News

Rockabilly Time on Roy’s Record Room

Yep. There’s good rockin’ in the record room this week as Roy spins a mess of rockabilly 45s and 78s. You’ll shake, rattle, and roll to the sounds of Bob & Lucille aka the Canadian Sweethearts, Ray Harris, Robert Gordon with Link Wray, Buddy Burke & the Canadian Meteors, Wanda Jackson, the Renowns with Marjorie Lake, Johnny Carroll & His Hot Rocks, Andy Starr, and more.

The spin begins this coming Sunday, March 3rd, 2 PM, Mountain, on donor supported CKUA Radio. See if you can sit still as you tune in to Rockabilly Time on Rooooy’s Record Room, the show that revolves, rocks, and reveals.

The spin begins this coming Sunday, February 25th, 2 PM, Mountain, on donor supported CKUA Radio. Dial in to hear some Black Musical Pioneers at 78 rpm on Rooooy’s Record Room, the show that revolves and reveals.

Listen Live! Or, this episode of RRR will be available ‘on demand’ for seven days after the first broadcast –  ondemand.ckua.com.

Roy Receives Honorary Doctorate of Letters from UBC

Congratulations, Roy!
On Wednesday, May 31st, 2023, Canadian musician/singer/songwriter/broadcaster, Roy Forbes, was given an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of British Columbia. This honorary degree is bestowed upon individuals who, in the opinion of the UBC community, fit the criteria of excellence and eminence in their chosen field.
In his acceptance speech, Roy quoted (and sang) from the works of John Lee Hooker, Carl Perkins (via Elvis Presley), Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Bill Henderson.
Marvelling at this ‘unexpected honour’, Roy thanked his family and those who have worked with him over the past fifty-plus years. He also said a few words about continuing to believe in the mystery and magic of the creative act.
At the conclusion of Roy’s speech, UBC President, Deborah Buszard had this to say: “What an amazing character. What an amazing voice”.
If you want to check out Roy’s part of the UBC Grad ceremony, click on the video link below.
Roy is introduced around the thirty-five-minute mark . His acceptance speech begins around the forty-minute mark.

Roy Performs ‘Thistles’ Live, In Its Entirety

Today’s Vancouver Island MusicFest 2023 Performer Announcement features a very special feature, put together just for us, Classic Albums – Roy Forbes performs the BIM Thistles album!

There are records that stay with you for a lifetime. You likely listened to them so much when they came out, you can still play them in your head and just maybe, even name the songs in the order they appeared on sweet vinyl.

Iconic Canadian folk-rock performer Roy Forbes (used to be known as BIM way back then) has a couple of albums from those days that fans of the 70s singer-songwriter days can relate to that way and his Thistles album is certainly one of them.

It comes from the days when James Taylor, Joni, Carole King, Gordon Lightfoot, John Prine, Neil Young and other singer-songwriters were part of th musical fabric of the day. These albums really defied genre definition, and because of that, “singer-songwriter” became a thing. It was also a time when performers really started to play their own music and that was ok. Actually, it was great!

Thistles was recorded at the Annex Studio in California in 1977/78 and was produced by Emitt Rhodes and featured a young David Foster on Keys and legendary drummer Jeff Porcaro amongst other great musicians.The album also featured the beautiful guitar work of Roy Forbes aka BIM. Considering Roy grew up in Dawson Creek long before it was easy to learn guitar off the internet or through instructional videos, its astounding he came up with some of the great guitar work he created.

MusicFest’s musical curator, Doug Cox, approached his old friend Roy and asked him if he would consider revisiting the Thistles album for a special concert bowl performance. In Doug’s words, “Roy Forbes performances are an important part of the history of pretty well every Folk Festival in Canada. He was one of our founding performers and he helped blaze the trail for so many of us. I can’t remember how many times I saw him on workshop stages at Canadian festivals and when he opened his mouth and started singing, all the other performers would just stop in their tracks, wide mouthed and in awe of this great writer and guitarist with the killer voice! You don’t see that happen very often.”

In Roy’s words, “Doug Cox is a very persuasive fellow. When he approached me last year about revisiting my 1978 Thistles LP at the 2023 Musicfest, I wasn’t quite sure. I love being a part of this treasured event but prefer to look forward, not back. However, as our chat continued, I began to see that it would actually be very cool to dive into that batch of songs from the Bim’ days. So, I’ll be there, with an excellent band in tow, to play the complete “Thistles” record, front-to-back. Honestly, I’m getting kind of excited. I haven’t performed some of these numbers since the early 80s. And, Doug has assured me that there will be several opportunities for me to share my newer work throughout the weekend. Thanks for this, Doug. Great idea. It’s gonna be a blast!”

Hopefully you didn’t miss the opportunity to revisit one of Canada’s great albums with the man who created it.

Visit www.islandmusicfest.com for more info.

Roy Gets Covered

A two-hour special on CKCU’s ‘Canadian Spaces’

A while back, Roy was chatting with Chris White, host of the long-running folk show, Canadian Spaces (CKCU, Ottawa). They talked about playing a few recordings of Roy’s songs by other artists on the show. It turns out there have been quite a few over the years. By the end of the call, after putting together a tentative playlist, they decided to do a two-hour special on the subject.

So, on Saturday, April 2nd, 10am to noon ET, tune in to Canadian Spaces for a listen to some outstanding interpretations of Roy’s songs from the likes of Hart Rouge, Susan Jacks, Matt Minglewood, Sylvia Tyson, Garnet Rogers, Shari Ulrich, Valdy, Tony Trischka & Skyline, the Great Western Orchestra (with Cindy Church), Laurie Lewis, Tracey Brown, Heather Bishop, Suzie Vinnick,  Shaye Zadravec, Jef Leeson and Shawn Colvin.

Throughout the program, which spans the years 1975 to 2021, Roy reacts to the performances and tells a few stories along the way.

This show is also available ‘on demand’ on the CKCU site.
https://cod.ckcufm.com/programs/129/55796.html

CFMA Nomination for Producer of the Year

Roy got an early Christmas present this year…a Canadian Folk Music Awards nomination for Producer of the Year for his new album ‘Edge of Blue’. Since 1985, Roy has produced or co-produced all of his own albums as well as records by other artists. He is tickled to get the nod for this area of his work from the CFMA ‘Producer of the Year’ jury.

The awards will be held virtually on April 9th and 10th, 2021. Find out more here: folkawards.ca

AMI TV Documentary on Roy

Back in August, 2019, AMI TV’s Rob Simpson and Tim Testor came to Vancouver to spend a few days hanging out with Roy, gathering material for a documentary on the singer.

Roy’s episode of “Rhythms” features quite a bit of footage of his mid-August outdoor Vancouver CBC Nooner concert along with an extensive interview. They even got in a visit to a record store!

Go HERE to view it online.

‘Straight Outta Dawson’ on CBC-TV

Roy performed for the first time with opera singer Ben Heppner and soul singer Tonye as part of CBC Music’s special show ‘Straight Outta Dawson’. “There is no Dawson Creek sound,” said Forbes. “The three of us are very different. But the fact that [Dawson Creek] had a little something to do with all three of us is pretty interesting. There’s more stuff going up there as well that people don’t know about.”

You can read more about the show HERE. It aired on September 23rd, 2017.

BC Entertainment Hall of Fame Induction

On July 28, 2017 The BC Entertainment Hall of Fame (BCEHOF) announced its 2017 BCEHOF inductees. These seven new Star Walk Stars and two Pioneer Stars will join the 275+ previous inductees who have been recognized for their significant contribution to the province’s entertainment industry and cultural landscape.

The BCEHOF is divided into two prestigious categories: Star Walk and Pioneers. The Star Walk inductees are individuals who have enhanced the province’s cultural profile, both locally and on the world stage. The 2017 Star Walk inductees included Roy in the music category.

Roy was formally inducted at his old stomping grounds the CBC, at his Musical Nooner concert there on August 24th. His fans and friends joined in on the celebration.

Roy’s star was unveiled on the Walk of Fame on Granville Street near the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Vancouver. The ceremony will take place on Monday, September 25 at 3pm.

Read the entire press release HERE.

Check out Roy’s Facebook page for some photos of the occasion.

A Live Performance on Roundhouse Radio

Roy performed Mince Meat Tart on a special Christmas edition of Live from Railtown with Terry David Mulligan. Watch The YouTube video as Roy is joined by Sheri Ulrich, Shaun Verreault, Barney Bentall and Craig Northey for a very special performance of Mince Meat Tart. Terry even joins in with all the fun!

Check it out HERE.

A Message from Roy – My Next Chapter

Hey, all. Some of you already know, but for those who don’t, I have some hard news to share. After an accident on December 22, 2015, I have lost the vision in my only eye.The last seven months have been a series of surgeries and visits to the Eye Care Centre in Vancouver where my doctors made a valiant effort to save my sight. My heartfelt thanks to them for their wonderful care and kindness. As well, Lydia and I would like to thank family and friends who have kept us surrounded by love and support through

Despite this setback I have not been idle. With the help of my daughter, Suzannah, I continue to keep my CKUA radio show “Roy’s Record Room” on the go (big thanks, Suz). And now, armed with a couple of new songs, I am ready to hit the stage again. I look forward to being on the road again very soon! Please come by after a show to say hi.

– Roy

An Article About the Return to Dawson Creek

Here’s an interesting article from the Alaska Highway News leading up to Roy’s 2015 concert in Dawson Creek.

Roy Forbes returns to the Peace Region this weekend

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

It doesn’t take much for Roy Forbes to launch into stories about home.

The Rolla-born musician, who plays Dawson Creek Saturday, brims with tales of the early days of rock n’ roll in the Northeast.

On the phone from North Vancouver Wednesday, he recalls practice sessions in a Pouce Coupe shack and a late-night trip down the Alaska Highway after a show in Fort St. John in the dead of winter.

“We had two guys in the bed [of a truck] with quilts over the equipment,” he said.

Forbes left for Vancouver at 18 and went on to become one of the region’s best-known cultural exports — a frequent performer at folk festivals and rock clubs, as well as a radio presenter.

On Feb. 14, he plays the Calvin Kruk Centre in what organizers hope will be the first of a regular concert series.

Since his first album 1975, Dawson Creek has featured prominently in both Forbes’  music and his story.

“It’s certainly more interesting to talk about that growing up in the suburbs, I think,” he said of his upbringing.

Continue reading

Roy Co-Produces ‘They Tried to Rock’ Compilation Series for Bear Family Records

Roy has joined mutually musically-minded pals Hank Davis and Scott Parker in co-producing "They Tried To Rock" - a four-part compilation series for the esteemed reissue label, Bear Family. The premise of the series is - how did pop and country stars react and try to survive as the rock 'n' roll tsunami swept through the music industry in the mid-nineteen-fifties?

Check the links to see cover art, descriptive notes and track listings for "TTTR - The Hillbillies", Volume 1 and Volume 2, the first two instalments in the four-part series.

Hank, Scott and Roy are currently hard at work, compiling the next two discs in the batch, "TTTR - The Popsters", aiming for a 2015 release.

Roy has contributed to Bear Family releases in the past. He provided transfers from one of his rare 78s for Canadian country singer Bob King's recent BF reissue album, Rockin' The Jukebox

He co-compiled the BF Smoke That Cigarette disc back in 2009.

He also assisted with the transfers of rare 78s, 45s and acetates for the BF Real Gone Aragon compilation, released in 2003.