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onesmedia Store HOME | BOOKS | JEAN SHEPHERD | MOVIES | OLD TIME RADIO AUDIO CD | OLD TIME RADIO mp3 CD ROM |OLD TIME RADIO mp3 DVD ROMJEAN SHEPHERD AUDIO COLLECTION - Disc 5This DVD contain 458 Audio Files - DVD-ROM - 458 mp3Commentaries, Commercials, Interviews, Conferences, Shep Music, Shep Sing, Live Shows, PBS Shows, Pledges Drives, Readings and Various TributesJean Parker Shepherd was an American raconteur, radio and TV personality,writer and actor who was often referred to by thenickname Shep.With a career that spanned decades, Shepherd is perhapsbest-known to modern audiences for narrating the film AChristmas Story (1983), which he co-wrote, based on hisown semi-autobiographical stories.BiographyEarly lifeBorn in the south side of Chicago, Illinois, Shepherdwas raised in Hammond, Indiana, where he graduated fromHammond High School in 1939. As a youth he workedbriefly as a mail carrier in a steel mill and earned hisAmateur radio license when he was 16. He later attendedseveral universities.During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army SignalCorps. Shepherd had an extensive career in a variety ofmedia:Radio careerShepherd began his broadcast radio career on WSAI-AM inCincinnati, Ohio in 1948. From 1951 to 1953 he had alate-night broadcast on KYW-AM in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, after which he returned to Cincinnati fora show on WLW. After a stint on television (see below),he returned to radio. "Shep," as he was known, settledin at WOR radio New York City, New York on an overnightslot in 1956, where he delighted his fans by tellingstories, reading poetry (especially the works of RobertW. Service), and organizing comedic listener stunts. Themost famous of the latter involved creating a hoax abouta non-existent book, I, Libertine, by the equallynon-existent author "Frederick R. Ewing", in 1956. Laterco-written by Shepherd, Theodore Sturgeon and BettyBallantine, this Ballantine Book is now a collector'sitem. Among his close friends in the late 1950s wereShel Silverstein and Herb Gardner. With them and actressLois Nettleton, Shepherd performed in the revue hecreated, Look, Charlie. Later he was married toNettleton for about six years.When he was about to be released by WOR in 1956 for notbeing commercial, he did a commercial for SweetheartSoap, not a sponsor, and was immediately fired. Hislisteners besieged WOR with complaints, and whenSweetheart offered to sponsor him he was reinstated.Eventually, he attracted more sponsors than hewanted—the commercials interrupted the flow of hismonologues. He broadcast until he left WOR in 1977. Hissubsequent radio work consisted of only short segmentson several other stations. In later life he publiclydismissed his days as a radio raconteur as unimportant,focusing more on his writing and movie work. Thisdistressed his legions of fans who fondly rememberednights with Shep on WOR. He once made such commentsduring an appearance on the Tomorrow Show with TomSnyder. This contrasts with his frequent criticisms oftelevision during his radio programs.Aside from his stories, other shows were devoted toobservations about life in New York, accounts ofvacations in Maine and travels throughout the world.Among the most striking of his programs was his accountof his participation in the March on Washington inAugust 1963, during which Dr. Martin Luther King gavehis "I Have a Dream" speech, and the program that airedon November 25, 1963—the day of President Kennedy'sburial. However, his most scintillating programs remainhis oftimes prophetic, bitingly humorous commentariesabout ordinary life in America.On January 9, 2000, Zippy recalled JeanShepherd.Throughout his radio career, he performedentirely without scripts. His friend and WOR colleagueBarry Farber marveled at how he could talk so long withvery little written down. Yet during a radio interview,Shepherd once claimed that some shows took several weeksto prepare. On most Fourths of July, however, he wouldread one of his most enduring and popular short stories,"Ludlow Kissel and the Dago Bomb that Struck Back,"about a neighborhood drunk and his disastrous fireworksescapades. In the 1960s and 1970s, his WOR show ran from11:15pm to midnight, later changed to 10:15pm to 11pm,so his "Ludlow Kissel" reading was coincidentally timedto many New Jersey and New York local town fireworksdisplays, which would traditionally reach their climaxat 10pm. It was possible, on one of those July 4 nights,to park one's car on a hilltop and watch severaldifferent pyrotechnic displays, accompanied byShepherd's masterful storytelling.The theme song used on his long-running radio show was"The Bahn Frei Polka" by Eduard Strauss. The particularversion he used was recorded by Arthur Fiedler and theBoston Pops.Jean Shepherd posed as Frederick R. Ewing on the backcover of Ballantine's I, Libertine (1956).Shepherd wrotea series of humorous short stories about growing up innorthwest Indiana and its steel towns, many of whichwere first published in Playboy. The stories were laterassembled into books titled In God We Trust, All OthersPay Cash, Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories, and AFistful of Fig Newtons. Some of those situations wereincorporated into his movies. He also wrote a column forthe early Village Voice, a column for Car and Driver andnumerous individual articles for diverse publications,including Mad Magazine.When Eugene B. Bergmann's Excelsior, You Fathead! TheArt and Enigma of Jean Shepherd was published in 2005,Publishers Weekly reviewed:This prismatic portrait affirms Shepherd's position asone of the 20th Century's great humorists. Railingagainst conformity, he forged a unique personal bondwith his loyal listeners, who participated in hislegendary literary prank by asking bookstores for thenonexistent novel I, Libertine (when Ian Ballantine hadShepherd and Theodore Sturgeon make the fake real, PWcalled it "the hoax that became a book"). StorytellerShepherd's grand theme was life itself... NovelistBergmann (Rio Amazonas) interviewed 32 people who knewShepherd or were influenced by him and listened tohundreds of broadcast tapes, inserting transcripts ofShepherd's own words into a "biographical framework" ofexhaustive research. Television and filmsEarly in his career, Shepherd had a television programin Cincinnati called "Rear Bumper". Reportedly he waseventually recommended to replace the resigning SteveAllen on NBC's The Tonight Show. NBC executives sentShepherd to New York City to prepare for the position,but they were contractually bound to first offer it toJack Paar. The network was certain Paar would hold outfor a role in prime time, but he accepted the late-nightassignment.In the early 1960s he did a weekly television show onWOR in New York. Between 1971 and 1994, Shepherd becamea screenwriter of note, writing and producing numerousworks for both television and cinema. He was the writerand narrator for the show "Jean Shepherd's America",produced by Boston Public Television station WGBH inwhich he told his famous narratives, visited unusuallocales, and interviewed local people of interest. Heused a similar format for the New Jersey Network TV show"Shepherd's Pie".He also wrote and narrated many works, the most famousbeing the feature film A Christmas Story, which is nowconsidered a holiday classic. In the film, Shepherdprovides the voice of the adult Ralph Parker. (Thisnarrative style was later appropriated, withoutacknowledgement, in the popular television sitcom TheWonder Years.) He also has a cameo role playing a man inthe line at the department store waiting for SantaClaus. Much to Ralphie's chagrin, he points out to himthat the end of the line is much further away.A 1994 movie sequel, My Summer Story, was narrated byShepherd but featured an almost entirely different castfrom the previous film. The PBS series AmericanPlayhouse aired a series of television movies based onShepherd stories, also featuring the Parker family.These included "Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss", "TheGreat American Fourth of July and Other Disasters", and"The Phantom of the Open Hearth".Live performances and recordingsShepherd also performed for several years at TheLimelight Cafe in New York City's Greenwich Village, andat many colleges nationwide. His live shows were aperennial favorite at Rutgers and Fairleigh DickinsonUniversities. He performed at Princeton Universityannually for 30 years, until 1996. The Limelight showswere broadcast live on WOR radio.He also performed before sold-out audiences at CarnegieHall and Town Hall. He was also emcee for severalimportant jazz concerts in the late 1950s. Shepherdimprovised spoken word lyrics for the title track onjazz great Charles Mingus's 1957 album The Clown. Eightrecord albums of live and studio performances ofShepherd were released between 1955 and 1975. Shepherdalso recorded the opening narration and the voice of theAudio-Animatronics "Father" character for the updatedCarousel of Progress attraction at Walt Disney WorldMagic Kingdom.MusicMany of his narratives were accompanied by novelty songssuch as "The Bear Missed the Train" (a parody of theYiddish ballad "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen") and "The Sheikof Araby", or by Shepherd himself, playing the Jew'sharp, nose flute and kazoo.On radio as well as on his WOR-TV show, he frequentlyused his own head as a musical instrument, knocking thetop of his skull with his knuckles while changing thesize of his open mouth to produce different notes.Shep's "Head Thumping" (as he called it) spanned aboutan octave.Fact and fictionWhat is still unknown is to what extent Shepherd's radioand published stories were fiction, fact, or acombination of the two.The childhood friends included in many of his storieswere people he claimed to have invented, yet high schoolyearbooks confirm that many of them did exist. Hisfather was always referred to as "my old man" who workedin the Borden Milk Company offices. During an interviewon the Long John Nebel Show -- an all-night radioprogram
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