The beloved Emmy winning series that began on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite
For 20 years beginning in 1967, Charles Kuralt wandered America’s byways in search of the unusual and the overlooked. He and his small crew logged more than a million miles and wore out six motor homes. For his homespun vignettes of everyday life, Kuralt won an Emmy® and became a household name.
He traveled through all 50 states, talking with horse traders, worm hunters, singing mailmen, and sharecroppers who put nine children through college. He reported on an elderly man who fixed bicycles for local children, and a woman who talked to Canadian geese. No topic was too small, no person too insignificant.
Kuralt once said, "There are sights in this country and people in this country to banish any gloom you ever may feel and to fill you instead with wonder." By noticing the ordinary and celebrating originality, he exalted us all.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE About On the Road, Road Updates, and biography of Charles Kuralt.
In divisively partisan times, it is easy to feel disillusioned, pessimistic, or gloomy about the state of the union. Let Charles Kuralt drive your blues away. In 1967, the CBS broadcaster set out in a mobile home and went looking for America. Unlike Wyatt and Billy in Easy Rider
, he found it. Along backroads and in small towns, he met ordinary people doing extraordinary things, such as an elderly woman who kept her privately-owned library open 24 hours, a man dedicated to fixing and lending bicycles to local children, and men who built the Golden Gate Bridge. On the Road
became a popular feature on The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite
. Compiled by the Travel Channel, this 18-episode collection contains more than six hours of this Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series' most storied moments, and it never runs out of gas. This is reality television at its best and a celebration of the American character and "Yankee ingenuity" when we need it most.
If you're looking for irony or snark, you are definitely on the wrong road. If you want to see strip malls, chain restaurants, and subdivisions, best head out to the interstate. Above all, On the Road is a celebration of individuality and people who, while not wealthy or famous, embody the best of the American ideal. "Americans are up to all sorts of surprising things," Kuralt observes at one point. "You never know what until you go out and take a look." Each seven-minute segment rolls along at a leisurely pace. Kuralt, who was called "the Norman Rockwell of broadcasters," is folksy without being too corny. The lyrical writing gets to the heart of each of his subjects, whether it be a Pennsylvania shoe salesperson, a soap bubble virtuoso, or a man who offers cheerful waves and "good day" greetings to passing motorists. While these segments date back decades, don't think this is a vanished America. For example, according to one of the "Road Updates" included as a bonus feature, the more than century-old Blenheim Ginger Ale Company is still bottling its uniquely kicky beverage. Here's hoping that Set 2 is not far behind. We can't wait to get On the Road again. --Donald Liebenson