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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When some people give advice, they only speak in maxims or cliches.  In this program from April 4, 1966; Shep admits he's not that quick on his feet when doling out words of wisdom.  Also, he tells his listeners about conducting an experiment that could have had fatal consequences for his mother.

The term "Chicagoland" was coined by the eccentric publisher of the Chicago Tribune, Robert "Bertie" McCormick.  In this program from March 28, 1966; Shep tells his New York listeners about the unique makeup of the area where he grew up.  He also describes his childhood visits to some of the Utopian communities that called the Midwest home.


It's spring and Shep has a story about a chicken who laid an unforgettable egg.  Also in the program originally aired March 31, 1969; memories of getting a silver star from Miss Nelson.


Before he made it big as Archie Bunker, Carroll O'Connor was a struggling actor who really wanted to be a playwright.  In this program from March 14, 1972; Shep talks about his friendship with O'Connor during his early days in New York.


In the early days of radio, traveling amateur hours were a cheap form of popular entertainment.  In this program from March 7, 1966; Shep goes behind the scenes at the auditions for one and reveals the secret to a good talent show.

Elias Rovielo / Flickr

Have you fallen victim to a good deal that turns out to be not all it was advertised to be?  In this program from Februrary 28, 1975; Shep has stories of package tours gone bad.

Is fear of the outside world the reason some college students are afraid to leave school?  In this program from February 21, 1966; Shep has a take on "professional students".

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Young Jean gets the chance to impress Dawn Strickland when he receives an invitation to her Valentine's Day party.  In this program from February 14, 1964; Shep tells that story and other tales of love

Brian Hefele /

There's one born every minute, right?  In this program from March 3, 1972; Shep has stories of people who fall for viral marketing campaigns only to be disappointed in the end.


You can sometimes tell a musician and the instrument they play just by how they carry themselves.  In this program from January 31, 1973; Shep has some tips on picking them out in crowds and tells the story of a musical joke gone bad in the Hammond High band.

Carol M. Highsmith / Library of Congress

Shep often discussed his early interest in amateur radio with his listeners.  In this program from January 24, 1973; he describes how that interest led to him witnessing a broadcast breakthrough.

Racheli Rottner

How well do you know your classic comic strips?  Try not to Google the answers as Shep leafs through the funny pages in this program from January 17, 1972.


Is charisma something that can be measured electronically?  In this program from January 10, 1973; Shep has news of researchers developing a device to do just that.


While Shep was working in Cincinnati, he called Covington, Kentucky, home.  In this program from June 3, 1975; he recalls walking across the Ohio River bridge one evening and seeing one of the country's last paddlewheelers going about its business.

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You can't open someplace new without a gala ribbon cutting.  In this program from December 27, 1972; Shep tells the story of what happens when someone forgets to bring the scissors.

Don Graham / Flickr

Giving the wrong gift to a pre-teen boy can brand you for life.  In this program from December 21, 1973; Shep describes the mind-boggling Christmas present he once received from his Aunt Glen.

A listener wrote in to tell Shep his theme song is too corny.  In this program from December 13, 1973; he introduces its replacement.  A theme with the appropriate amount of pompousness befitting the station he works at.

SFC Johancharles Van Boers / The U.S. National Archives

Mail call was a welcome time for Shep while he was stationed away from home during World War II.  In this program from December 6, 1974; he recalls a gift one of his tentmates received that caused a stir throughout the camp.


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.

valeryf / PxHere

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.

Robert Sanzalone / Flickr

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.

Wally Gobetz / Flickr

Shep witnesses the first ever Papal visit to the United States.  In this program from October 4, 1965; 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.

Pexels / Pixabay

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.