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Canadian country legend Tom Connors passes away

Canadian country legend Tom Connors passes away

THE Canadian country-folk singer Tom Connors has passed away at the age of 77.

Known as Stompin’ Tom, because of his habit of marking time with his left foot during performances, Mr. Connors wrote songs which reflected his great love of Canada. Indeed, he remained so loyal to his home country throughout his long career that he refused to be lured to the much larger country music scene in the United States.

He had spent long periods of his early life hitch-hiking around the country. His mother had been unmarried and he was eventually adopted when he was aged around 8, but four years later he ran away and began his wanderings. 

During his travels, Mr. Connors picked up casual work in the towns he passed through. He acquired his first guitar when he was 14 and was soon living the life of the traveling troubadour.

According to legend, Stompin’ Tom’s big breakthrough came in 1964 when he was 28. Short of the price of a beer at a hotel in Timmins, Ontario, the barman suggested he play a few songs in earn the drink. He ended up being offered a regular singing spot at the hotel which in turn resulted in him being offered the chance to record songs at the local radio station.

During his career he wrote more than 300 songs and sold almost four million albums. Among his hits were Bud The Spud (see below), The Hockey Song and Tillsonburg (see below).

In 1996 he was awarded the Order of Canada. He also has his image featured on a postage stamp.

The Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, led tributes to the singer. He tweeted: “We have lost a true Canadian original. R.I.P. Stompin’ Tom Connors, You played the best game that could be played”.

Mr. Connors is survived by his wife Lena and his two sons and two daughters.

To see Tom Connors singing Bud The Spud, click here.

To see Tom Connors singing Tillsonburg, click here.

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