“The Greyhound Diaries” is a project of Doug Levitt, a singer-songwriter, based upon his travels encompassing thousands of miles on Greyhound buses across America. The project consists of his efforts to get to know everyday people who were traveling on a bus. The diaries include stories of the people he encountered, songs he wrote based upon his travels, and memories of his journey. He wrote a book, established a website, and wrote songs to document his journeys.
Levitt has taken his experiences and put them into a show where he sings his own songs and tell stories. He found that people had more in common that commonly believed. He found that his background and experiences growing up in the District of Columbia proved invaluable in his travels, allowing him to relate to his fellow travelers. He also was a broke artist so he had many things in common with the bus riders.
Doug Levitt grew up in Washington, D.C., where he attended public schools, played sports and sang in a gospel choir. His mother was a Republican and a member of the D.C. Council. Prior to hitting the road on a bus, Levitt was a correspondent based in London reporting for CNN, ABC, and NBC. In 2004, he gave up that life and began his quest.
Levitt says his idea for this odyssey came from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) that set out, among many other endeavors, to chronicle Americans in crisis during the Great Depression. He saw the same crisis in America so he went out to document Americans. He figured that anyone riding the bus probably did not have access to a car for transportation, and was not doing well in general. That was just the people Levitt was seeking out.
Levitt certainly gave to the people he met, and he says he received more in return. His experience had to be life-changing and his show would certainly reflect that fact.