Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stomping Tom

Life on the road with Stompin' Tom Connors | Sep 23rd 2009

Life on the road with Stompin' Tom Connors

• Born to an unwed teenage mother in New Brunswick in 1936, Stompin' Tom Connors spent most of his childhood with a foster family in Prince Edward Island. Unwilling to pick potatoes for a living, as he says in this 1970 clip, he left at age 15 to make his own way.

• For 13 years Connors was an itinerant worker, hitching his way across the country with his guitar and writing songs about the people and places he encountered. His nickname, Stompin' Tom, was bestowed on him by a waiter introducing him onstage in Peterborough, Ont. in 1967.

• Connors and his bride, Lena Welsh, were married in November 1973 in a live broadcast of CBC-TV's Luncheon Date. After the ceremony, Connors explained that he chose the live setting as a way for the fans who gave him so much to participate in a special moment in his life.

• The song that almost got Connors thrashed in Kapuskasing was The Reesor Crossing Tragedy, his account of a 1963 labour dispute that led to the deaths of three people.

• Connors became an officer of the Order of Canada in 1996 and has received several honorary university degrees. In 2009 he was one of four subjects in a Canada Post stamp series paying tribute to Canadian musicians.

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