AFTERWORDS—WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT
Where Did That Come From?
As usual, Jean Shepherd stories originate with his improvised telling of them on the radio. Listeners listened, and dozens of them recorded off the air (recording thus called “air checks”). Recordings were eventually given to one of two main distributors of them: Max Schmid, who weekly rebroadcast them one by one on his WBAI FM program, “Mass Backwards,” and sold by him, or they were given to Jeff Beauchamp, whose free-distribution source was called “The Jean Shepherd Project,” until it ceased operations. Many of the Jean Shepherd Project audios also originated with Max Schmid. In recent years, various other distributors have also come on the market with Shepherd audios. Virtually all of these are simply taken from Max or Jeff and repackaged. A major free source of many hundred audios were given to the iTunes podcast, “The Brass Figlagee”—these are the basic Jean Shepherd Project material. That is the basic version of “Where did they come from?”
Formats vary. Max’s were originally done on audio cassettes, and are now being distributed on CDs. Jeff’s were ganged up by the dozens on CDs in the mp3 format. Other distributors, whose wares can be found on www. ebay.com, sell in CD (usually in mp3) and DVD audio formats.
Most of the Shepherd audios appear identically in several of these formats and I have used for my transcriptions whichever has been most convenient at the moment. When sitting at my computer, I prefer The Brass Figlagee format, simply because, with its to-the-second timer and its ease of pause, reverse, and fast forward to precise locations, it’s easy for my job of transcribing and editing.
More to come.