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Original Horizons West header art


The Horizons West Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Horizons West

Captain Meriwether Lewis
Captain Meriwether Lewis

Captain Willilam Clark
Captain Willilam Clark

The list of initial provisioning purchases made by Cpt Meriwether Lewis under the $2,500 allocation given to him by President Thomas Jefferson. Itemized are Mathematical Instruments, Arms and Ammunition, Medicine, Clothing, Provisions, Indian Presents, and Camp Equipment
The list of initial provisioning purchases made by Cpt Meriwether Lewis under the $2,500 allocation given to him by President Thomas Jefferson. Itemized are Mathematical Instruments, Arms and Ammunition, Medicine, Clothing, Provisions, Indian Presents, and Camp Equipment.

Ship’s-Master type telescope with five brass and one wood and leather collapsible sections made by William Cary, London, ca. 1800, owned by Meriwether Lewis. Missouri Historical Society Collections. Photograph by David Schultz, 1998. Photograph and scan © 1998-2001, Missouri Historical Society
Ship’s-Master type telescope with five brass and one wood and leather collapsible sections made by William Cary, London, ca. 1800, owned by Meriwether Lewis. Missouri Historical Society Collections. Photograph by David Schultz, 1998. Photograph and scan © 1998-2001, Missouri Historical Society


Great Rapids of the Columbia [River]. [Washington and Oregon]. Entry of 30 October–2 November 1805. Once past the rapids, it was a simple matter of floating down to the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, thus fulfilling their ultimate aim of the journey
Great Rapids of the Columbia [River]. [Washington and Oregon]. Entry of 30 October–2 November 1805. Once past the rapids, it was a simple matter of floating down to the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, thus fulfilling their ultimate aim of the journey.

Three beautiful 37-cent stamps marked the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The above two stamps, one with Capt Meriwether Lewis and the other with Captain William Clark. The third of the set (below) illustrates both great explorers at the Continental Divide.
Three beautiful 37-cent stamps marked the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The above two stamps, one with Capt Meriwether Lewis and the other with Captain William Clark. The third of the set (below) illustrates both great explorers at the Continental Divide.

Three beautiful 37-cent stamps marked the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The above two stamps, one with Capt Meriwether Lewis and the other with Captain William Clark. The third of the set (below) illustrates both great explorers at the Continental Divide.

In the map above, the 'red' route traces the Corps of Discovery's route west, and the 'blue' route, its return route.
In the map above, the 'red' route traces the Corps of Discovery's route west, and the 'blue' route, its return route.


The Horizons West series was mastered in Studio B of the famous Capitol Records Tower building in Hollywood
The Horizons West series was mastered in Studio B of the famous Capitol Records Tower building in Hollywood.

Armed Forces Korea Network insignia
Armed Forces Korea Network insignia

Far East Network insignia
Far East Network insignia

Background:

Horizons West was a fascinating, thirteen-installment docudrama which traced the movements of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition from 1803 to 1806. President Thomas Jefferson's charter to Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark was to trace the origination point of the Missouri River, from St. Louis, Missouri to the Great Falls of Montana--and eventually beyond.

Captain Meriwether Lewis' appointment as President Jefferson's personal secretary inaugurates the arc of thirteen chapters of the Horizons West series. Given the competition for the vast natural resources of the Northwest Territories of the United States, President Jefferson undertook to devise a secret expedition to survey the new territory leading to the Pacific Ocean by first tracing the route and tributary origins of the Mississippi, Missouri , and Columbia rivers, followed by a further exploration leading to a direct route from the origin of the Missouri headwaters, west to the Pacific Ocean.

Lewis and Clark's competition along the way would be the French, English and Russian settlers, trappers and officials, themselves attempting to map, track and exploit the potentially rich territories of the Northwest.

With the announcement of the securing of the Louisiana Purchase of July 4, 1803, President Jefferson finally felt secure in scheduling Lewis and Clark's ultimate exploration. With a great deal of the land to be initially explored now legally in the possession of the seventeen United States of America, Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery finally undertook their adventure in December of 1803.

Once Lewis and Clark had met up and established Camp DuBois (on the eastern shore of the Mississippi near Hartford, Illinois), they began to undertake the provisioning necessary for their expedition--all the while under the greatest possible secrecy.

Chapter Summaries:

Chapter #01 'Jefferson's Dream' introduces the listeners to the main players in the dramas to unfold over the following thirteen weeks. Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are introduced, as is the huge mongrel that would accompany them for most of their journey. Called 'Shannon' in the Horizons West production, the dog's actual name has since been determined to be 'Seaman'. Sergeants Ordway and Gass are added to the Corps of Discovery's complement of military explorers.

Chapter #02 'The Confrontation' opens on disciplinary actions against two of the Corps of Discovery's enlisted men--100 lashes each. It is now approximately May 1804, and the confrontation alluded to is between the Corps of Discovery and one of the Plains Indians' most feared tribes--the Teton Sioux. The Corps of Discovery also acquires John Coulter, Georges Julliard and George Shannon, as well as Pierre Dorion, a talented French trapper and interpreter. The 'confrontation' between the Teton Sioux and the Corps of Discovery takes place in the August 1804 timeframe.

Chapter #03 'Dakota Winter' covers the period between October 1804 and February 1805, during which the Corps of Discovery meets the Mandan tribe, acquiring the famous Shoshone maiden, Sacagawea as a guide in the process. They also add Toussaint Charbonneau and, before long (February 11, 1805), Sacagawea's baby son, Jean Baptiste to the complement.

Chapter #04 'Into the Unknown' launches the actual adventures of exploration undertaken for the following two years by the Corps of Discovery. The period covered is approximately April 1805 through June 1805. Sacagawea saves the Corps' maps and journals after one of the Corps' pirogues capsizes and 'Shannon' [or Seaman] saves the complement from a grizzly bear attack.

Chapter #05 'The Great Falls' covers the period from approximately June and July of 1805. Having come upon The Great Falls of the Missouri [in central Montana], the party becomes resigned to having to portage around The Great Falls to continue their journey. Sacagawea takes ill and Captain Lewis helps nurse her back to health.

Chapter #06 'Shoshone Country' covers the period from approximately July 1805 through mid-August 1805. Having portaged around The Great Falls, the Corps comes upon the three tributary rivers that form the great Missouri River. A couple of abortive attempts to make a more secure vessel result in the decision to cache the remainder of their supplies up to and beyond the headwaters of the Missouri River. They also send out a search party to attempt contact with the Shoshone Tribe, to establish a trade pact that is deemed crucial to the success of the explorations to come.

Chapter #07 'To the Pacific' covers the push to surmount the Rocky Mountains via the Bitterroot Range and begin the exploration of a route to the Pacific Ocean via the Columbia River--a period between approximately August 1805 to December 1805. The Corps establishes an early winter camp at Fort Clatsop and deliberates whether to push ahead or wait until the Spring to make the push to the Pacific Ocean. They push ahead to the mouth of the Columbia River at the Pacific Ocean, then retrace their route back to Fort Clatsop to make Winter there.

Chapter #08 'Fort On the Columbia' addresses the turning point in the adventure of exploration: Wintering at Fort Clatsop in preparation for provisioning and undertaking the return home. The period covered spans December 1805 to approximately March 1806. The Winter is not without its Indian problems--from both friendly and antagonistic tribes.

Chapter #09 'Homeward Bound' covers the period from March 1806 to approximately June 1806. Once provisioned for the return trip, the Corps turns over Fort Clatsop to the Clatsop Indian tribe as a gesture. They head back east hoping to surmount the Bitterroot range by mid-June 1806. Stalled at Camp Chopunnish they deliberate whether to split into two groups to go around the Bitterroot Range to make for a return to The Great Falls of the Missouri.

Chapter #10 'Decision At Travelers Rest' covers June 1806 to July 1806. The decision whether to split up or not is forced upon them with the realization that the Bitterroot Range cannot yet be crossed. Lewis takes one half of the Corps and traces a route back via the Blackfoot River. William Clark takes the remainder of the Corps and attempts to accomplish the same result via the Bitterroot River.

Chapter #11 'Clark and the Horse Thieves' traces the progress--and travails--of William Clark's contingent of the Corps as they attempt to explore the The Yellowstone River and its lake and tributaries. In the process, an unseen band of indians make off with some of their horses. Captain Lewis' contingent, in the meantime is making for The Great Falls of the Missouri to await Clark's contingent and reunite the Corps once again for the final push back to to St. Louis.

Chapter #12 'Lewis and the Blackfeet' covers July 1806 for the Captain Lewis-led contingent of the Corps. Having split into several smaller parties, Lewis and a few of his party encounter hostile Blackfeet Indians. Shots are exchanged, wounding and killing two of the Blackfeet--the only actual hostile encounter with an Indian tribe of the entire journey.

Chapter #13 'Down the Missouri To St. Louis' covers the period from July 1806 through September 23, 1806. The Corps of Discovery ultimately reunites back at the Mandan village they originally struck out from. Army Private John Coulter requests permission to separate from the Army and join the fur trappers exploring the Missouri. Sacagawea and her son, Jean Baptiste, separate from the return party at the Mandan village. Toussaint Charbonneau joins Sacagawea and their son, and the remainder of the Corps of Discovery makes for their triumphant return to St. Louis and the completion of their heroic adventures.

Horizons West Production and Summary:

The production masters themselves were of the highest quality, recorded, as they were, at Studio B located in the famous Capitol Records building in Hollywood during the 1962 to 1963 timeframe. By 1965 they had begun airing in the Pacific theatre over the Armed Forces Korea Network and the Far East Network.

The acting talent for this production was absolutely top notch, backed by some of West Coast Radio's finest voice talent from the famous earlier Golden Age of Radio era. Radio giants Harry Bartell, Ben Wright, Les Tremayne, Karl Swenson, Sam and Jack Edwards, Howard Culver, Herb Ellis, Jay Novello, Jack Kruschen, Frank Gerstle and John Stevenson formed the core of most of the ensemble voice talent over the thirteen episode production.

William Lally helmed the production from start to finish, with writing credits to Carl and William Tundberg. Legendary sound engineer Gene Twombley handled the sound shaping for the run, and Radio standby Rye Billsbury handled the announcing chores for the run [requesting billing as Michael Rye].

The entire run aired, complete, over the Armed Forces Korea Network, the Far East Network, and the Armed Forces Network of the European theatre between 1965 and 1967, often in rebroadcasts.

For those many of us who've visited or lived in either Montana, the Dakotas, or the great American Northwest, this fine thirteen chapter series provides a wonderful reminder of the wonders most of us have witnessed in both Big Sky Country and the beautiful Pacific Northwest. For the uninitiated, the series very compellingly captures both the historical import of those two years of discovery as well as a fascinating reflection of the economic, cultural and geopolitical imperatives of the era.

All in all, a well mounted, well acted, and exceptionally well produced short historical series on a fascinating chapter of American Frontier discovery and exploration. It's an equally compelling illustration of an AFRTS commissioned and produced series specifically intended for broadcast to American and United Nations Armed Forces.

More importantly, it wears well to this day, with the possible exception of a couple of arcane historical details that have come to light during the intervening forty-seven years.

Series Derivatives:

AFRTS 'Horizons West'
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Historical Documentary Dramas
Network(s): The AFRTS
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): None
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 65-11-08 01 Mr. Jefferson's Dream
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 65-11-14 to 66-02-06; AFKN; Thirteen, 25-minute programs; Sundays, 7:30 p.m.
Syndication: The AFRTS (from recordings made at Studio B in the Capitol Records building during the 1962-1963 timeframe)
Sponsors: Sustaining
Director(s): William Lally
Principal Actors: Harry Bartell, John Anderson, Don Randolph, Bill Irwin, Cliff Holland, Stanley Farrar, Ben Wright, Les Tremayne, Tyler McVey, Dal McKinnon, Karl Swenson, Jack Edwards, Jack Kruschen, Sam Edwards, Sebastian Cabot, John Cedar, Howard Culver, Helen Jerrold, William Keene, Steven Bell, Herb Ellis, Frank Gerstle, William Quinn, Jim Boles, Don Diamond, Eddie Firestone, Paul Contad, Clarke Gordon, Don Spruance, Jay Novello, Dan Barton, John Stevenson, Richard Peel, Don Messick
Recurring Character(s): Capt. Meriwether Lewis [Harry Bartell] and Capt. William Clark [John Anderson]
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): None
Writer(s) Carl A. Tundberg, William Tundberg
Music Direction: Gene Twombley [Sound Patterns]
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Rye Billsbury [billed as Michael Rye]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
13
Episodes in Circulation: 13
Total Episodes in Collection: 13
Provenances:
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were the log of the RadioGOLDINdex and newspaper listings.

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The Horizons West Radio Program Log











Date AFRTS # Title Avail. Notes
65-11-14
1
Chapter 01: Mr. Jefferson's Dream
Y
65-11-14 Pacific Stars & Stripes AFKN 7:30--Horizons West
65-11-21
2
Chapter 02: The Confrontation
Y
65-11-21 Pacific Stars & Stripes AFKN 7:30--Horizons West
65-11-28
3
Chapter 03: Dakota Winter
Y
65-11-28 Pacific Stars & Stripes AFKN 7:30--Horizons West
65-12-05
4
Chapter 04: Into the Unknown
Y
65-12-05 Pacific Stars & Stripes AFKN 7:30--Horizons West
65-12-12
5
Chapter 05: The Great Falls
Y
65-12-12 Pacific Stars & Stripes AFKN 7:30--Horizons West
65-12-19
6
Chapter 06: Shoshone Country
Y
65-12-19 Pacific Stars & Stripes AFKN 7:30--Horizons West
65-12-26
7
Chapter 07: To the Pacific
Y
65-12-26 Pacific Stars & Stripes AFKN 7:30--Horizons West
66-01-02
8
Chapter 08: Fort On the Columbia
Y
66-01-02 Pacific Stars & Stripes AFKN 7:30--Horizons West
66-01-09
9
Chapter 09: Homeward Bound
Y
66-01-09 Pacific Stars & Stripes AFKN 7:30--Horizons West
66-01-16
10
Chapter 10: Decision At Travelers Rest
Y
66-01-16 Pacific Stars & Stripes AFKN 7:30--Horizons West
66-01-23
11
Chapter 11: Clark and the Horse Thieves
Y
66-01-23 Pacific Stars & Stripes AFKN 7:30--Horizons West
66-01-30
12
Chapter 12: Lewis and the Blackfeet
Y
66-01-30 Pacific Stars & Stripes AFKN 7:30--Horizons West
66-02-06
13
Chapter 13: Down the Missouri To St Louis
Y
66-02-06 Pacific Stars & Stripes AFKN 7:30--Horizons West






The Horizons West Radio Program Biographies




Harry Bartell
(Capt. Meriwether Lewis)

Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor; Writer; Radio Announcer; Professional Photographer
(1913-2004)

Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1942 The Adventures of Raffles
1942 Cavalcade Of America
1944 Lux Radio Theatre
1944 The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes
1944 Command Performance
1945 On A Note Of Triumph
1945 The New Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes
1945 The Adventures Of Maisie
1946 Rogue's Gallery
1946 The Casebook Of Gregory Hood
1946 Hollywood Star Time
1946 Let George Do It
1947 The Alan Young Show
1947 The Adventures Of Philip Marlowe
1947 All-Star Western Theater
1947 Escape
1947 Conquest
1948 The Whistler
1948 In Your Name
1948 June's My Girl
1948 Family Theatre
1948 My Friend Irma
1949 Screen Director's Playhouse
1949 The Green Lama
1949 This Is Your FBI
1949 The Adventures Of the Saint
1950 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1950 Night Beat
1950 The Adventures Of Sam Spade
1950 My Favorite Husband
1950 Broadway Is My Beat
1950 Romance
1950 T-Man
1950 Hollywood Star Playhouse
1950 Suspense
1951 The Adventures Of Nero Wolfe
1951 Wild Bill Hickok
1952 Stars Over Hollywood
1952 Dragnet
1952 Defense Attorney
1952 Gunsmoke
1952 Violence
1952 Dangerous Assignment
1952 Hollywood Playhouse Of Romance
1952 I Was A Communist For the FBI
1953 General Electric Theater
1953 Bakers' Theatre Of Stars
1953 On Stage
1953 Rogers Of the Gazette
1953 Crime Classics
1953 Hallmark Hall Of Fame
1953 Stars Over Hollywood
1953 The Six-Shooter
1954 Meet Mr McNutley
1954 San Francisco Final
1956 Fort Laramie
1956 CBS Radio Workshop
1958 Frontier Gentleman
1958 Flight 101
1958 Have Gun--Will Travel
1965 Horizons West
1995 KIRO Mystery Playhouse
2003 The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Pride Of the Outfit
When The West Was Young
Douglas Of the World

Harry Bartell publicity photo circa 1952
Harry Bartell publicity photo circa 1952

Harry Bartell as Father Xavier Rojas in the traditional Christmas episode of Dragnet, The Big Little Jesus, originally aired December 24, 1953
Harry Bartell as Father Xavier Rojas in the traditional Christmas episode of Dragnet, The Big Little Jesus, originally aired December 24, 1953.

Harry Bartell as Dietrich in Get Smart from 1965
Harry Bartell as Dietrich in Get Smart from 1965

Harry Bartell as Willie the Billiards Pro in Get Smart from 1966
Harry Bartell as Willie the Billiards Pro in Get Smart from 1966
Born in New Orleans, Harry Bartell got his first start in Radio during the early 1930s in the Houston market over local radio. He reportedly also performed local radio summaries of motion pictures of the era.

In 1937, Harry Bartell moved to the West Coast working, variously, as a disc jockey, looping commercials, and performing at The Pasadena Playhouse. Bartell's first network radio was over CBS inThe Adventures of Raffles (1942), in which he was cast as an Hindu. This was the first of what eventually became a wide and varied arsenal of dialects and accents, including numerous Spanish roles on Romance of the Ranchos, Dragnet, Have Gun Will Travel, and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.

Throughout the Golden Age of Radio Harry Bartell was a favorite with many of the West Coast's finest Radio directors, including:
  • Jack Webb -- Dragnet, Pete Kelly's Blues, Johnny Madero, Pier 23
  • Norm Macdonnell -- Romance, The New Adventures of Philip Marlowe, Escape, Have Gun, Will Travel, Gunsmoke
  • Elliott Lewis -- Broadway Is My Beat, On Stage, Crime Classics, Suspense
  • William N. Robson -- Escape
  • Jack Johnstone -- Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, The Man Called X, The Six Shooter, Hollywood Star Playhouse

He appeared in Norman Corwin's famous On A Note of Triumph broadcast on V-E Day, May 13, 1945. He also appeared in both the first and last episodes of Radio's Gunsmoke and 180 other episodes in between.

Jack Webb justifiably never cast Harry Bartell as a villain in any of his ensemble productions. Webb apparently felt that Bartell was most effective in his various blood and guts crime dramas as a more sympathetic character--in both Webb's Radio productions and Television productions. Bartell was one of several ensemble actors that Jack Webb employed in most of his productions, along with Wilms Herbert, Herb Butterfield, Michael Fox, Raymond Burr, Tudor Owen, Barney Philips, Tony Barrett, John Dehner, and of course Betty Lou Gerson and Virginia Gregg.

Bartell reportedly preferred the ensemble work over the years: “One of the major benefits was that you had great trust in the other actor. You knew if for some reason you got off-track or you made a mistake, they were going to cover for you. And you would cover for them. As a result, there was an ensemble feeling that was very different than if you had a different cast on the show every day.”

Harry Bartell co-starred with John Anderson in Horizons West, an historical radio documentary drama series on the Lewis and Clark Expedition produced for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service in the early 1960’s. Bartell portrayed Captain Meriwether Lewis and Anderson played Captain William Clark.

Harry Bartell also enjoyed co-starring or featured roles in The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe as Archie Goodwin, in Fort Laramie as Lieutenant Siberts, in the Charlotte Greenwood Show as Tommy Brooks, and in Rogers of the Gazette as Officer Ed Miller.

With some 10,000+ radio appearances to his credit over an almost thirty-five year career in Radio, it's more difficult to cite a west coast production that Harry Bartell didn't appear in. But a simple sampling of his credits is staggering:

  • 180+ appearances in Gunsmoke
  • 60+ appearances in Escape
  • 15+ appearances in Advs. of Philip Marlowe
  • 30+ appearances in Dragnet
  • 20+ appearances in Let George Do It
  • 45+ appearances in Suspense
  • 96+ appearances in Johnny Dollar
  • 60+ appearances in Have Gun, Will Travel

Bartell also performed as an announcer over the years. He announced for Silver Theatre, Sherlock Holmes, and The Casebook of Gregory Hood, though he never really considered himself an announcer, per se. He reportedly approached performances as announcer as simply another acting job--acting the role of announcer.

Harry Bartell appeared in at least 80 Television series' over a 25-year career in Television.

Harry Bartell also co-wrote two Gunsmoke scripts for Radio with fellow Gunsmoke cast member Vic Perrin: Chester's Inheritance and Father And Son. Bartell added professional photographer to his resume when not working actively in radio, television or film.

As with most of the more successful Radio performers of the Golden Age of Radio, Harry Bartell reportedly preferred the medium of Radio to all others: “Radio was a dream medium, every day or twice a day was like a first night. There was always a freshness, a challenge. Radio offered an actor or actress opportunities to play roles they couldn’t obtain anywhere else.”

Similar sentiments can be found in other biographies on these pages--Lurene Tuttle's and Virginia Gregg's, especially. All three great Radio actors cite Radio as the magic medium over which they could portray any person of any era, in any situation--and often several different portrayals in the same radio play episode.

Harry was a popular guest at Old-Time Radio Conventions around the country; particularly so with the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound in Seattle. Not only did he get to perform in recreations, he also appeared with friends from the Golden Age of Radio in several contemporary radio dramas of Jim French.

On Friday, June 27, 2003 Harry went into the recording studio for the last time, to record an episode of Jim French's radio series The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, called "The Adventure Of The Great American" which Jim had written especially for Harry. This episode aired on the syndicated series Imagination Theatre on August 24, 2003.

Harry Bartell ultimately passed away in February 2004. As with most of his huge body of fans from The Golden Age of Radio, we miss his active contributions to both the background and history of the era, but by the same token, his amazing body of work remains a tribute to his talent, versatility and depth.

And yet, ironically--or perhaps as it should be--Harry Bartell probably claims more active fans and admirers now than he ever did while actively performing over Radio--because of the thousands of exemplars of his work that have survived from the era. The admiration is well-deserved, to say the least.




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