Sundays with Shep

Sunday - 6 AM & 6 PM

A weekly program dedicated to Hammond’s legendary radio raconteur, Jean Shepherd. He’s best known these days for writing and narrating “A Christmas Story.” From the 1950s through 1970s, Shepherd hosted a nightly radio broadcast – usually an extemporaneous monologue – that was and is unlike anything else on the radio. Ryan Priest digs into the Shepherd radio archives every week for a captivating hour from the master storyteller.

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An article about a German automaker trying to develop an inexpensive "throwaway" car has crossed Shep's desk.  In this program from November 29, 1971; he recalls some experiences where he wish he had a disposable car.

MikeGoad / Pixabay

As a licensed pilot, Shep sometimes encountered danger on the runway.  In this program from November 22, 1972; he describes the trouble sometimes caused by turtles wandering into his landing zone.  He also tells listeners about the care and handling of an Amazonian blowgun.

Harris & Ewing / Library of Congress

Shep reads on editorial from an affiliate station in Seattle that describes the hell awaiting commercial broadcasters when they meet their maker.  In this program from November 15, 1965; he talks about one of his early jobs in radio and the sterile nature of the business.

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You can get ahead in life without formal education, skills, or even good people skills.  In this program from November 8, 1965; Shep reads a piece of mail telling him how success in all aspects of life is possible...if he has the power of the magic twig.

Samuel H. Kress Collection / National Gallery of Art

What if people did the opposite of what their horoscopes suggested?  In this program from November 1, 1972; Shep turns Jeane Dixon on her head.

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Shep says he's the classic mark when it comes to getting bad service while dining out.  In this program from October 25, 1973; he describes his experience in an airport coffee shop that was all pomp and no circumstance.

Ajay Suresh / Carnegie Hall

Shep wasn't just a radio guy.  Throughout his career, he presented hundreds of live performances at venues around the world.  In this program from October 18, 1972; he recaps his previous night's appearance at New York's famed Carnegie Hall.

Bollywood Hungama / Bollywood Hungama

If it wasn't for the people who buy Playboy "just to read the articles," some of Jean Shepherd's greatest stories might never have been told.  In this program from October 11, 1971; Shep reports on a conference where he and 70 other Playboy contributors met to discuss their well as have a few bourbons.

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Shep witnesses the first ever Papal visit to the United States.  In this program from October 4, 2015; he describes the scene as New Yorkers waited to catch a glimpse of the Pope.


A famous television clairvoyant once saved Shep's life.  In this program from September 27, 1972; he explains what led to the fortunate encounter.

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An article about the world record holder for being struck by lightning jogs Shep's memories of his own run-ins with severe weather.  In this program from September 20, 1973; he remembers his time caddying for golfers who thought they could outrun the storm.

Alex Bennett / YouTube

Shep gave away the secrets to his storytelling success when he appeared on Alex Bennett's program to promote an upcoming performance at Carnegie Hall.  Originally aired September 13, 1974; Shep and Bennett also took calls from listeners and got a few digs in at Geraldo Rivera.

Diego Delso

One of the country's great opera companies got its start in a zoo.  In this program from September 6, 1972; Shep recounts some stories of hosting the radio broadcasts from this unusual setting.


Humans are the only creatures who have a need to sell things.  Not just products, but also ideologies.  In this program from August 30, 1973; Shep looks at the various ways we accomplish this.  He also shares some examples from his collection of esoteric commercials.

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Shep has caught wind of a film version of the entire Bible that is soon to be produced.  In this program from August 23, 1963; he casts some of the roles.


Some fears are rational, others are a little awkward.  In this program from August 1971; Shep delves into our secret fears and reveals some of his.


As a licensed pilot, Shep was always amused with tales of amateur aviators having mishaps with home built aircraft.  In this program from August 9, 1973; he explains the principle of density altitude...which these rookie pilots seem to have glossed over.

Nelson Pavlosky / Flickr

Why do some things not work when you need them to?  In this program from August 2, 1973; Shep tells the story of a friend who had everything he needed in his car in case of an emergency...only to find it useless when the emergency actually happened.

CBS Television / eBay

In 1957, Hollywood producer Mike Todd threw a massive party at Madison Square Garden that quickly degenerated into a food fight.  In this program from July 26, 1973; Shep recalls how he was roped into hosting live coverage of the event.

Biswajit Banerjee

Everything has a breaking point.  In this program from July 19, 1967; Shep examines at what point machines and groups of humans fail.

Judith E. Bell / Flickr

Shep once unwittingly took part in a television contest scam that involved an advertiser and a beautiful woman.  In this program from July 12, 1973; he confesses his sin and hopes the statute of limitations has run out.

Shep is tired of only seeing television programs that originate from New York City or Los Angeles.  In this program from July 5, 1965; he goes over the list of places he wants to see shows from.  Also, he kicks off an early crowdfunding campaign for a proposed pirate television station.

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It's a radio poetry slam.  In this program from June 28, 1968; Shep reads poems from T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, and Kenneth Patchen...all set to the soundtrack of "2001: A Space Odyssey".


Is there a better way to record your personal history than writing it in a diary?  In this program from June 21, 1968; Shep recalls the play, "Krapp's Last Tape," in which the title character records his on audio tape.

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Looking to impress his date, Private Shepherd takes her to an exclusive club and orders a classic cocktail.  In this program from May 27, 1964; Shep recalls the ramifications of his very first martini.

Alexandru Csete / Flickr

Shep learned CW Code at a young age as he became involved in amateur radio.  In this program from June 7, 1973; he explains how he hears code every day...even on the streets of New York.

Why do humans embrace being scared?  In this program in May 31, 1966; Shep weighs in on thrill seekers from skydivers to horror movie buffs.

Gerry Dincher / Flickr

Never refer to a Sousaphone as a tuba.  In this program from May 24, 1973; Shep explains the difference.

United States Department of Agriculture

A listener follows up on Shep's recent show about racing cockroaches.  In this program from May 17, 1968; Shep goes into some of the inherent dangers of owning a stable of prize bugs.


During a college appearance in Colorado, Shep has lunch in a dining room named in honor of one of the country's most notorious cannibals.  In this program from May 10, 1972; we hear his stories along with Shep's other brushes with cannibalism.