Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)
A look at radio great Jean Shepherd's humorous critiques--from the 1950s--of Americans' conformity, consumerism, and false sense of "progress."
KD reads (and briefly discusses) Shepherd's famous short essay, The Night People vs. 'Creeping Meatballism.' Then--on the same theme--we hear selections from one of Shep's late-night radio broadcasts (May 2, 1959).
Here Shep talks about credit cards ... Green Stamps ... a used atom-smasher for sale ... "progress" ... self-help advice from Senator Lyndon Johnson ... how many ice cream flavors Howard Johnson's restaurants actually have* ... and the brief but glorious crime spree of Ronald Medsker.
* (Claimed = 28. Highest number observed = 26, at the HoJo's at the New Bedford exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.)
Recording of Shepherd's 1959 broadcast courtesy of Flick Lives! Many thanks.
Note: MP3s downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #359.
More by Jean Shepherd. We explored Shepherd's art from a different perspective--and heard a different sample of his work--in an earlier installment of New World Notes. This was NWN #52 (February 2009), rebroadcast August 2012. Click the links to take a look or listen.