A TRIBUTE TO RADIO LEGEND
JEAN SHEPHERD
W9QWN, K2ORS





Jean Parker "Shep" Shepherd was born in July 1921 and grew up in Hammond, Indiana, the "toughest city this side of the barbary coast". As a kid of 8 he became totally dedicated to CW and got hooked on amateur radio. Originally licensed at 13, already in 1938 at the age of 16 he upgraded to "Class A" - which conveyed all amateur operating privileges - with the callsign W9QWN.





Shep served in the US Army Signal Corps from 1942 to 1944 and then attended Indiana University. During his early years in broadcasting starting in 1947 he moved around Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania and was iussued the amateur radio callsigns W4QWN, W8QWN and W3STE. In 1955 he moved to New York, where he finally got the callsign K2ORS, and settled down for a 22 years long carreer with WOR radio.

From 1956 to 1977 Shep spun his intriguing late night stories, sending them out into the night over WOR's 710 KHz AM 50,000 watt radio power house
. "On the air" five nights a week, he always worked without script or reliance on telephone callers. Dialing through the AM whine and statics, radio listeners could land upon that chuckling voice of a man who sounded like the aural personification of Mad Magazine and who got them immediately hooked ...

"Okay, gang, are you ready to play radio? Are you ready to shuffle off the mortal coil of
mediocrity ? I am if you are ...
Yes, you fatheads out there in the darkness, you losers in the Sargasso Sea of existence, take heart, because WOR, in its never ending crusade of public service, is once again proud to bring you - (EROICA SYMPHONY UP) - The Jean Shepherd Program !"

Legions joined 
Shep's "Night People", his loyal following of ardent listeners of all ages, during his more than two-decade tenure at powerful WOR in New York. Among them were countless kids who grew up listening at night with a transistor radio tucked under the pillow to his tales about that goofy gang of friends, Flick, Schwartz, Randy and Ralph, growing up in a Midwestern steel town under the weary beer-soaked gaze of "The Old Man". He used words like a jazz musician uses notes, winding around a theme and playing with variations - and frequently he would blow his kazoo or twang his Jew’s harp. The prolific radio raconteur, whose easy storytelling style earned comparisons to Mark Twain and who was described as "the first radio novelist", captivated a generation with his stories and inspired a new generation of spoken narrative artists. Shep was an American original, a radio and TV personality, humorist, writer, actor and musician. In addition to live appearances, he penned numerous articles and several books, including "IN GOD WE TRUST All Others Pay Cash" (1966) and "Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories" (1971). One of the characters he created was alter ego Ralphie Parker, who appeared in the 1983 film classic "A Christmas Story" which he wrote and narrated. His semi-autobiographical essays, published mostly in Playboy Magazine, became the basis for that much-loved movie.

Ham Radio was Shep's passion from childhood and he remained radio-active througout his life. In his sunset years he settled at Sanibel Island, Florida. Jean Shepherd died in October 1999, in 2001 he was inducted into the "CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame", in 2005 into the "National Radio Hall of Fame" and in 2013 into the "Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's Hall of Fame".

But the art, wit and humour of Jean Shepherd which has entertained for so many years lives on in the recordings of many of his radio shows, which can be found on the web as public domain. Some of these recordings reflect his genuine an deep-rooted passion for the science, spirit and soul of Radio and especially for Amateur Radio and CW. It is my pleasure to present you now a few of these recordings which I have compiled and remastered ...

Thank you, Shep !

Totally Dedicated to CW (07-06-1973, 39:01, 8.9 MB)
Hooked on Amateur Radio (16-01-1965, 21:32, 4.9 MB)

Amateur Radio and Chicks (29-01-1965, 36:09, 8.3 MB)
Class A Ham W9QWN (19:16, 4.4 MB)
Lightning Hits the Ham Shack (16:52, 3.9 MB)
Rhythm of Morse Code (13-04-1965, 40:21, 9.2 MB)
Code School (22:39, 5.2 MB)
Radio History (23-09-1975, 24:40, 5.6 MB)
Magic of Radio (1965, 13:36, 3.1 MB)
Radio Signals into Space (15-04-1965, 23:43, 5.4 MB)
Underground Hobby of Radio DXing (1971, 40:12, 9.2 MB)
Radar and a Practical Joke (29-09-1965, 23:26, 5.4 MB)