Sudbury celebrates Stompin’ Tom – by Ben Leeson (Sudbury Star – October 3, 2016)

Sudburians who came together last month to celebrate an iconic musician and one of his most iconic songs now have their own music video.

Downtown Sudbury, the Townehouse Tavern and local businessman Colin Firth unveiled Sudbury Celebrates Stompin’ Tom at the Townhouse on Saturday night. The video includes a spirited rendition of Sudbury Saturday Night, performed by a boisterous crowd that gathered on Grey Street, near the bronze statue of the late Stompin’ Tom Connors, on Sept. 24.

It also includes commentary from Tannys Laughren, who was a member of the Stompin’ Tom statue committee; Paul Loewenberg, manager at the Townehouse; and Firth, a driving force behind the community event last month. “It was a couple months of getting it all together and we finished up the final video just in the last day or so, and I’m very excited,” Firth said, a few hours before the video’s premiere.

“It’s unprecedented – to the best of my knowledge, this is the first time a community has come together to sing a song that was written about their community. It’s quite fitting, when you consider that Stompin’ Tom really did have a special affiliation with Sudbury.”

Connors was born in Saint John, N.B., but rose to fame while travelling across the country and chronicling Canadiana through his music. He wrote about cities and towns from coast to coast, but Sudbury Saturday Night remains one of his best-known hits, along with Bud the Spud and The Hockey Song.

Connors wrote Sudbury Saturday Night, a portrait of hard-partying hard-rock miners, at the Townehouse in 1965, and first performed in Sudbury in September 1966, around 50 years before the gathering on Grey Street.

“It was often a song he closed off his concerts with,” Firth said. “Interestingly, many people don’t know that at his memorial service, it was the last song he wanted played. Clearly, he had a real special link to Sudbury.

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