Monday, January 23, 2006

Welcome to "The Brass Figlagee," a blog devoted to the memory and life's work of Jean Shepherd. This is the first entry in the blog, whose main purpose is to point to "The Brass Figlagee" podcast RSS feed, and address any administrative issues that may come up. So, this blog will be fairly low-traffic. I don't and couldn't pretend to know the contents of every show that will be available in the podcast, so Shep will speak for himself.

Shep (as both he and his fans called him) is very hard to tie down to one or two labels. He was one of the great media talents from the 50s to the 80s, very much like the Mark Twain of his time, and most nights he could be heard on the radio waxing eloquent, his gift for insight and articulation wrapped up in what seemed like comedic nostalgia, fascinating and inspiring generations. His stories work on so many levels. His characters are vivid, unforgettable, and oddly lovable. He was a true master of the narrative form: enticing the listener with his nightly premise, careening down one tangent to the next, eliciting belly laughs along the way, and often leaving one with a warm sense of the fondness the artist felt for his past. And somehow, as often than not, one might sense a deeper meaning, a hidden message in all the lighthearted romps. This podcast is an attempt to maintain, and hopefully spread, awareness of Jean Shepherd, his wonderful mind, and his amazing body of work.

There are many excellent web sites dedicated to revisiting his genius, such as Jean Shepherd - A Salute, Jean Shepherd Archive, The Jean Shepherd Project, Jean Shepherd Web Site and Jean Shepherd Site. They have all served as inspiration for the podcast.

A special recognition is is due to The Jean Shepherd Project, the members of which have collected and distributed all the tracks you will hear here. The Jean Shepherd Archive is also a fantastic site, which hosts the files from The Jean Shepherd Project, but poor Charles Hayden is paying to serve over 300G a month. I've exchanged emails with Charles, and he's been very encouraging about alternative ways to get Shep's shows back out to the listening public: fans who discovered him in adolescence like myself and perhaps even a new generation.

The podcast is not yet set up, though it should be ready soon. New podcast shows should appear 5-7 days a week. Due to the nature of the public-domain recordings available on the internet (the source of these recordings), audio quality and the completeness of the shows will vary. Still, this is all we have left of Shep's radio work at this time, so I hope you will enjoy them as much as many Shep fans have for years.

Shows will appear more-or-less chronologically, starting with his oldest available work and progressing to the newer. I will try to have season- or holiday-appropriate episodes included at the appropriate times of year. In the cases where there are a number of short recordings available on the same subject (for instance, Shep's old series of Alka-Seltzer ads) I will condense them into one podcast episode, so as to keep the Shepness coming.

I can be reached at s h e p f a n A-T m a c d o t you-know-what. (I hate spam!)

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great Shepfan.......Thank you for the blog and upcoming pod...........Bob

1/26/2006 8:00 AM  
Blogger cgn37vet said...

as a shepfan I approve .. lets do it.

3/10/2006 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your work that allows me to effortlessly download Shep.

BTW - What is a figlaree ?

6/22/2006 11:19 AM  
Blogger ShepFan said...

You're welcome. A "brass figlagee" is a silly-sounding, fictional award invented by Shep. I gather it's intended to sound like a medal one might get in the military.

6/22/2006 12:44 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

This website is one of those fabulous little jewels that make life worth living. I've been a fan since the early 70's and I appreciate Jean more today than ever!Thank you for your hard work...may you know great happiness in life and may you never wakeup under a goat.Thank you deeply SHEPFAN!
Charlie A.

3/16/2008 12:39 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Thank you very much for your dedication. I'm 64 and listened to these programs when I was 13,WOR fading in and out in Boston. Much of my style of humor came from this man. It has done well by me.I've downloaded all of the files.It's a legacy I really appreciate. I can retire my reel to reels which I don't feel are playable any more. Thanks again!!!

7/06/2010 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Shep was a mainstay on WOR radio when I was growing up. I listened to him on my little transistor radio.

thank you fo this great blog

thank you Shep for all the great stories.......RIP

4/05/2011 9:04 PM  
Blogger Eli said...

Thank you very much for this service.
I'm 26 years old so I obviously never heard him live but as a bus driver for two years I listened to hundreds of shows on my iPod and now that I have an Android phone I use Google Reader and Google Listen to continue to be inspired and entertained by Jean.

5/25/2011 1:08 PM  

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