Thoreau Radio

I was driving a remote Oregon road, trying to find something on the radio, when I heard a familiar voice speaking immortal lines from Thoreau’s Walden. I knew the lines well because I’d read the book six times.

How in the world was this on radio? I listened to the entire program and realized Thoreau is more relevant today than he was in his time. If only preachers preached Walden like scripture instead of the Bible. It would make for a great country instead of a dying one.
I had to know the story of this show. I am loathe to Google anything these days because I hate enriching a monolithic corporation with sham progressive ideals. But what choice did I have? That’s how they’ve chained us.

My discovery: the program was part of an Armed Forces Radio series called American Masters, produced in 1968 that lasted one year.
I recognized the voice of Thoreau because it was the real voice of John Forsyth, the actor who voiced Charley in Charley’s Angels!!

See mind blowing information from a web site about the series below. The full story is at

“The premise of the series was both compelling and unique. Each of the thirteen weeks would provide a biography of either historic or contemporary Americans whose stories were a particularly compelling narrative of the unique promise the American way of life has afforded every citizen no matter how humble–or great–his or her origins. The series offered treatments of the following great Americans:
1. Louis Armstrong
2. Will Rogers
3. Cecil B. DeMille
4. (John) Gutzon Borglum and Mt. Rushmore
5. George Gershwin
6. Thomas Wolfe
7. Matthew Brady
8. Frank Lloyd Wright
9. Frederic Remington
10. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
11. Henry David Thoreau
12. Dr. Lee De Forest
13. Walt Disney

Given the selections for the thirteen weeks, one might well imagine how fascinating a continuation of the series might have been. But the goodness doesn’t stop there . . .

To spice up the offering, and give these remarkable Americans their due, the production has thirteen of the biggest names in Entertainment introducing and hosting each episode:

Bing Crosby introducing Louis Armstrong
Bob Hope introducing Will Rogers
Charlton Heston introducing Cecil B. DeMille
Lorne Greene introducing Gutzon Borglum
John ‘Bubbles’ Sublett introducing George Gershwin
Irving Stone introducing Thomas Wolfe
Raymond Burr introducing Matthew Brady
Anne Baxter introducing her grandfather, Frank Lloyd Wright
Edward G. Robinson introducing Frederic Remington
Raymond Massey introducing Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Bill Cosby introducing Henry David Thoreau
Edgar Bergen introducing Dr. Lee De Forest
Dick Van Dyke introducing Walt Disney
I know this sounding like a Ronco commercial, but it gets even better . . . 

Portraying the main characters in these docudramas were some of Hollywood’s biggest names:
D’Urville Martin and Sam Laws as Louis Armstrong
Pat Buttram as Will Rogers
Sebastian Cabot as Cecil B. DeMille
Ed Begley as Gutzon Borglum
Ross Martin as George Gershwin
Michael Anderson as Thomas Wolfe
Richard Crenna as Matthew Brady
Henry Fonda as Frank Lloyd Wright
Richard Widmark as Frederic Remington
Dan O’Herlihy as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
John Forsyth as Henry David Thoreau
Glenn Ford as Dr. Lee De Forest”

To download the Thoreau program, go to: