LYONS BROOK – Dave Gunning knows if Stompin’ Tom Connors was still alive, he’d be proud to hear that the young man who toured with him has a hockey song of his own.
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For his own part, Gunning says it was a bit of a shock to hear as P.J. Stock announced on New Year’s Day that his song has been chosen as the winner of Hockey Night in Canada’s Song Quest.
“I was just totally overwhelmed by it,” Gunning said. “I didn’t think it would win. I thought it would all right,” he said. “Sara (his wife) was jumping up and down, and crying it was pretty powerful here.”
Entered with nearly 1,000 other Canadians, Gunning’s “A Game Goin’ On” made the top 50, next the top 10 before being named the winner during the second intermission of the Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings.
The original idea for this song came from David Francey who asked Gunning to co-write it with him.
For winning the contest he will now produce his song with Joel Plaskett and have it featured in a video montage for an opening sequence of Hockey Night in Canada. He’ll also travel to Lloydminster to perform it during the Stolen from a Hockey Card concert as part of the Hockey Day in Canada festivities on Jan. 16.
The whole experience has been a bit surreal for Gunning who is drawing lots of media attention with his win.
“I haven’t had this much media attention since the Royal Canadian Mint issue,” Gunning said. (Gunning had gained media attention previously when the Canadian Mint tried to charge him for using a picture of the penny on his CD, No More Pennies.)
Having toured with Stompin’ Tom when he was younger, Gunning said, makes this win even more special.
“I feel so fortunate to have toured with Stompin’ Tom and become friends. He has the greatest Canadian hockey song ever,” he said. “He would be so proud right now. He was a big supporter of mine.”
Gunning is thankful too for the support he’s received from across the country and in particular from his faithful fans.
“I can’t express my gratitude enough,” Gunning said. “I just feel like I’m part of something that’s quite big here. This song would never have made it to the top without people pushing it there.”