Jean Shepherd on Getting His Class A Amateur Radio License
Jean Shepherd Gets His Class A Ham License (part 1)
Jean Shepherd Gets His Class A Ham License (part 2)
Note: Some of the topics begin part-way
through the recording, so you might need to skip forward to find it. Of course
you could always just listen to the entire broadcast.
Jean Shepherd: Ham Radio - January 1, 1965
You will love this from beginning to end! : Jean Shepherd:
Ham Radio - January 29, 1965
Very interesting story of unintentional radio and TV DXing :
Jean Shepherd: Code School - April 13, 1965
Jean Shepherd: Radio Parts - April 16, 1975
Jean Shepherd: Radio History - September 23, 1975
Jean Shepherd: First Radio - August 28, 1965
Not very long ago
I mentioned Jean Shepherd
(original assignee of
W9QWN and later
K2ORS call signs)
as being one of my favorite old-time radio broadcasters (1960s-1970s). Jean was
famous for recounting stories of his own life and for reporting news of the time
in a way that could hold you in rapt attention from beginning to end. His humor,
wit, and command of the English language was acknowledged by his contemporaries.
If you listen to enough of his broadcasts you will notice the frequent mention of
electronics and his experiences as a licensed amateur radio operator beginning at
a tender young age. Just recently I listened to him recount his first day in high
school when a SNAFU in the computer-generated (must have been a UNIVAC) class schedule
mistakenly had him reporting to the girls' swimming pool for gym class, and, to
make a long story short, he spent nearly two weeks sitting outside the boys' pool
room while awaiting an official class change, whereupon he would read his copy of
QST magazine to pass the time.
While looking through a list of archived broadcasts during his time at radio
station WOR in New York City, I discovered an episode where Jean described the time
he, as a teenager, took and passed the Class A amateur radio test and got his
ticket, thereby earning him the highest levels of privilege as a transmitter of
signals (anyone, even the unwashed license-less layman, can
listen on any frequency). In typical Jean Shepherd fashion, he provides a
surprise and very amusing turn of events in the story which you will be wise to
remember when/if you ever find yourself overly pleased with your own accomplishments
and thinking very highly of yourself. You could listen to it as a simple MP3 audio
file, but if by instead watching the two-part YouTube videos below you'll be treated
to a host of cool vintage radio gear at the same time. The video's editor clipped
the story out of a full broadcast to omit irrelevant content.
In the "Code School" broadcast below, you'll hear where "Shep" was able to copy
Morse Code at more than 50 words per minute (wpm) at his peak!
was the consummate storyteller capable of recounting in detail his experiences in
the U.S. Army, during his youth, and throughout life when faced with many unique
circumstances. His biggest career break came following a Christmas 1962 broadcast
of "Duel in the Snow, or Red Ryder Nails the Cleveland Street Kid," a story which
came from his book "In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash," and became the basis
of the hit movie "A Christmas Story."
This page was updated on 2/15/2019 to fix all the broken audio links.
Jean Shepherd: Bahn Frei Was Shep's Radio Show Intro Music
Shepherd: How Radio Works - September 8, 1970
Jean Shepherd: The Origins of Electricity - July 5, 1966
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