The most important Internet site regarding Jean Shepherd
is Jim Clavin’s www.flicklives.com.
It is extraordinarily comprehensive and always up-to-date on all things Shepherd. I make use of it all the time as an important research source. Two other websites, http://www.keyflux.com/shep/ and http://www.bobkaye.com/Shep.html have worthwhile stuff but have had nothing new to say in years, and thus do not follow any developments in the continuingly evolving and expanding world of Shep.
The Wikipedia entry for Shepherd was a problem. When I first looked at it a number of years ago, I encountered lots of misinformation. I corrected as much of it as I saw and added a single short reference to my Excelsior, You Fathead! Subsequently somebody added a redundant second reference to my book. My cursory glances over the next years have not encountered more errors, but don’t depend on it.
When Citizendium, another Internet encyclopedia-like site, began I wrote the Jean Shepherd page. I don’t know to what extent it may have been subsequently amended and/or may have been infiltrated with errors.
A major Shepherd reference is the
Paley Center for Media site which did their
“Remembering Master Storyteller,
Jean Shepherd: With Jerry Seinfeld” http://www.paleycenter.org/
on January 23, 2012.
Jerry Seinfeld spoke with New York Times writer Bill Carter. The site has a four-minute clip of Seinfeld talking during the tribute. They produce for sale DVDs of their events but have not yet done one for this tribute. I got to meet Seinfeld, had a front-row seat for the event, and got to make a couple of comments from the audience.
Paley curator for television and radio, Ron Simon, titled his essay on their website, “Seinfeld and Shepherd: Much Ado About Nothing.” It begins:
“The late radio raconteur Jean Shepherd and the master of his domain Jerry Seinfeld are obsessed with the minutiae of daily life. Nothing is too small in the detritus of human existence for contemplation. For Shepherd and Seinfeld, meaning is not found in pondering the huge metaphysical questions that have perplexed Plato onward; life is discovered in the lint, that small detail that informs us who we really are.”
[Recently on http://splitsider.com/2013/04/jerry-seinfeld-on-jean-shepherd-the-voice-behind-a-christmas-story/ in an essay titled “From the Archives,” Ramsey Ess wrote extensively about Shepherd and the Paley tribute.]
On his site www.scratchbomb.com, Matthew Callan sometimes writes extensively and intelligently about Shepherd.
Several years ago, Donal Fagen of Steely Dan wrote for Internet site, Slate, “The Man Who Told A Christmas Story,” subtitled “What I Learned From Jean Shepherd,” (now in a recently updated version) It’s a long and very good article. http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2008/12/the_man_who_told_a_christmas_story.html
He writes, “Shepherd did a nightly radio broadcast on WOR out of Manhattan that enthralled a generation of alienated young people within range of the station’s powerful transmitter. Including me: I was a spy for Jean Shepherd.” He describes Shep as with sort of “a contemporary urban twist: say, Mark Twain after he’d been dating Elaine May for a year and a half.” He goes on to say, “The guy is a dynamo, brimming with curiosity and ideas and fun. Working from a few written notes at most, Shepherd is intense, manic, alive, the first and only true practitioner of spontaneous word jazz.”
OTHER COMMENTS ABOUT JEAN SHEPHERD
Other books and Internet sites have had comments on Shepherd, but the above posts of mine indicate the major ones I’ve encountered. For me, outrageously ignorant/unconscionable lapses in knowledge/judgment have resulted in many seemingly authoritative sources of information on the media, and on radio in particular, including big books on the history of radio, with no mention or only inadequate coverage of Shepherd. To slightly paraphrase a time-honored saying, “A Shepherd is not without honor, except in his own country, …”
Even more to come