HONOURING STOMPIN’ TOM
Walk of Fame inductee
The son of Stompin’ Tom Connors thinks his dad, who famously returned his six Juno Awards in 1978 because he felt too many “border jumpers” were being honoured, would be okay with his Canada’s Walk of Fame induction this year.
The black hat-wearing country rebel, who died in 2013 at the age of 77, was about as patriotic as they come in this country delivering such classics as The Hockey Song and Sudbury Saturday Night while stomping his foot on trademark piece of plywood.
“Tom would be the first one to tell you that he doesn’t need to be honoured by everybody all the time,” said Tom Connors Jr., 41, now president of Stompin’ Tom Ltd., after starting as one of his dad’s roadies at the age of 14 in 1990.
“He’s had his own problems with awards systems and fighting for Canada to be No. 1 in the people’s hearts that are getting these awards. I mean that’s well documented at the Junos. But this one, we feel, it’s a good group of inductees this year. Tom had a lot of respect for (fellow 2017 inductee) David (Suzuki) and the things that David accomplished and the patriotism that he had for his own country. It’s a good year being Canada’s 150 (anniversary) and some new things have happened with the opening of the Stompin’ Tom Centre in P.E.I. and the fact that Ole Entertainment have now brought Tom to them (as music distributor), so I figured, ‘Well, if the Walk Of Fame would like to have Stompin’ Tom involved to make it all that more Canadian, then we have no problem giving them the opportunity to do that.’ ”
This year’s CWOF induction takes place Wednesday night (Nov. 15) at a ceremony at Liberty Grand and will be broadcast as an hour-long special (Global, Dec. 3, 8 p.m. ET/PT) hosted by Emmy-winning actor Eric McCormack,
We caught up with Connors Jr. recently on the phone.
Q. Will someone be performing one of Stompin’ Tom’s songs at the CWOF event?
A. I’m told there will be a tribute sung. I’ve made some requests on who it will be. I don’t know the final answer yet.
Q. Who will be representing your family at the CWOF ceremony?
A. (My mother and Stompin’ Tom’s wife) Lena will be with me and my (older, half ) brother Taw, who’s decided to now go out and start singing some of our father’s songs in a tribute show around Ontario. So he’ll be making the 20-hour drive from Nakina, Ont. (a little bush town north of Geraldton), to come with us and my wife Jessica and my son Thomas who’s four now and perhaps maybe one more family member. I’ll probably give a short little two or three minute speech maybe to thank everybody.
Q. How many siblings do you have?
A. I have another (half ) sister, Karma, from Tom that lives in Stoney Creek and my mother has a daughter, Trudy, in Calgary as well. And I had another (half ) sister Carol, who passed away recently.
Q. How are you and your mom Lena doing since Stompin’ Tom passed?
A. I guess our character was strengthened over the years just as a by-product of him being such a strong individual. So I guess we’re just an example of we’re capable of moving on and not getting too caught up in the emotional aspect of things because we still have important things to accomplish with Stompin’ Tom.
Q. Like what?
A. Some vinyl. It’s quite popular again. The Hockey
Song LP and maybe an LP of the new compilation (Ole) did (this past summer) and a few other things. I started an unreleased-songs-from-thevault series when we were (previously) with Universal of the 120 songs that he recorded before he passed away. I’ve kind of put together a 15-year plan to get that stuff out.
Stompin’ Tom Sr., left, and Stompin’ Tom Jr. Right, Stompin’ Tom will be inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame Nov. 15.