Forum Topic
Shep on the Radio


Subject Message Replies
Before WOR

Date: 06-26-2006
By: jmosbrook

I've been checking old newspaper archives in an effort to document Jean Shepherd's radio broadcasts before he became very popular on WOR in New York. He was doing his thing for 7 years before getting to WOR. Beginning in 1948, he worked at WCKY, WKRC and WSAI, all in Cincinnati. He remained at WSAI until April of 1951. Newspaper radio logs in the Middletown (OH) Journal in February of 1950 indicated he was doing a weekday 5 to 5:30 p.m. program as well as a late night show on WSAI. On April 4, 1951, he began doing a late-night broadcast on KYW in Philadelphia. The 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. broadcast, originating from the Town Room of the Penn Sheraton Hotel, continued until January of 1953. Beginning in April of 1953, Shepherd did the overnight broadcast on WLW in Cincinnati as well as a Saturday afternoon show that usually ran from 2:30 to 4 p.m. These broadcasts continued until late 1954. He also did some TV in Cincinnati. In an article in the Hammond (IN) Times on July 26, 1956, he recalled one TV program in Cincinnati, "I built an intricate maze. The show opened with the camera entering the maze and for 25 minutes, while I kept talking, the camera wandered through the maze looking for me, running into dead ends and trying new routes. It never found me." Shepherd began at WOR radio in New York February 26, 1955. A February 25 article in the Bridgeport Telegram said, "WOR will launch the Jean Shepherd Show on Saturday afternoon, from 4:30 to 6 o'clock. Shepherd, who comes from WLW in Cincinnati, is hailed as 'a unique philosopher who uses jazz and classical music as a background for his mood-setting chatter - a gentleman with a distinct idea - to make people think while he is entertaining them.'" Beginning January 5, 1956, he began doing the 1 to 5:30 a.m. overnight show on WOR which continued until the end of August of 1956. A WOR listing in February of 1956 also included: "4:00 p.m. - DRIVE EAST: Music and chatter with Jean Shepherd and Tommy Reynolds." Joe Mosbrook 2