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Saturday, July 26, 2014

EXCELSIOR! Jean Shepherd's Birthday

Bob Crane (and, I think, Garrison Keillor) alerted us to this important birthday:

It's the birthday of humorist Jean Shepherd (books by this author), born in Chicago, Illinois (1921). He's remembered for the autobiographical stories he told on the radio about a boy named Ralph Parker growing up in Hohman, Indiana. One of his stories was made into the movie A Christmas Story (1983), which he narrated. It's about a boy who wants a BB gun for Christmas, even though every adult in his life says that he'll shoot his eye out.
The stories Shepherd told on-air were always improvised, but he later wrote them down and published them in collections like In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash (1967) and Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories and Other Disasters (1972).
Jean Shepherd said: "Some men are Baptists, others Catholics. My father was an Oldsmobile man."

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  1. Whenever he needed some random part number or such in his storytelling Shep usually said "6SJ7GT". "Flick Lives" has a page about it, including datasheets. Here's the link.

  2. He was a master story-teller, making you think the best part of the story was just next and then kept you thinking that for most of the show. He even did ads well providing a segue or over-dub that I admired years later as a young DJ. I actually looked forward to the General Tire ads that were a permanent feature. The man seemed to love every minute of every show and made his listeners feel the same way. Never heard anyone like him on the air.


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