Peterborough, ON (March 6, 2013) Today, Canada lost one of its’ true musical icons with the passing of Stompin’ Tom Connors O.C., LL.D., Litt.D. Connors died of natural causes at his home in Ontario. He was 77 years of age.
Stompin’ Tom put Canada on the map with such songs as “The Hockey Song,” “Sudbury Saturday Night,” “Bud The Spud,” “Tillsonburg,” “Big Joe Mufferaw,” and countless others.
Born Thomas Charles Connors in Saint John, New Brunswick, on February 9, 1936, he was separated from his mother at a young age and raised by foster parents in Skinners Pond, P.E.I., until he was 13 years old. His life of poverty, orphanages, hitchhiking and playing bars would eventually turn into a life of hit songs, national concert tours and fame despite a constant uphill battle to be recognized by the music industry in Canada.
In 1979 in a fit of frustration and disappointment, he returned all 6 of his Juno awards as a statement of personal protest against the Americanization of the Canadian Music Industry, a sentiment he continues to express to this day. In 1989 Tom Connors signed with E.M.I. Music Canada teamed up with talent promoter Brian Edwards. It returned to the stage where young and old fans embraced his music once again as he quickly became one of the country’s biggest concert draws and sought-after performers.
Due to their unwavering love for promoting his home country, some of the many accolades he has received include becoming an Officer of the Order of Canada, his Canadian postage stamp, was invited by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson to receive the Governor Generals Performing Arts Award, he was the recipient of both the Queens Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals, and he earned three honorary doctorate degrees (Saint Thomas University in Saint John New Brunswick; “Laws,” the University of Toronto; “Laws,” and the University of P.E.I.; “Letters”).
He now has an astounding 61 recorded albums, 10 of which have yet to be released to the public. Tom Connors songs will continue to be made available worldwide and remain a legacy to his career, life and beloved country.
Tom is survived by his wife, Lena, two sons, two daughters and several grandchildren.
The Celebration of Tom’s life is planned for Wednesday, March 13, in Peterborough, ON, at 7 pm at the Peterborough Memorial Centre and, per his request, will be open to the public.
Instead of flowers, the Connors family has asked that donations be made to your local food bank or homeless shelters in memory of Stompin’ Tom.
For further information, contact Brian Edwards, Rocklands Entertainment 705-743-7354.