Columns / Short Stories Shep was always writing. . .
Jazz by Jean This is Jean Shepherd - We Have Records
So it looks like Jazz is at long last really becoming respectable. In fact, so much so that many of the nation's radio stations are now putting jazz into the same classification as "serious" or "classical" forms of music. The transition hasn't been completed yet but the signs are strong that things are happening. True, there is still a great deal of confusion as to the nature of jazz and how to program it, but the day is not far off when most radio stations will make extensive use of jazz library. In a way, this has an ironical twist since radio through the years has done very little to aid the cause of jazz and has in many instances done just the opposite...
Copyright: 1956 Audio Magazine
ABOUT MR. SHEPHERD
"This is Jean Shepherd - we have records . . ." Seven nights a week on WOR (New York) we hear those words, sometimes at 12:30 a.m. and sometimes at 1:00 a.m. when his program starts. And we hear them again at station breaks all night long until the cold gray dawn hour of 5:30, when the more enterprising souls are getting started on their daily grind and others of us are just getting home.
'Tweren't always thus. We first heard Jean on Saturday afternoons 'way last Summer, and all through the Fall except when some amateur sporting event known as football pushed him out of his ac-customed time slot - which was from 3: 00 to 6:00. But we heard enough.
Enough, that is, to realize that here was a man who talked about Jazz without sounding as though he were something apart from the common people who have not been touched by the magic wand of the licorice stick - those of us who believe that It is possible to enjoy jazz 'without having to "understand" it - without having to see the social significance of each note, each subtle phrasing. You know the kind of people we mean - the same kind that can enjoy Tschalkowsky or Bach or Rodaly or maybe even Copland without
a Mus. D.
Anyhow. We finally decided that Jean was the right man to write about jazz for Audio readers, just as we thought that Edward Tatnall Canby was the right man to write about the classics when we heard him on the radio back in '47. And here is what Jean has to say ahout himself :
"I was spawned in Chicago at about the time Louts Armstrong joined King Oliver to make jazz history there. Bix Beiderbecke wits playing club dates with Muggsy Spanler as a cornet duo. I have oscillated sympathetically to jazz ever since.
"Prior to World War II, while attending Indiana University, I jobbed around my native heath accompanied by a somewhat eroded bass fiddle which provided a means of attaining social success as well as tuition. After a three-year stint in the Signal Corps where I was kept in the lowly rank of corporal by jealous commanding officers, I was discharged by a grateful country and was free again to plague entertainment-loving radio listeners."
Since that time Shepherd has become a well known, if not yet well-beloved, radio raconteur of jazz, fine wines, sports cars, ash blondes, and pinochle. His "shows" have emanated from Chicago, WLW Cincinnati, KYW Philadelphia, and the Mutual Network. He has written for many technical as well as literary journals. A long-time audio buff he is also a rabid amateur radio addict currently holding the call K2ORS. We're glad to have him aboard.
March 1956 Audio Magazine page 1
Courtesy: Gene Bergmann
March 1956 Audio Magazine page 2
Courtesy: Gene Bergmann
Made in the USA
"Can you imagine 4,000 years passing, and you're not even a memory?
Think about it, friends. It's not just a possibility. It is a certainty." - Jean Shepherd - 1975