Podcasting since 2005! Listen to Latest SolderSmoke

Monday, March 18, 2024

Listen to me talking to Jean Shepherd in 1976. I was 18 years-old.

Wow, here is a blast from the past.  I recently read a good article about Shepherd by A. David Wunsch in the Spring 2022 issue of the AWA Journal. David correctly focused on Shep's obsession with the Heising modulator, and the very negative impact ("Your mother should take you to a doctor!") that this had on his dating life. 

I was telling my wife about this article, and I commented that I had once spoken to Shep during an early morning call-in show on WMCA New York.  I told her that someone had sent me a recording of this brief conversation. 

The call took place in 1976.  Shep was appaearing as a guest on the late-night radio show of Long John Nebel and Candy Jones.   I was 18 years old. My callsign was WB2QHL.  The recording was sent to me by Matt KC8COM in 2006. Thanks Matt!  In 2008 I played the recording during SolderSmoke Podcast #90.  But I think this call merits a post on the SoldedSmoke blog, so here it is.  You can jump forward to about 3 minutes, 49 seconds.   


One side note.  I told my wife that some time after the broadcast, I was once again up early in the morning, kind of absent-mindedly getting ready for work when I heard Shepherd talking on WMCA to some guy about ham radio.  It took me a moment to realize that this was a re-run, and that that guy was me!  

When I first listened to this I didn't realize that later in the recording (around 9:30) another fellow calls in an asks Shep about why he uses CW.  Shep is kind of short with him and ends up advising him to "go back to CB." I should note that in my conversation with Shep earlier in the program,  I told him that I was usually on "40 sideband."  He was nice to me, but said that he was mostly on 20 CW. 

Here is a good Wikipedia article on Long John Nebel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_John_Nebel

And here's one on his wife and WMCA co-host Candy Jones: 


  1. My one encounter with Jean Shepard was at the Little Book Store, Morristown,NJ. My college buddies and I went up there for the signing of Wanda Hickey. Absolutely SRO, we were stuck in the back of the room. It was time for Q&A. I raised my hand, and he picks me "Ahhh Yeah, the Kid all the way in the back!". I asked him (of course) about where did he hang out on the bands? He boomed back his answer, " 20 meters CW, Kid, NO Locals, Okay!"
    That cameo he made in the Christmas Story was too real for me!

  2. Mike: Your story kind of confirms my belief that Shep was, well, a jerk. A lot of the stuff he put out was made up. His military record is, at best, confusing. He never even acknowledged the two kids he had. Even in the call-in show on WMCA he manages to insult some poor guy who calls to ask him about CW. And even with me, he seems to try to pull the familiar CW-superiority stuff (that makes no sense). And there are indications that he wasn't really a frequent user of CW. I think he did a good job in describing the homebrew ethos of teenagers in the 1930s. His Heising modulator story rings true, as does his story about Johnny Anderson building a very early TV receiver. But other than that he is probably another one of those guys you wouldn't want to invite home for dinner with the family. 73 Bill

  3. And one more detail: When Shep arrived with his entourage , the stretch limo and all the "Hollywood" persona. The crowd waiting in the parking lot and the bookstore ate it all up--
    Previously, a different person, a different encounter. My buddies (minus me), went to see William Shatner perform "A Tender Trap" at the Paper Mill. After the play, Mr Shatner talked at length with my buddies in the parking lot, then got in his pickup and headed off. Completely different.


Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column