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Stompin’ Tom Connors: “The Hockey Song” and “Bud the Spud”


Canadian folks singer Stompin’ Tom Connors — who died March 6 at age 77 — recorded an amazing 61 albums. Ten of them have not even been released.

Here is part of the bio at his website:

Born Thomas Charles Connors in Saint John New Brunswick on February 9th 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 in spite of 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 continued to express to this day. In 1989 Tom signed with EMI Music Canada, teamed up with talent promoter Brian Edwards and returned to the stage where fans young and old embraced his music once again as he quickly became one of the biggest concert draws and sought after performers in the country.

Due to the 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 own Canadian postage stamp, he 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 3 honorary doctorate degrees (Saint Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick; “Laws”, University of Toronto; “Laws”, and the University of P.E.I.; “Letters”). (Continue Reading…)

The Toronto Star has a nice obit. This is how it starts:

Stompin’ Tom Connors, the lanky, cranky country-folk music legend who extolled Canada’s pastoral and working-class virtues in song for more than 40 years in saloons, festivals and concert halls across the country — all the time railing against a global music industry that he considered had betrayed the nation’s character and song treasury — has died. He was 77. (Continue Reading…)

Connors fought the influence of the American music industry. This brings up one of the great lines ever, which is credited to Mexican president José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori: “Pity poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States!”

Connors wrote and performed The Hockey Song (above, sung at the 1993 celebration following The Montreal Canadians, Stanley Cup win). It is to hockey what Take Me Out to the Ball Game is to baseball. Below is Bud the Spud.

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Reading Music

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Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.