RPM Magazine, April 22, 1978

When Tom C. Connors withdrew his name from the Juno nominations in the field of Male Country Vocalist, various reports began to circulate the industry as to why he had chosen to do so. Mr. Connors contacted RPM by Telex two days prior to the Juno presentations, in order to make clear the reasons far his action.

One of the first reasons given for Connor's withdrawal was an attempt on his part to "step aside" in order to give an up-and-coming artist a chance at the nomination. Connors stated that while this was a contributing factor to his ultimate decision, it was not the key reason for his withdrawal. Rather, it was his total disagreement with the qualifications set by CARAS for possible nominees that prompted his action. "Time after time, we see people being nominated for certain categories that are in no way associated with those categories. In my own field of music, I have seen people nominated in the country category after having told the press that they were pop, not country, artists. Then when they won and the time came for them to collect their award, they cheerfully went up to accept, forgetting the stand they had previously taken with regard 'to the country field." Connors added that artists should be nominated in the field in which they feel their music lies: country artists in the country areas, pop artists in their respective categories. Connors also feels that if record company execs nominate an artist in a category in which he feels he doesn't belong, then it should be the responsibility of that artist to withdraw.

Another point which Connors raised as a reason for his disagreement with nomination qualifications, is the fact, that each year, several Canadian who reside and conduct most of their business in the States are nominated for Juno's here in Canada. Connors, who referred to these particular artists as "turncoat Canadians", feels that in view of the fact that they have chosen to live and work in the U.S., it is only fair that they compete with Americans for Grammy Awards, and leave the Juno competition to those who are living and conducting business in Canada. "it has taken a long time to develop the Canadian music industry to the level that it is at today," he said. "These people were not here participating when all the fighting was going on, so why should they be allowed to return and reap the benefits. They should be allowed to compete only if they decide to return and take up residence in Canada."

"I will not allow my name to stand up for Juno nomination in the future until the regulations concerning the above mentioned points are changed."

     I am returning herewith the six Juno awards that I once felt honored to have received and which, I am no longer proud to have in my possession. As far as I am concerned you can give them to the border jumpers who didn't receive an award this year and maybe you can have them presented by Charley Pride.
     I feel that the Juno's should be for people who are living in Canada, whose main base of business operations is in Canada, who are working toward the recognition of Canadian talent in this country and who are trying to further the export of such talent from this country to the world with a view to proudly showing off what this country can contribute to the world market.
     Until the academy appears to comply more closely with aspirations of this kind, I will no longer stand for any nominations, nor will I accept any award given.

Yours very truly,
Stompin' Tom Connors

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