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jmosbrook

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2005 :  21:20:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As a person who discovered Shep in 1952, I am disappointed that very little has been remembered (even in Bergmann’s book) about his broadcasts before he went to WOR. Sure, I realize that New Yorkers believe New York is the center of the universe and anything west of Hackensack is somehow only slightly civilized. But, the fact of the matter is that he was doing very much the same sort of broadcast on KYW in Philadelphia and WLW in Cincinnati long before he got to WOR.

I remember going to the Town Room of the Penn Sheraton Hotel at 36th and Chestnut in Philadelphia to see and hear Shep’s late night show on KYW (where about a decade later I became the news director). There is a photo at http://phillybp.my100megs.com/jean.jpg. If I am not mistaken, that is my head (the one with the big ears) in the lower center of the photo. So far, I have discovered on the internet recordings of only two pre-WOR broadcasts. Are there any others available?

m10bob

USA
233 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2005 :  16:09:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I tried the link, an error message popped up..."Link broken"..

In Hoc Agricula Conc
In Est Spittle Louk
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jmosbrook

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2005 :  16:43:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I guess they changed the address of the web site. Try http://www.broadcastpioneers.com/photos and scroll down to 1953. Open the Shepherd link and you will see the Town Room photo. While chasing this down, I also found another link in 1952 which includes another photo of Shep in front of a KYW mic AND A two-minute audio clip of his KYW opening in 1952 ("Even as we watch, a tiny figure, tattered and torn...") If I am not mistaken, this is the earliest Shep audio clip discovered so far.
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jmosbrook

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2005 :  17:20:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, gang! Another problem with the web site. Go to http://www.broadcastpioneers.com/ scroll down to pre-1960 photos, then scroll down to 1953 for the Town Room photo and to 1952 for the other photo and audio clip.
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jclavin

USA
43 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  19:54:05  Show Profile  Visit jclavin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very little can be found out about his pre-WOR days. We know what radio stations he worked at, but there weren't too many tape recorders around back then to capture his wit. (Hopefully I'm wrong and someone out there is sitting on the mother lode of Shep recordings from other cities.)

Even some detailed descriptions of his show format would be interesting.
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m10bob

USA
233 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  20:00:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very nice jmosbrook !!!..I had no idea Shep used his theme song that long ago !!!!!!!!
Those pics were taken just a few years out of the army ...

In Hoc Agricula Conc
In Est Spittle Louk
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jmosbrook

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  21:15:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While New York guys don’t know much about Shep before they started listening to him on WOR, there are a few of us who remember him in Philadelphia and Cincinnati, where he did pretty much the same program he later did in New York, including the Hammond and Army stories.

His program on KYW, Philadelphia in 1952 and ‘53 originated from the Town Room of the Penn Sheraton Hotel, but it was not at all like the later Limelight shows where he became almost a cheerleader for an adoring crowd. At the Town Room, he did much the same show he did during the overnight gig at WOR (at the transmitter) around 1956 -- not playing for crowd reaction (but he would converse with us occasionally while playing a jazz record or two). It was not like watching a comic screaming one-lingers in a nightclub; it was more like about a hundred people sitting quietly in the cocktail lounge with him as he did his unique thing. I remember the Town Room distributed a little postcard-sized table card advertising “The Jean Shepherd Show.” The most prominent visual thing on the card was a pair of heavy horn-rimmed glasses.

In many ways, I believe the early Shepherd, in Philadelphia and on the all-night show at WOR, was far more entertaining than the later 45-minute Shepherd who seemed to get caught up in his own ego and his cult-like following in New York. For my money, he developed the radio style in Philadelphia, perfected it overnight on WOR, and later struggled to try to maintain it, recalling routines he had used earlier, while stretching himself in too many different directions.

Unfortunately, there are very few recordings of the early Shepherd. But, some of us still remember.
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don alexander

2 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2006 :  15:00:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jmosbrook

As a person who discovered Shep in 1952, I am disappointed that very little has been remembered (even in Bergmann’s book) about his broadcasts before he went to WOR. Sure, I realize that New Yorkers believe New York is the center of the universe and anything west of Hackensack is somehow only slightly civilized. But, the fact of the matter is that he was doing very much the same sort of broadcast on KYW in Philadelphia and WLW in Cincinnati long before he got to WOR.

I remember going to the Town Room of the Penn Sheraton Hotel at 36th and Chestnut in Philadelphia to see and hear Shep’s late night show on KYW (where about a decade later I became the news director). There is a photo at http://phillybp.my100megs.com/jean.jpg. If I am not mistaken, that is my head (the one with the big ears) in the lower center of the photo. So far, I have discovered on the internet recordings of only two pre-WOR broadcasts. Are there any others available?

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don alexander

2 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2006 :  15:14:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Cincinnati years. I was a faithful listener. I honed a cynicism about commercialism and commercial broadcasting. Up here in Canada in my small town there was only one night person. Me. The local radio station signed off at 11:10 and their airwaves were cleared for the Cincinnati signal. I was intrigued by the theme and am pleased it survived throught eh many incanations of radio formats. There was a period when he talked about the "bite the bullet club" dissertations on the frontier macho. You would bite your teeth marks into the lead bullet while it was still in its casing and boast about it. It seems to me this line of parady was abandoned when a few people tried it. But maybe that is imagined. Stop to think of it, the style of the monologues armed me for these senior years when I can change my mind about what or when I remember and then launch in another direction only to return to the original thread. I heard a lottle of his New York shows in the sixties but think it had already lost the adventurous explorations and nonsensical commercials. "Be the First on Your Block" .......and the write-away information.... Write to me. That's "M.E." at xxxxx etc. I was always amazed at those spelling instructions in regular commercials and this logical recognition of the absurdity of all those spelling challenges made me roar with laughter every time I heard it (awakening others in the house).
don alexander
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jclavin

USA
43 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2006 :  18:52:45  Show Profile  Visit jclavin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That's the trouble. There are only 2 shows. Even the early WOR shows are missing. I've heard plenty of rumors about early shows in private 'libraries', but unless they are preserved, it will not be long before they have deteriorated beyond repair. People need to understand that even the one show they may have could be the only copy. There are some large collections that people are sitting on - for what purpose? For the family to toss when you're gone?

Which Cincinnati station did you hear him on and in what year? Was the theme he used a different version of the Bahn Frei Polka?
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jmosbrook

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2006 :  22:00:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I remember listening to Shep on WLW, Cincinnati in 1953 or '54, after he left KYW in Philadelphia. As he had done in Philadelphia, he did a late-night radio show. And, yes, he still used "Bahn Frei" polka as his theme. And, like his program in Philadelphia, he told many of the stories that most remember today from WOR. I don't know the exact dates of his show at WLW, but it was certanly after he left KYW in early 1953 and before he arrived at WOR in early 1955. When he got to New York, I remember he had been doing essentially the same type of program for at least three years.
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dickcoykendall

2 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2006 :  01:47:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
[quote]Originally posted by m10bob

Very nice jmosbrook !!!..I had no idea Shep used his theme song that long ago !!!!!!!!
Those pics were taken just a few years out of the army ...

In Hoc Agricula Conc
In Est Spittle Louk
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Dan

USA
25 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2007 :  17:34:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Interesting what can turn up, here's the direct link to the 1953 photo:

http://www.broadcastpioneers.com/bp/shepherd53.html
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Colonel

49 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2017 :  19:17:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dickcoykendall

[quote]Originally posted by m10bob

Very nice jmosbrook !!!..I had no idea Shep used his theme song that long ago !!!!!!!!
Those pics were taken just a few years out of the army ...

In Hoc Agricula Conc
In Est Spittle Louk



Reading all these posts of a decade ago, I am struck by how much misinformation/lack of information -- including in Bergmann's factually flawed book -- was prevalent back then regarding Shep's life and career prior to WOR. Shep started using Bahn frei! polka as his theme music in July 1947, not long after he first arrived at WSAI in Cincinnati from Toledo's WTOD, as I have documented elsewhere. This was years before Shep was at KYW and WLW.

On the other hand, all those inquisitive Sheptalk posters of "yesteryear" seem to be long gone. I wonder whether there are many folks left who care about such things, especially with the passage of time and memories . . . .

Edited by - Colonel on 01/07/2017 09:57:16
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