Happy Birthday, Stompin’ Tom!

If Charles Thomas Connors had been a nickel richer in the 1960s, the world may have never come to know Stompin’ Tom.

After spending 13 years hitchhiking and working odd jobs across Canada, the 28-year-old Connors found himself a nickel short of his beer tab at the Maple Leaf Hotel in Timmins, Ont. The kind-hearted bartender, Gaet Lepine, agreed to let him off the hook if he’d play a few of the songs he’d been writing while on the road. That moment kick-started a career that has since spanned 5 decades and produced such classically Canadian tunes as “The Hockey Song,” “Big Joe Mufferaw,” and “Sudbury Saturday Night.”

Today marks Connors’ 76th birthday, and Zoomer couldn’t be happier that one of Canada’s proudest patrons is still “stompin’” the stage as hard as ever.