Main Site Banner
About Shep Database Shep Music Timeline ACS Excelsior Excelsior Wanted Flag
Radio Notes
Interesting Radio Related Facts

The WOR Family

Promotional Poster

WOR Group Shot
Sunday News
courtesy: Joseph Keppler
"Shepherd Leaves The Flock"

courtesy: Pete Delaney
WOR 40th Anniversary

WOR Radio celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1962

Shep discusses the anniversary in his February 22, 1962 show
"Self Delusion and Dogma"

WOR 40th Anniversary
Time - March 2, 1962
courtesy: Gene Bergmann

Getting Started in Radio
When asked how he got started, he explained that he was on his High School football team and was asked by a member of the faculty, who also worked at the local radio station, if he would be interested in doing a High School sports commentary each day. After a few months he was given his own show.
Telling Stories
"I don't pretend that what I say is the truth in capital letters . . . Most of the stories I tell are true but they have been made into allegories. The purpose of an artist is to take real life experience and make it into something universal, allegorical." - Jean Shepherd - 1964 Monmouth Letters
"Guests" on the show
Shep always worked alone. Usually the only people around him during a broadcast would be the engineer and his producer / wife Leigh Brown. He very rarely took a phone call and even less often had a live guest.
Live Guests

2-14-56 John Cassavetes
S.J. Perelman
Arch Oboler
Herb Gardner
9-10-60 Shep takes calls from 2 listeners
11-18-65 "Nose Flute, Bad Books, Radio Parts" - Shep describes a book he had to read as a kid and how horrible it was. After describing it, he offered the "Brass Figlagee" to the first caller to name the title. One caller did and he spoke to the caller asking how other books affected him.
1-4-66 Shep asks for a caller to yell "Excelsior" which would then be played back the next night on a ham radio exchange Shep arranged to speak with a group in Antartica.
4-6-66 "Curses" - Shep takes callers to check out the response to the playing of the 'Dyak Curse'
5-13-66 "Kid Myths" - Shep takes a call from a kid to confirm the continuing rumors about golf balls.
5-19-66 Max #213, Evil Eye - Shep gets inside track from call-in Doc on what that reflector thing that Docs wear on their heads does.
Answer: nothing- just makes 'em look important.
6-29-66 Disorganized Baseball - Takes a call from a female listener who says she's a "Bronx Tomato". Shep wanted to talk to a 'bimbo'.
4-11-69 Episode from April 11, 1969, there was a rare phone caller who was the "Teenage Expert" inspired by the Pontiac commercial. The 15 year old caller was Pete Delaney's brother Bill calling from their Staten Island bedroom!
9-17-69 New York's Losers- Shep talks to caller about
New York Titans football team
1972 Shep wanted to hear from other owners of Guinea Pigs as pets.
10-18-72 Shep asked people who were at the previous night's Carnegie
Hall show to call in.
1-30-73 on "WOR LOOKS AT THE CRIME PROBLEM DAY" Shep asked
policemen to call in
9-24-73 Shep asked people who were at the previous night's Carnegie Hall Show to call in.
Shep used to refer to '6sj7gt' in many ways - Do you know what it really is?
Find out here:
"French 75"
The Secret Recipe:
Jack Armstrong
In the April 8,1971 Overseas Press Club Conference, he also mentions that he did a lot of acting and appeared on old radio shows, one of which was as "Billy Fairfield" on Jack Armstrong.

In a 1963 appearance on the Long John Nebel Show he mentions the Jack Armstrong connection again as well as having been on "The Air Adventures of Jimmy Allen".

Origin of Shep's Theme

Shep talking about the theme's origin on the Larry King show of March 10, 1982. Here's what he said from Max's tape of the show:

"I was doing a TV show in Cincinnati sponsored by the Bayhorse Ale company. They wanted something in the titles involving horses so we came up with the idea of a group of horses in silhouette running along to the Bahn Frei theme with a small silhouette of me running along trying to catch up. "The show was the original version of "Rear Bumpers" on WLW-TV

Shep also mentioned that in the famous film clip documentary "When Comedy Was King" (c1960) producer Robert Youngson chose Shep's theme for the background music to a clip of Buster Keaton in "Cops" because he felt that Shepherd had the same dry wit as the old-stone-face.

More on the origin