared on his website:
“I want all my fans, past, present, or future, to know that without you, there would have not been any Stompin’ Tom.
“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.
“I must now pass the torch, to all of you, to help keep the Maple Leaf flying high, and be the Patriot Canada needs now and in the future.
“I humbly thank you all, one last time, for allowing me in your homes, I hope I continue to bring a little bit of cheer into your lives from the work I have done.
“Your Friend always,
“Stompin’ Tom Connors”
Rest in Peace, Stompin’ Tom Connors
February 9th 1936 ~ March 6, 2013