A few years back, in regard to the world of Jean Shepherd,
someone asked, “Who’s got the juice?”
Regarding Jean Shepherd,
what are some major sources of knowledge and material?
[Above, my Shep poster and the banner
Jackie Lannin made for me]
I’d say that there are three major sources, each somewhat different from the others. In addition, with Nick Mantis making his Shep documentary, he is gathering additional material, which is making him another important player in the game. College professor Quentin Schultze, who, years ago, began teaching courses about Shepherd’s work, has only recently become more widely known as a Shep authority. Several other sources should also be noted. Internet sources of audios, etc. should include the brass figlagee: http://shepcast.blogspot.com and several others, and some YouTube videos. Major collectors such as Pete Delaney continue to supply important material. What follows is just what I consider the big three, noting the major areas of their contributions.
JIM CLAVIN: HISTORICAL REPOSITORY
Jim’s essential website for all things Shep is www.flicklives.com . Jim has been collecting and archiving Shepherd material for years, and those with Shepherd material often contact him to send him previously unknown material. He has amassed an incredible archive regarding all aspects of Shepherd’s life and work, plus listing other various sources. I could not have done much of my work regarding Shepherd without being able to make reference to Jim’s site.
Jim Clavin, eb, and Lou Miano– 3 Shep fans
MAX SCHMID: PROMOTION AND DISTRIBUTION
Max, as a WBAI FM broadcaster for many years, has promoted Shepherd however and whenever he can, including years of early Tuesday morning rebroadcasts of Shepherd programs. People with Shep audios and other material often contact him and deliver the goods to him. He organized and presented a session with him and me on Shep for an Old Time Radio convention–see photo below. He continues to rebroadcast Shep when he can, and he is a fine source of available audios and videos of much Shepherd material: www.sheptapes.com
EUGENE B. BERGMANN: INTERPRETATION AND ESSAYS
I’m the source of some of the earliest audios of Shepherd’s New York broadcasts (I recorded him from 1956 to about 1963). My Excelsior, You Fathead! The Art and Enigma of Jean Shepherd, containing an overview of his work and creativity was published by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books in March, 2005. My transcriptions and introductions to dozens of Shep army stories, Shep’s Army: Bummers, Blisters, and Boondoggles, was published by Opus Books in August, 2013. I’ve been interviewed numerous times for print articles, radio broadcasts, and once on CBS Television regarding these books and other Shepherd matters. I’ve also written and published a number of articles in various periodicals about Shep, including a foreword for Caseen Gaines’ A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic. I’ve published over 200 posts on my blog regarding many aspects of Shepherd’s life and works.
Other Shepherd enthusiasts continue to comment and help sustain his memory, and all of them are appreciated. To my delight, various well-known (and some lesser celebrated) people have also commented on the importance of Shepherd in their lives. Some I interviewed for my first book, and some, such as Jerry Seinfeld, Keith Olbermann, and Dee Snider, I’ve only subsequently become aware of as Shepherd fans. Even more recently, I found out that R. L. Stine (Goosebumps book-series author) and contemporary novelist Tom Wolfe, are also Shep fans.
eb and a well-known Shep fan
eb and a well-known Shep fan
[In foreground, four different editions of I, Libertine,
and on wall, an original Shep still life in ink on a paper towel.