Brian Forst

Brian Forst second from right

Born September 6, 1938  

Bulletin from the NW newsroom 8:30am May 20/05

"Frosty has left the building"

Brian Forst has retired from radio after 42 years at CKNW    

Brian Forst top left

Brian Forst was raised in Vancouver’s Kerrisdale area near the boulevard, Forst graduated from Magee High School in 1955. Brian is part of a well known, respected and connected family. The Forst business was furniture/appliances and the company had several locations around the lower mainland. Forst Stores had sponsored the noon news on the hill-billy station in New Westminster for many years.   Brian says: "Forst's Furniture" (try saying Forst's on sixth street. which is where their New West store was) sponsored the noon news...father brought the commercial copy home to look at, a friend and I saw this copy paper from NW and were impressed...we'd take it, sit on the floor in front of the radio with our Seabreeze tape recorder and read these commercials between songs on the DJs...then started ripping commercial copy out of the paper as well to add to our "client base".  Dad suggested I might like to go into NW or talk with Hal Davis, PD, about radio...and I got him to agree to let me come in weekends for $35.  After a while he "corused" me and had no more money...I asked if I could continue to come in anyway and he agreed.  He also got John Ansell to take me into UBCs radsoc 10 session radio course that was older university types once a week in the basement of the Georgia Hotel...upon graduating that John talked with Tiny Elphicke, his boss and CKWX GM, into talking with his brother Cecil who ran CKPG in Prince George. who had an opening for me there.  John had given them a good review.  I then took Red's vacated job at 'OR, hired by Vic Waters and Lloyd Hoole.   Hired to do 'OR's all night show...turned it into something by having The Cave artists in after their The Kirby Stone Four, Frankie Laine, Guy Mitchell.  Monty McFarlane would listen to me while he was driving to work at CKLG on the north shore...he recommended me to his boss who hired me onto his ridiculous station.... another bizarre story.  Dave McCormick hired me from there to join the C-FUN Good Guys who eventually knocked off Red and the high-powered American co-horts at WX... When CFUN was up against it - 5 years later as CKLG started to make inroads with the likes of Roy Hennessey, Russ Simpson...we were being offered jobs by a couple of Americans we had met in Hawaii who worked for the Colgreen chain who owned stations around the world.  They were offering McCormick, Fresno...Lord, San Bernardino and me, Honolulu.  K MAK, K MEN and K POI.  Those guys took their father was telling me I'd end up being drafted if I went to Hawaii, (Viet Nam was going on) plus, Hawaii's a nice place to vacation but... plus what happens when rock dies and I'm sitting there.... At the same time, Hal Davis was talking to me about replacing Norm Grohmann who was leaving 'NW...   from Top40 radio: Frosty didn't leave C-FUN until late summer 1964, the exact date I can't say. The last article in the weekly Vancouver Province C-FUN survey credited to Frosty and with his picture was on Aug 29/64. The article makes no mention of him leaving, however on Sept 26/64 Fred Latrimo's column noted "With Frosty Forst hitting the road it'll be my pleasure to host the 4 to 7 p.m. slot for the next while." Brian says:

"DAD" convinced me although they were all really really old and Lester Lanin (orchestra music) would grow on me...that was the prudent thing to do.  Turns out he was right.

Earlier stories

After school he pursued his passion to be in radio by seeking training in a course in broadcasting run by John Ansell of CKWX. Through contacts at the school he was instructed to contact CKPG in north central BC. He arrived in Prince George in 1956 and spent some time training but was chosen as Teen Jock at Vancouver's CJOR a year later. Bruno Cimolai was his co-host. Red Robinson had a lot to do with Brian coming to CJOR to replace him. Forst came back to AM 600 to do news in 1958 but was forced to leave again and he was so disappointed he looked elsewhere for work. That super shy kid took a breather working in a warehouse full of ladies undergarments. Brian says: My first job WAS in underwear and foundation garments at Woodwards. "Dad" thought I'd advance more quickly in an area where men didn't ordinarily work. It didn't last long...I was moved into the Woodwards Service station from which I was also shortly fired.....too much time off searching for my radio job. That frustration led him into the arms of a new North Vancouver station - CKLG in 1959 - which was playing to the older MOR crowd. The first day of the rest of his life was in 1960 when Brian became Frosty and was hired by CFUN. There he combined with Al Jordon, Dave McCormick, Ken Chang and Brian Lord to become the good guys and go 24 hours a day with the music of the young people bringing the local radio market into the modern world. Three years later, a lot of staff had moved on. Brian still listened to his dad who said go to NW - you will not regret it. He was hired by program director Hal Davis in 1963. The rest is history. A million dollar salary contract, top ratings, and 31 years in the chair as morning man at the legend, the top dog - CKNW. It has not been a total bed of roses. Frosty has had a number of wives and girlfriends and sired a second family late in life. There were court cases, law suits and people upset with his comments on the air but the fans were faithful. He was the top morning jock in Canada. No one has touched him for ratings. There were times when I thought about packing it in and moving the family over to Pender Island, says Frosty. But with a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old, it wasn't really the time to drag them over there into my retirement. At the time of those comments in 2002, Frosty was 64. Radio was in his blood for fifty years.  Quite a track record.  

BC Radio History