Thank you for the input, but unfortunately, it’s neither of them. Forrest
Sawyer is too young, to start with. This mystery narrator, to my ear, was at
least 40 around 1970. Sawyer was born in 1949, and the voices do not match.
This narrator has somewhat of a “whiny” quality to his voice, but he
balances it out with an unusual richness. I found a recording by Sharbutt
from 1962, and he really produced most of his voice with his soft palate,
giving it power but it was also rather one dimensional. He also said he
retired in 1976. One clue is also what this narrator did. I discounted John
Forsythe from the start because in 1978 he was a celebrity already and
wasn’t going to get involved with narrating English courses. Later on I
realized it wasn’t him, anyway.
I’m not a voice expert by any means, but through the years I’ve become used
to analyzing voices by ear. Not too long ago, I started watching Buck
Privates, from 1941, with Abbott and Costello, and I heard a voice that
sounded like this narrator. I thought I had found him. It turned out to be
Lee Bowman, somebody whom I never heard of before. He was the right age, but
after some research, I found some clips from the 1960s and 1970s, but by
then, Bowman’s voice had changed quite a bit. He narrated “Threads of Glory:
200 Years of America in Words and Music” in 1976.
As I said, this will take finding someone who was involved with this type of
narration back then. My guess is that this narrator may have been a radio
actor who for some reason, perhaps a physical handicap, did not make it to