‘The Greyhound Diaries’ is a project which documents the lives of struggling Americans that ride Greyhound busses all across America. In it singer-songwriter Doug Levitt manages to let these people tell their own stories using photographs and writings. The Greyhound Diaries took almost a decade to complete as Levitt traveled over 100,000 miles, talked to countless people and took more than 20,000 pictures. As a result the project has yielded songs, a photo exhibit, a one-man show and a web series. Levitt has shared these things with countless people in major institutions and homeless shelters nationwide.
What makes The Greyhound Diaries unique is that it captures the lives of ordinary Americans in their own words talking about the struggles, pain and disillusionment they experience in their everyday lives. The Greyhound Diaries is reminiscent of the WPA-era projects that sought to take an accurate picture of ordinary Americans as they fought to survive the Great Depression. It is a side of life in America that is rarely ever shown to the masses and that has helped to make Doug Levitt’s project unique.
Doug Levitt grew up in Washington D.C. The youngest child of David Schwartz and Carol Schwartz, city council member and one-time mayoral candidate. Levitt attended Cornell University, studied under famed astrophysicist Carl Sagan and earned a Fulbright Scholarship. He then earned a master’s in International Business from the prestigious London School of Economics. Levitt then worked as a foreign correspondent writing reports from war-torn countries like Rwanda, Iran and Bosnia for ABC, CNN, MSNBC and other news organizations.
Even though he enjoyed success as a well-respected foreign correspondent, after a few years he decided to leave the job and pursue a new career as a singer-songwriter. Doug Levitt explained that the lingering pain caused by his father’s suicide while he was just a teenager influenced his decision to become a performing artist. Levitt left London and moved to Nashville where he worked with David Henry. Henry is well-known for producing Americana projects. Over the course of 10 years the men collaborated to create The Greyhound Diaries and other projects.