Inco Nickel Miners – Sudbury Saturday Night
Charles Thomas “Stompin’ Tom” Connors, OC (born February 9, 1936) is one of Canada’s most prolific and well-known country and folk singers. Focusing his career exclusively on his native Canada, Connors is credited with writing more than 300 songs and has released four dozen albums, with total sales of nearly 4 million copies.
Elliot Lake Uranium Miners – Dam Good Song For A Miner
He was born Charles Thomas Connors (known as Tommy Messer) in Saint John, New Brunswick to the teenaged Isabel Connors and her boyfriend Thomas Sullivan. He was a cousin of New Brunswick fiddling sensation, Ned Landry. He spent a short time living with his mother in a low-security women’s penitentiary before he was seized by Children’s Aid Society and was later adopted by the Aylward family in Skinners Pond, Prince Edward Island.
At the age of 15 he left his adoptive family to hitchhike across Canada, a journey that consumed the next 13 years of his life as he travelled between various part-time jobs while writing songs on his guitar. At his last stop in Timmins, Ontario, which may also have been his big “break”, he found himself a nickel short of a beer at the city’s Maple Leaf Hotel. The bartender, Gaet Lepine, agreed to give Tom a beer if he would play a few songs. These few songs turned into a 13-month contract to play at the hotel, a weekly spot on the CKGB radio station in Timmins, eight 45-RPM recordings, and the end of the beginning for Tom Connors.
Timmins Gold Miners – Fire in the Mine
During the mid-1970s, Connors wrote and recorded “The Consumer”, an ode to bill-paying that became the theme song for the popular Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) consumer affairs program, Marketplace. For the first few seasons, Connors appeared in the opening credits of the program, before “The Consumer” was replaced as the theme — initially by an instrumental background version and ultimately by another piece of music entirely.
In 1974 Tom had a mini-series running on CBC Television in which he met and exchanged with folks from all across Canada. The series called “Stompin Tom’s Canada” was co-produced with the help of CBC and ran for 26 episodes of 30 minutes each.
Typically writing about Canadian lore and history, some of Connors’ better-known songs include “Bud the Spud”, “Big Joe Mufferaw”, “The Black Donnellys”, “The Martin Hartwell Story”, “Reesor Crossing Tragedy”, “Sudbury Saturday Night” and “The Hockey Song” (also called “The Good Old Hockey Game”); the last is frequently played over sound systems at National Hockey League (NHL) games.
Interestingly, Tom has never lost touch with Gaet Lepine, the bartender he befriended in Timmins. In fact, over the years, the two have co-written many songs together. These songs are featured in Stompin’ Tom’s 250 Songs songbook.
The song that Tom wrote the fastest was Maritime Waltz; time, 12 minutes.
Timmins – Birth of the Texas Gulf Mine
Connors’ habit of stomping the heel of his left boot to keep rhythm earned him the nickname “that stompin’ guy”, or “Stomper”. It wasn’t until Canada’s 100th birthday, July 1, 1967, that the name Stompin’ Tom Connors was first used, when Boyd MacDonald, a waiter at the King George Tavern in Peterborough, Ontario introduced Tom on stage. Based on an enthused audience reaction to it, Tom had it officially registered in Ontario as Stompin’ Tom Ltd. the following week. Various stories have circulated about the origin of the foot stomping, but it’s generally accepted that he did this to keep a strong tempo for his guitar playing — especially in the noisy bars and beer joints where he frequently performed.
Coal Boat Song
After numerous complaints about damaged stage floors, Tom began to carry a piece of plywood that he stomped even more vigorously than before. The “stompin’ ” board has since become one of his trademarks. After stomping a hole in the wood, he would pick it up and show it to the audience (accompanied by a joke about the quality of the local lumber) before calling for a new one. It was reported that when asked about his “stompin’ board”, Tom replied, “it’s just a stage I’m going through”. Stompin’ Tom periodically auctions off his “stompin’ boards” for charity with the latest board selling for $15,000.
For the rest of this profile, please go to the Wiki website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stompin’_Tom_Connors