Stompin’ Tom may be dead but he’s not forgotten.
Connors' music is getting a reboot as the Stompin’ Tom Connors estate has signed a deal with music rights management company ole to push the brand and the singer’s music to his fans and expand the brand to a new generation.
Ole plans to do this by reissuing his music, boosting his YouTube presence and adding merchandise to the mix.
"Our goals are to bring the Stompin' Tom catalogue to a much wider audience," Andy Curran, general manager of label services and artist recruiting and development with ole tells the CBC.
Connors’ catalogue comprises as many as 300 songs and released four dozen albums containing such Canadian classics as “The Hockey Song,” “Bud the Spud,” “Sudbury Saturday Night” and “Margo's Cargo.”
Curran declined to share what the deal is worth, but said the family is "happy" with the deal.
"To get to the younger generation, it might take a little bit of a rebranding," he said. "At ole, we certainly feel he was much more a Canadian troubadour. Any misconception that he's just a country artist, we're trying to shed that."
Ole CEO Robert Ott points to the fact that the Stompin’ Tom Centre tourist attraction is set to open at Skinner’s Pond PEI on July 1, a date that coincidentally serves as Canada Day with Canada 150 celebrations that are planned across the country.
Ole will be supplying the music and the merchandise, and Ott says we can expect to see a revival of the catalogue and the release of previously unreleased material.
And it doesn't end there. The late curmudgeonly troubadour (he declined and returned six Juno Awards) is getting rebranded with a modern day twist. “We’re already working on ideas to broaden the audience for this great Canadian music legacy," Ott says, adding that his team very much want "to reach new audiences on their own terms" with the campaigns they are cooking up.
No terms of the deal have been released but it’s speculated that the estate’s asset value was in decline following his death in March 2013 and that the family may have had cause for concern about the unlicensed use of Connors’ music, likeness and other IP properties.
Connors' habit of stomping the heel of his left boot to keep rhythm earned him the nickname "that stompin' guy", or "Stomper".
Most of Connors' well-known albums were originally released on Dominion Records (1969–70), and after 1971 on the Boot Records label that he co-founded with Jury Krytiuk and Mark Altman where he released 12 albums and six compilations, including the five-volume sets, Stompin’ Tom Sings 60 Old Time Favourites (1972) and Stompin’ Tom Sings 60 More Old Time Favourites (1976).
He later had considerable success under a licensing deal with Capitol-EMI in Canada, including several gold and platinum selling albums. In March 2007 an In Concert recording was certified as a double-platinum seller, representing album sales of 200,000 or more copies.
Singer, songwriter, guitarist, fiddler Charles Thomas Connors, OC, died 6 March 2013 in Ballinafad, ON. He was 77.
-- Editor's note: This article was revised on March 31.