May 26, 2008
JEAN SHEPHERD- SHEPHERD'S PIE
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 matinées 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...
99.3 MB, (32kbps)
9 tracks, 7.5 hours
(Contains some objectionable language)
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
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.