Charles Thomas “Stompin’ Tom” Connors
February 9, 1936 – March 6, 2013
Some of you may have noticed that I am a fan of Canada, so I couldn’t let the passing of a man who dedicated his life to his love of music and all things Canadian go unacknowledged here.Upon his death, Stompin’ Tom Connors wanted this message passed along:
“Hello friends, 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.” Sincerely, Your Friend always, Stompin’ Tom Connors.
Final words from a man who spent his life fighting for respect for this great country of ours. Writing over 300 songs about Canada and the things that make our country unique was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg with this man’s patriotism. In the 1970’s he protested the CRTC and the Junos for their lack of support to Canadian artists and the inclusion of artists who moved to the US and yet still receive an award meant for Canadians. He called these artists turncoats and his protest gained national attention when he returned his six Junos with the following letter to the board of directors.
“Gentlemen:I am returning herewith the six Juno awards that I once felt honoured to have received and which, I am no longer proud to have in my possession. As far as I am concerned you can give them to the border jumpers who didn’t receive an award this year and maybe you can have them presented by Charley Pride. I feel that the Junos should be for people who are living in Canada, whose main base of business operations is in Canada, who are working toward the recognition of Canadian talent in this country and who are trying to further the export of such talent from this country to the world with a view to proudly showing off what this country can contribute to the world market. Until the academy appears to comply more closely with aspirations of this kind, I will no longer stand for any nominations, nor will I accept any award given. Yours very truly, Stompin’ Tom Connors
This is a man who walked the walk, talked the talk and sang the songs. He was so important to our culture that my generation was taught his songs in school. A folk music legend and a great man died today but I hope his memory lives on as more than just the man who wrote the hockey song but as a true loyal Canadian treasure.