Beloved Canadian musician Stompin' Tom Connors died Wednesday night at the age of 77 due to natural causes.
Born Thomas Charles Connors in Saint John, New Brunswick, Feb. 9, 1936, Connors gained acclaim for songs such as, "Sudbury Saturday Night," "Bud the Spud," and "Big Joe Mufferaw."
However, his biggest claim to fame is the iconic hockey anthem, "The Hockey Song," which was originally recorded for his 1973 album, Stompin' Tom and The Hockey Song.
Connors' career began when he found himself in need of a nickel to buy a beer at the Maple Leaf Hotel. The bartender, Gaet Lepine, requested that Connors play a few songs in return for the drink. It eventually turned into a 13-month residency at the hotel, a weekly radio spot and eight 45-RPM recordings.
Stompin' Tom loved his country and was inspired by all things Canadian. In 1979, he returned all six of his Juno awards (basically, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy Awards) as a sign of protest against the Americanization of the Canadian music industry.
Connors recorded 61 albums (10 of which have yet to be released) over the course of his career. He is survived by his wife Lena, four children and several grandchildren.