After 25 years at CJAY 92, Gerry Forbes is hanging it up…
by Marty Forbes
February 15, 2018
Defining a successful career….Forbes style.
Double that if you HAVE your Fathers actual name and you think that the Jerry Forbes Centre for Community Spirit is named after ‘you’ – but they just spelled it wrong.
Brother Ger is hanging up his headphones at CJAY in Calgary shortly – after about four decades of success at some ‘legendary’ radio stations across Canada working with ‘nothing but great people’.
Being a Morning Man is one of the toughest gigs in the world.
Insane hours. Pressure to get up at an ungodly hour and entertain and inform your listeners – often at minus 30; or after a long night out; and to make sure you are fully prepared (every day) with the craziness of the world factored in to your prep.
As well “serving the community” isn’t a cliche to anybody in the Forbes Family.
Our Father started a great radio station and an even greater charity in the mid 1950’s that are so powerful that this year, 37 years after he passed, a building is being named for him in Edmonton.
How’s that for ‘pressure to perform?’
Ger got it. Early in life. Growing up listening to 630 CHED and 1050 CHUM…with a goal to be as good as or better than some of the finest broadcasters “in the world.”
It’s a long list but he will tell you – among them – Wes Montgomery, Bob McCord, Jungle Jay Nelson, Norm Edwards, and to be humbled…’his brothers.’
There isn’t enough room here to list Ger’s accomplishments.
The WAB |Hall of Fame; the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee for Community Service; and even in a fun way I believe he holds the record for the most CBSC ‘complaints’ ever for a broadcaster – which, when you’re in rock radio, is truly a badge of honour if you’re doing your show properly.
But above all – day one – and on his last day – I’m pretty sure that Gerry will tell you his absolute greatest accomplishment is what he did to pay his success forward with community service.
For some in the media that means the odd mc gig – or hosting an event.
For Gerry it means day after day giving his entire focus to helping out in the city that treats him so well.
If we could go back and count the actual CASH that has been raised through his charity work it truly would be immeasurable.
Big cheques to big projects – but even more meaningful little checks or little gestures to help somebody out.
I know of many many times when Ger quietly visited a home to help somebody out who was ‘challenged’ with a problem.
It could be a stolen bike. It could be helping out a blind kid. It could even mean helping out another employee of the radio station and Ger somehow magically made something good happen for those people.
I’m not going to dwell any further at this point – as I hope to write a tribute to him for one of his (likely) many retirement gatherings and I’ll post that.
Ger, I’ve been proud of you from the very first day you headed out to CHNL Kamloops to start your career – and even though you had to steal the stations toilet paper to survive those first few years – your move to CHUM, CFTR, CHQR, CHFM, the The Bear and eventually CJAY – all help to define an amazing career at the biggest and best companies in Canada.
I simply can’t tell you how much I respect you.
The Forbes boys got their start by hanging around Dad’s “Family” room – the fireplace going with real logs; a hefty glass of Cutty Sark scotch on the table; Dad’s legendary aromatic pipe smell – and a few words of advice that the three of us have never ever forgotten….
Worked for him. Worked for us.
Thanks for making me laugh all those years too Ger. We paid the price often for people who didn’t understand our unique relationship working together – and many of those folks have fallen by the wayside with their careers – but I can safely tell people that even after 40 plus years in the business that you and I still text other daily – OFTEN – and ALWAYS about one thing.
(OK there was the ODD time we may have crapped all over the other guys favorite sports team – but just the odd time eh)
We were so damn blessed by Dad and by being in a business that truly rewarded all three of us with wonderful careers, families, and ‘true’ friends…. and all three of us enjoyed success in entirely different areas of the business. Not many other radio families that I know can say that!
We were also blessed by a Mother, and Step Father that were behind the three of us boys all the way too – never under estimate how much of a huge influence they were on your career – many many times we needed them to prop us up during those down times.
Now bro…sleep in…you deserve it!
Calgary’s losing a gem.
CTV News Story from Calgary this morning…
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