Rolling Stones songs: (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Well, goes from St. Louis down to Missouri/ Oklahoma city looks oh so pretty…
Written by: Bobby Troup
Recorded: Regent Sounds and IBC Studios, London, England, Jan. 3 1964
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
This song has been covered dozens of times in all music styles. It was written and originally performed by Bobby Troup, a singer and pianist who was married to the actress Julie London. Both appeared as regular cast members of the TV show Emergency.
The song was popularized by The King Cole Trio, which was the big act for Columbia Records. Columbia was founded in 1942, and the trio recorded this song in 1946, the same year they had a big hit with “For Sentimental Reasons.” Cole was the piano player in the trio, and in 1947 he started recording as a solo artist, which is how many of his recordings of “Route 66” are credited. His solo efforts often had lush orchestral arrangements, but in 1946, he was part of a swinging trio that captured the traveling feel of this song perfectly.
Route 66 is a famous US road that goes from Los Angeles to Chicago. There are many interesting sights and landmarks along the way, making it a popular road trip destination.
Rick Busciglio of Memory Lane Presentations tells us: “At a party in Hollywood in the 1970s I was introduced to Mrs. Bobby Troup. I was very surprised with the introduction because I knew that Bobby Troup was married to a magnificent singer (and beauty) by the name of Julie London… and this lady was clearly not Julie London. First name Cynthia. This Mrs. Bobby Troup told me this tale about when she was the first wife of Troup: They were living modestly in Lancaster, Pennsylvania at the end of World War II and Bobby Troup had decided that ‘if I’m going to make it in the music business I’ve got to go to LA.’…
…So they drive cross country to Los Angeles and while they motor on a long boring stretch of US Route 66, they play word games coming up with the lyrics to a song (‘I get my kicks on route 66’)… which, of course, was the classic ‘Route Sixty-Six.’ When they arrived in Los Angeles and rented a small apartment they were almost penniless. Bobby Troup set their lyrics to music, peddled it around and eventually convinced Johnny Mercer’s new record company Capital to record it with their top star, Nat Cole. Within weeks after its release the song was a nationwide hit – in fact it reached #1. AND the royalties from this one song provided enough money to buy a house. A few years later, Troup produced Julie London’s million selling hit record ‘Cry Me A River.’ He divorced Cynthia and married Julie five years later.”
Chuck Berry recorded this song in 1961. His version got the attention of The Rolling Stones, who covered it in 1964 and made it a regular part of their stage show.
John Mayer covered this song for the Pixar movie Cars. This version was nominated for a Grammy. The Cars soundtrack also included Chuck Berry’s version.
Country singer Wynonna Judd, who was born Christina Ciminella, took her stage name from a line in this song: “Flagstaff, Arizona. Don’t forget Winona.”
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
Bobby Troup is familiar to television viewers from his role acting in
Emergency!, a popular seventies television series in the United States. Most
importantly, he is known to rock ’n’ roll and rhythm ’n’ blues enthusiasts as
the composer of “Route 66.” Based on the twelve-bar blues structure, this
song, composed in 1946, takes its name from the famous road that connects
Chicago and Santa Monica. In a certain sense it represents a glorification of
travel as a symbol of freedom (several years before the writers of the Beat
generation). Get your kicks on Route 66: the refrain says it all!
The song was first recorded by Nat King Cole in 1946 and became an
enormous hit. Since then, numerous singers, from Chuck Berry to Brian
Setzer and from Natalie Cole to the Cramps, have incorporated it into their
repertoires. It even became a hymn for the bands of the British Invasion,
with covers by the Rolling Stones, and later Them.
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Categories: Can You Hear the Music?