On the Road with Charles Kuralt, Set 1
by Jef Burnham
Now available on DVD from Acorn Home Media.
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In 1967, journalist Charles Kuralt began traveling across America in a motor home with a small television crew. He sought out overlooked stories of ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things, from the country’s best shoe salesman to the willingly impoverished Bishop of Spokane. It began as a three-month trial run but ultimately found Kuralt patrolling the back roads of the nation for some twenty-five years. As a result, Kuralt, who died in 1997, would win an Emmy and two Peabody Awards for his On the Road segment, which aired first on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and later on CBS News Sunday Morning. In On the Road, Kuralt crafted one of the most complete oral histories to be produced about the American people of any era.
This 3-disc set contains 18 episodes of On the Road with Charles Kuralt as they appeared on the Travel Channel, each episode containing approximately 3-5 individual pieces, for a total of 77 pieces. These pieces range from simply interesting to humorous to overwhelmingly beautiful, as in the piece about an elderly man who, outside of his full-time job, spends all his free time repairing bicycles for the neighborhood children that no child will grow up without a bike as he did. You’ll also see the story a woman who had once been a star on Broadway but left theater to clean up one of the toughest towns in the Midwest with a flashlight and a Magnum. But not all the stories are about people. One piece showcases the unique mailboxes Kuralt and his team observed in Nebraska, and yet another, the fading advertisements painted on the sides of buildings in big cities.
Perhaps no other journalist has ever so thoroughly catured the greatness of which man is capable than Charles Kuralt in his chronicling of the minutia of American life. So whether it be to revisit these pieces or traverse the country with Kuralt for the first time, I encourage you to check out On the Road with Charles Kuralt, Set 1.
Special features in this set include a text biography of Kuralt, “About On the Road,” and “Road Updates,” a series of links to websites about the where and what are they now of Kuralt’s pieces.
Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.
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