May 26, 2008


You know his legendary storytelling from A Christmas Story, but have you ever wondered what Jean Shepherd (1921-1999) has to say about the rest of our annual American rituals? Shepherd was a longtime radio personality and a successful author who's fierce sense of humor, expert wordplay, and uncanny ability to evoke powerful "sense memories" made him a true master of retrospection. Or as he put it— the "pleasant tinglings of mingled regret and exhilaration that we all call nostalgia."

Here I'm offering a super-sized album of eight recordings of Jean reading some of his own published "short" stories (perfect for summer listening!) complete with a nifty new "cover" design. Jean serves up laugh-out-loud wit as he guides you through all the places you'd be lucky to visit this summer— the county fair, Saturday matinĂ©es at the Orpheum, and the yearly family drive to the cabin by the lake. Shep also covers prom and a devastating fireworks display before concluding with two of his familiar Christmas pieces.

These stories are a joy. Shepherd is at his hysterical best and his intricately detailed childhood accounts are unabashedly personal, which is why I'm continually amazed at how closely I relate to his experiences which took place nearly half a century before I passed through Kiddom myself. So go ahead and download all seven and a half hours of bliss, and merrily drift into the Shepherd state of mind— "settled down comfortably into my soft, eiderdown bed of remembrances of things past. There are times when you just have to let it go."

UPDATE! Download from...
Zippy Share

99.3 MB, (32kbps)
9 tracks, 7.5 hours
(Contains some objectionable language)

Track List-
County Fair
Leopold Doppler and the Great Orpheum Gravy Boat Riot
Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss
Ludlow Kissel and the Dago Bomb
Wanda Hickey Night of Golden Memories Part One
Wanda Hickey Night of Golden Memories Part Two
Murderous Maria
Little Orphan Annie
Red Ryder Nails The Cleveland Street Kid

My thanks goes to the Jean Shepherd Archives from which I culled these tracks (and which is unfortunately down at the time, hopefully just temporarily.) So if this collection leaves you wanting more then I recommend subscribing to The Brass Figlagee, an all Jean Shepherd podcast.


plcary said...

Cool and thanks for the link. Did anyone else like the 2nd movie about him called "my summer story" i think. ralphie was trying to find the perfect toy top. it had all different actors, but i still liked it because Jean narrated it again.

stiiv said...

First the Ren & Stimpy production music, now this....thanks VERY much, Kirk!

VonCheech said...

I love "The Brass Figlagee" podcasts..!
Jean Shepherd's voice is so warming.

I just bought a "little orphan annie" radio cast record !


They will releasing Paul Zaza's score for
"The Christmas Story" this coming holiday...

Aaron the Truck Driver said...

Happy Birthday Secret Fun Blog!
Im downloading Shepards pie.
thanks for posting that treat.

K, im off to my favorite pizza joint now!

Kirk D. said...

pl- I've never had the chance to see those other films based on his work. I remember pieces of one on PBS years ago. It even had the leg lamp gag in there.

stiiv- you're quite welcome. It's my pleasure to contribute to your playlist.

voncheech- totally. I like checking the date and listing to broadcasts from the same date only decades ago. Makes it feel live.

aaron- You won't regret the download. It should prove entertaining on your next long haul!

Zardoz said...

Thank you so much for uploading this. My family were big fans of Shepherd's work and this is bringing back a lot of fond memories.

I downloaded yesterday and it has made my commute to and from work so much more enjoyable.