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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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When asked about who influenced his writings, Shep doesn't bring out the list of the usual authors.  In this program from May 3, 1976; he explains how his style of story teller got its roots when he was in kindergarten.


When the usual games get old and stale, it's time to think outside the box.  In this program from April 26, 1972; Shep describes the game he and his friends created in the alleys of Hammond.

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Everyone has a wardrobe malfunction at inconvenient times.  In this program from April 19, 1972; Shep remembers the time he had to help a stranger get his zipper up at an important function.

Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal / U.S. Air Force

Shep is going stir crazy being stuck on base.  In this program from April 12, 1972; he describes the scene when a fellow soldier tells him the chaplain might be able to get him a pass.

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Shep receives a letter from a young listener wanting to know why he should learn to read since everything is on television these days.  Also in this program from April 5, 1976; we learn about a Texas town known for its fistfights.

Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka / Public Domain

If you're looking to impress the target of your affection, you must have a plan.  In this program from March 29, 1977; Shep details his preparation for the perfect tryst.

Philadelphia Newspaper / Philadelphia Papers in 1909

A Jersey Devil is more than just a hockey player.  In this program from March 22, 1977; Shep explains the legend of the Garden State's mythical monster.

Smith Elise / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

What's it like to spend a week frozen in a block of ice?  In this program from March 15, 1969; Shep describes what happened to him during an unforgettable radio stunt.

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke / U.S. Navy

Shep has some trivia from around the world for his audience.  In this program from March 8, 1972; he shares memories from his travels and talks about a friend's encounter with a kamikaze pilot aboard a Navy aircraft carrier.  

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Young Jean and the gang take up the sport of kings...if you're royalty on Cleveland Street.  In this program from March 1, 1973; we hear about Shep's foray into cockroach racing.