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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Shep was a great admirer of fellow Hoosier storyteller George Ade.  In this program from December 5, 1966; he reads some of Ade's fables.

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Sometimes we get more than we bargain for when dining out.  In this program from November 21, 1969; Shep describes a surprise he found in his salad at a fancy restaurant.

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Polly the Parrot, a notorious character of the Yukon Territory, lived to be at least 125 years old.  In this program from November 14, 1972; Shep describes how the locals celebrated his life.  He also talks about some interesting pranks he likes to play on bank tellers.

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We may not always remember this name of the first person we ever kissed, but we usually remember the first car we ever drove.  In this program from November 7, 1970; Shep and the gang head to Stony Island Avenue in search of their first used car.

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If you don't deliver on the treats, you deserve to be tricked.  In this program from October 31, 1972; Shep recalls some classic Halloween pranks.

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The Cornell marching band is in trouble for including an allegedly obscene formation in its show.  In this syndicated program from October 24, 1969; Shep recalls how the entire sousaphone section at Hammond High got suspended for something similar.

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A gift from Uncle Tom leads young Jean and the gang to a federal crime.  In this program from October 17, 1974; Shep hopes the statute of limitations has run out as he describes how he minted counterfeit quarters.

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Delivering newspapers to a bar frequented by Hungarian steelworkers led to an unlikely friendship for young Shep.  In this syndicated program from October 10, 1969; he tells his listeners about Sandy, the dog who couldn't resist a nip of the good stuff.

Shep had a couple of sports related jobs growing up in Hammond.  In this program from October 3, 1972; he tells his listeners how he scored a free set of high-end golf clubs and got revenge on aggressive bowlers at the Pin Bowl Lanes.

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Every older generation scratches its head at the tastes of the generations that follow.  In this program from September 26, 1969; Shep remembers the time the Old Man tried to introduce him to "real music".

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Shep attends an auction for the estate of an eccentric businessman.  In this program from February 19, 1962; he regrets not buying an umbrella stand made out of an elephant's foot.

The U.S. National Archives

Young Shep is sent to do a radio remote from one of Calumet City's more notorious night clubs.  In this program from September 12, 2021; find out what went down at The Riptide.

The story of a New York man's unusual suicide leads Shep to one of his favorite short stories.  In this program from September 5, 1961; he reads Thurber's "A Box to Hide In".

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Spending time at the local tennis court with Schwartz after their summer paper routes led to bigger things for young Shep.  In this program from August 29, 1970; he tells his listeners how he almost became Hammond's tennis champion.

During his early days of radio, Shep would have to pitch various products with some dubious claims.  In this program from August 22, 1964; he demonstrates some of those pitches to his New York listeners.

The Big Apple is highlighting all there is to do in the city during the summer months.  It's spent a lot of money promoting New York as "A Summer Festival".  In this program from August 15, 1964; Shep tells a live audience at the Limelight Cafe in Greenwich Village where he thinks the slogan is a bit of a stretch.

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Shep found himself at a number of different bases and camps during his service in the Army Signal Corps.  In this program from August 8, 1975, he remembers being sent to a camp where it was every man for himself at chow time.

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For nearly a decade, Shep hosted an annual auto rally through the streets of Manhattan.  In this recording from August 1, 1965; he gives attendees a preview of what to expect as cars try to navigate the busy course from Washington Park to the Limelight Cafe.

A typically boring bus ride to Princeton becomes an adventure when unexpected company gets on board.  In this program from July 25, 1964; Shep describes the scene to an audience at the Limelight Cafe in Greenwich Village.  He also details his Army pole climbing training.

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Young Shep's eyes are opened when he accidentally receives someone else's Inland Steel paycheck.  In this program from July 18, 1964; he tells a live audiece at the Limelight Cafe who the misdirected money should have gone to.

Shep has covered his fair share of political events on the radio.  In this program from July 11, 1964; he tells a live audience at the Limelight Cafe about the cutthroat politics in a border town...and how they spilled onto the airwaves the night before a big election.

So-called "cancel culture" isn't a 21st Century phenomenon.  In this program from July 3, 1960; Shep turns to esteemed newscaster H.C. Grubbage for a story about textbooks on the chopping block because they might offend the reader.

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Shep and some fellow members of the Army Signal Corps are "volunteered" to try a new method laying communications wire for troops on the front lines.  In this program from June 27, 1964; he tells an audience at the Limelight Cafe about this pioneering effort.  (And its results.)

The official start of summer is around the corner and that brings back memories of being stationed in the Florida Everglades during World War II.  In this program from June 20, 1964, Shep describes the sights, sounds, and smells of a radar operation to his audience at the Limelight Cafe in Greenwich Village.

University of Wisconsin Madison Archives

Shep is noticing some creative pop culture related formations within marching bands these days.  In this program from June 13, 1964; he tells an audience at the Limelight Cafe about the time he skipped out on band practice, only to realize it was a huge mistake come the day of the big show.

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It's the time of year when budding football stars try out for the upcoming high school season.  But will Shep make the cut for the varsity squad?  In this program from June 6, 1969; he describes Coach Huffine's process for picking his team.

Michigan City Area Schools

It was a prestigious honor for the Hammond High School Marching Band to get an invitation to a Memorial Day ceremony at Soldier Field.  In this program from May 30, 1967; Shep tells his audience how an alert drum major averted disaster after the tuba section ran into trouble.

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During the Great Depression, theater owners had to get creative to keep cash-strapped families coming to the movies.  In this program from May 23, 1964; Shep tells a live audience at the Limelight Cafe how the owner of Hammond's Orpheum Theater filled his seats every Wednesday.

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The price of lobster is causing some people to go to extremes to get one these days.  In this program from May 1974, Shep tells the story of a man who heisted one right out of tank.  Also, the dangers of eating in a restaurant with green awning.

The 1966 New York Yankees are having trouble at the plate.  In this program from May 9, 1966; Shep thinks a change of underwear might be the cure to what's grabbing them...literally.

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