Monday, October 08, 2018

Hi Gang! It has certainly been a while since I wrote here. I hope some folks have stayed connected, because there's exciting news! A Shep fan named Lee emailed a while back. Lee has good-quality FM recordings of Jean Shepherd's nightly radio show, and he was hoping to share them with other fatheads. I've listened to a few, and the sound is amazing! So far, Lee has sent me about 100 recordings. I have to dust off some old software scripts I used to create the podcast feed files, and I'm figuring out how the Ourmedia group on works these days, to permanently store the MP3 files for future generations. I have little time in the day, but the winter's coming in the US. Lee's new recordings will be here, as soon as I can finish all the background work. Wow, this is exciting! Thank you Lee!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Here come the last bunch. The end is in sight.

This last group are either undated episodes, or files that needed some repair. January 10th will be the last regular daily podcast. On that day I'll upload about 20 short files (rather than make everyone wait a day for another 60-second bit). I started on January 23, 2006, so we will end just short of three full years from the beginning.

Thanks to all those who offered words of support, a big thanks to those who came before me who actually produced and preserved these files, and of course I'm thankful to Jean Shepherd for entertaining us for all those years.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Still here! Tonight I added the 1175th show to the feed. It's looking like next February or so will be the end, when I have no more shows to share. After that, this whole collection from the JSP and shep-archives will remain online and available for a long time hopefully, at least until and the Internet Wayback Machine close their doors.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Very brief hiatus!

I ran out of shows to upload. I usually keep ahead of this time-consuming task, which involves checking a year's worth of shows for duplicates, partial duplicates, and more. I finished the 1970s shows a few days back, but I've been super busy. I hope to get 1971 checked and uploaded today, so the podcast will resume tonight. Tomorrow night at the latest.

Also, we're currently at 595 published episodes! We'll reach 600 on Thursday or Friday!

Friday, March 30, 2007

A few updates for listeners!

First, you may have noticed that the airdates have been jumping around a bit lately. Don't worry--I'm going through the Jean Shepherd Archives, culling all the duplicates I can (some of them don't have the same name or date!) and finding shows I missed the first time through. My intention is to add them in a way that current, semi-daily listeners will see them as the usual nightly episode, but new subscribers will see the shows in their original, more-or-less chronological order. Holidays, special events, seasonal shows, and so on are the exceptions.

One other update: the hosting service at is having technical issues, and I can't currently add nightly shows. They're aware of the problem, and I'll resume adding a show a night to the podcast as soon as possible. I'll limit it to one show a night, so daily listeneners shouldn't miss any episodes. So, finally, my one-show-per-day streak is broken. Oh well. We're still going strong, and have lots more material to share. A few of the podcast sites, like Yahoo, are having trouble, and make it look like we've stopped somewhere along the line. Not true; we have another two years to go, at least. Hopefully the Jean Shepherd Project will return with their promised new material before then, and we'll have even more Shep to pass along!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Lud Kissel must have been here.

I just noticed that the last few evenings' shows have been repeats from a few days prior. Somewhere along the way, in scheduling episodes and back-filling so Shep's "George Washington's Birthday" show occurs on the right day, I made a copy-and-paste error or two. Thankfully my brain was less addled tonight than whenever I first created this part of the schedule; these last few shows were going to repeat a third time before February 21!

After some thought, I've decided to simply remove the duplicate shows from Feb. 2 through 4, and keep moving forward, one show per day staring today, Feb 5. I was tempted to back-date a few shows to fill in the gap, but anyone who didn't notice the changed shows in the past would probably never hear them. This seems a better option. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Mrs. Kissel would never call this mistake a doozy, but it's behind us now. Back to Shep.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Our 1 year anniversary! (Well, close enough.)

Actually, we're either 5 days late, counting by uploaded episodes, or 5 days early, considering the very first uploaded episode was January 23, 2006. Owing to an extended power outage here in the icy northeast of the US, things have been a bit confused this week. Today, January 18, marks the 370th uploaded episode in the Brass Figlagee series. We're still going strong, and haven't missed a day yet. We're a bit ahead on the episode count due to bonus episodes. The real anniversary is 1/23, but we wanted to celebrate a bit now.

Thanks to everyone for listening, for your feedback, and mainly for keeping the faith.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

300 shows in the podcast today! Time for a Schlitz, or an Orange Nehi if you prefer...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Just the occasional update... 10/1/06, 261 episodes, one every night so far, and still going strong!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Welcome to "The Brass Figlagee," a blog devoted to the memory and life's work of Jean Shepherd.

This is the main 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 likable. Shep had an uncanny mastery of the narrative form: enticing the listener with his nightly premise, careening down one tangent to the next, eliciting knowing laughs along the way, and often leaving one with a warm sense of the fondness the artist felt for his past. And somehow, more 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.

The free podcast is all set up, is available via the iTunes Music Store, as well as other web services, all listed in the sidebar. Any computer user with an MP3 player (software on your computer, or via an attached portable MP3 player) should be able to listen to this podcast. New episodes should appear nightly. Due to the nature of the public-domain recordings available on the internet (the source of these files), 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.

There are many excellent web sites dedicated to revisiting his genius, which are listed in the sidebar. 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.

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!)

Friday, March 10, 2006

We are now live in the iTunes Music Store!

That's right, subscribing is now a 2-click process. This link will take you to the iTunes Music Store, and with one more click on the "Subscribe" button, you are now subscribed to The Brass Figlagee.

As of now, the link at right will point to the iTMS, and no longer involve manually entering the RSS link in iTunes.

The artwork has not appeared in iTMS yet, but it should soon.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

We have a new, legal graphic!

Yes, gang, the wheels are turning. I received Mr. McDarrah's imprimatur in the mail today, so I can finally use his definitive photo of ol' Shep. I immediately submitted the podcast to the iTunes Music Store for their review. I expect that in a few days to a week, The Brass Figlagee will be searchable and subscribe-able in iTunes without mucking around in the Advanced menu. When it is, I'll update the "Subscribe" link at right, and life will return to its former approximation of splendor. Who knows, with this cool artwork and almost 50 shows in the can, perhaps the good folks at Apple will feature this podcast, and a new generation of seekers will be introduced to the modulated madness that is Jean Shepherd.

To listeners who have already manually subscribed via iTunes, or found alternate methods of accessing the content: you need do nothing when the "Subscribe" link switches over. Whatever works for you now will continue to work.

There has been talk in the ShepTalk Forums that the Shep Archives have been down for a little while now, so welcomes all around to those new subscribers. Let's hope that the Archives, which have done so much to spread the Word Of Shep for so many years, is back in the pink very soon.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Final Update:

All the bugs have been worked out, and the RSS feed has been stable for long enough to give me every confidence there's nothing left to improve here. The upkeep on this end is literally 5 minutes a night. All I am waiting for now is to hear back from the photographer that he received the check so I can use his Shep picture, and then this podcast goes live (as in public). I'll add the artwork here & in the feed, submit the whole thing to the iTunes Music Store (who are more likely to feature a podcast with artwork & a history of episodes), and start spreading the word. I'll probably also delete these "beta" entries (as I have a few already) so that the top entry is the introduction to the blog. Or perhaps I'll rewrite it and make that the most recent entry.

For those few of you who have been listening in during the ramp-up and debugging of this podcast, thanks. If you are still subscribed to the RSS feed on (which was only linked here and even needed for a few days), please convert to the feed, following the instructions in the right column. I've been updating both feeds every night, but now that the feed is stable (which really means, now that I figured it out), I'll be phasing out the feed. It isn't needed any more.

Finally, this podcast isn't about making money, getting votes at, or anything other than getting Shepherd's work out to the public in a very easy-to-use format. I hope that people will discover and rediscover Shep here. Since this is my first and probably only podcast, I welcome feedback for ways to spread the word, and ask that listeners not keep this podcast a secret!


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Update: The podcast is in the testing phase now, and things are coming along well. I'm adding episodes every day, testing out the web hosting, and trying to streamline the daily workflow (since it will take over three years to present all of Shep's currently-available recordings at a rate of one a day). You can listen in now if you wish, by following the instructions at right, under the orange "RSS" logo. I'm working on permission to use to a great copyrighted picture of Shep to go here and in the podcast. Eventually, I'll submit the podcast the the iTunes Music Store, and link directly there, making signup a two-click process.