I have had a web search challenge that I have been working on for over three years! I kid you not. I just broke it this morning and I had to share it with someone.
For the last few years, usually starting around December 1st some of the radio stations in Canada have carried a wonderful one minute story pertaining to Christmas. The same story usually played on or near the same time every hour – with a different story every day.
They are heart warming tales, told by a gentleman with a kind and gentle voice. Unfortunately, for the last year or two, we haven’t been able to find him being broadcast on any of our local stations, including the cable companies 24 hour Christmas music channel.
Of all the people in my family, I think my youngest daughter enjoyed him the most. She’s our Christmas kid. Come December 1st (and sometimes earlier) she lights up our house with joy and laughter and the spirit of Christmas and she enjoyed those special broadcasts even more so than we did.
This is going to be our first Christmas without her (and her without us.) She took a singing contract on one of Holland America’s ships, the Westerdam, which will be in the Caribbean this Christmas. My wife and I both desperately wanted to find this recordings this year, both for her and for us. It would be a way for us to still be together even though we are separated over the Christmas season.
So finding them on the net was either now or never…
We seemed to recalled that the name of gentleman with the velvet voice was something like “Gill Forester”. Every year, we tried what we thought was every combination possible on Google, Amazon and various other music, radio and CD sites and stores. Unfortunately no one had ever heard of anything close to what we were looking for.
We even tried using what we thought was the title of the one minute broadcast “It Feels Like Christmas” or “It Sounds Like Christmas” but to no avail – nothing…
This morning I decided that I would sit at this computer and Google every possible combination again. I tried “Gill Forester” and “Gill Forrester” and then trying it with the first name Gibb (thinking that it sounded somewhat more familiar.) I tried spelling Gibb just with one “b” as well as combining all the above with what we thought were the titles above. Yet I was still stymied…
I then just tried using the last names with all the various combinations that I had tried, including words such as monologue, Christmas, radio broadcast, and others. I actually found several people looking, like me, for his recordings and using various spellings as well. I even found a couple references to stations that “used to play” his recordings (again with different spellings of his first and last name!)
During one of my last Google searches I accidentally mistyped the last name and dropped an “e”, making the name “Forster”. It wasn’t one that I had considered and got a hit on a web site where someone was actually talking about these wonderful recordings by a gentleman named “Gipp Forster”.
So my next search was “Gipp Forster” and “It Feels Like Christmas” and I finally hit paydirt. I found a wonderful website www.capcan.com which carries music by independent Canadian artists. There they had a website dedicated to Gipp Forster’s two CD’s and a book he had written… www.capcan.com/forster.htm.
The website had a small biography which I include here, after three years of searching I have to chuckle at what it says…
Gipp Forster is well known as a radio broadcaster, author and poet throughout Canada & the United States. His ‘Ramblings’ radio vignettes have been broadcast across North America, and ‘It Feels Like Christmas’, a series of minute long stories about the Christmas spirit, charm listeners in more that 75 cities each year. The 60 year old Forster is a man who speaks like a wizened and grizzled Father Time, but his soliloquies are infused with the exuberance of the New Year’s baby.
Well, they are right about the wonderful stories and the way he presents them, but I gotta tell you, if you don’t know how to spell his name correctly, you’ll never find him on the web!!
I’m hoping that this article will help all those other lost souls, who like me, were wandering the web looking for his recordings. If nothing else it helps get his name out there (with a few permutations for those searching for him.)
Needless to say (but I will anyways) the disks have been ordered and hopefully I’ll get them in time to send to our daughter in the Caribbean for December 1st. I figure if we get her one of those silly videos that show a roaring fireplace and a very small Christmas tree, along with the CD’s she’ll be feeling a little less lonely at Christmas time, knowing that we are thinking of her.
That is, as long as she doesn’t read this posting before the package gets here, and then there….
An Update: Posted on Wednesday 17 December 2009
I actually gave an update to this posting this year, mentioning how pleased I am that this one article has helped so many people find Gipp Forster’s recordings. In it I also mentioned that the link that was originally posted in the comments no longer worked for those looking to sample Gipp’s amazing talent, but that I had found an alternative for them. Which I include here for those of you who would like to hear what he sounds like…. enjoy!
I finally found an on-line sample, actually an advertisement from Dave Baglo Broadcast Productions for stations who can acquire Christmas Specials and recordings already formatted for broadcast, with that wonderful Chorus/jingl singing “It Feels Like Christmas” followed by a sample of Gipp… it’s magic…. www.thegiftofchristmas.com/IFLC_Demo_2009.
An Update: Posted on Wednesday 16 December 2010
It would seem over the years that many of the links I posted have broken or disappeared. Such is life on the Internet I guess, unfortunately it doesn’t help you very much when you go looking for Gipp’s recordings. To that end I’ve updated my links, and will attempt to do so in the future if they change again.
Instead of just posting them here for you, I thought I would send you to my latest posting on Gipp’s CD’s and also give you a little Christmas gift – a video recording of Gipp’s Christmas garage set to music and of course Gipp himself talking about Christmas – it’s magical. Click here to time travel ahead -> Merry Christmas.
An Update: Posted on Wednesday 25 December 2012
Hopefully this will be my last update to this post – not that I’ve stopped talking about Gipp. Just check the menu on the left, I’ve posted so much about him, and this website has become so much Gipp Forster beacon, that I’ve had to create a separate catgory/menu just to make all my postings about him easily available ( see the left hand menu at the bottom, or click here for all my postings.)
That being said, even today this is still the highest read page on my blog and not everyone reads all the other ( and more recent ) postings. Which is why I keep adding these quick little updates. Gipp and his Producer ( Dale Baglio ) are in the process of moving his CD’s over to a digital service which will eventually populate all the popular sites such as iTunes, Amazon and the like.
They hope to have the current two CD’s, and a brand new CD up and running for everyone by Christmas 2013. But don’t despair, CD #1 is currently available ( and eventually his others ) for purchase on CDBaby now! You can find it here – > www.cdbaby.com/cd/gippforster.
I’ll update the links to iTunes and Amazon when they become available – Merry Christmas!
A Final Update: Posted on Wednesday 18 April 2013
As many of you may now be aware – Gipp is gone. He died April 17th 2013…
For those of you who may wish to read all of my postings on Gipp, or maybe just the most recent one(s) please click here