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Topic: The Route 66 Mystique: Asphalt Americana Return to archive
April 16th, 2004 05:34 AM
charlotte Route 66, the 2,448-mile Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway, played a crucial role in World War II for moving soldiers and supplies to training camps and ports in the West. For many men that journey was their first exposure to the sunny side of America and, in the post-war era, they hit the road again. More than eight million people crossed the Mississippi River to settle down, and nearly half of them ended up in California.

Robert William Troup was one of those soldiers. A marine who served in the Pacific, Troup and his wife left Harrisburg, Pennsylvania after the war, setting out for Hollywood in their 1941 Buick convertible. Along the way, they composed a song about Route 40. Somewhere between St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri, with about 2,000 miles of Route 66 still ahead of them, they changed the lyrics, arriving in California with a half-written song called "Get Your Kicks on Route 66."

Nat "King" Cole made the song a hit. Over the next 50 years, more than 20 other musicians recorded it, including Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, and Natalie Cole, who sang it as a duet with her digitally-resurrected, late father.

Troup became a TV actor, but neither he nor his song was featured in the hit show Route 66. The show revolved around Tod and Buz, two young men who drove around in a Corvette for no apparent reason. Oddly enough, they rarely traveled Route 66 (likewise, the Route 66 board game that the show inspired allowed players to travel Highway 91 to Las Vegas). Still, from 1960 to 1964, the show captured the spirit of the road, featuring guest actors that included Alan Alda, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, and Robert Redford.
April 16th, 2004 10:11 AM
parmeda Hey Charlotte...great story!
I live about one mile from this historical highway that begins outside of the Chicago area. One day, I'll have a wild hair crawl inside me that will make me jump in the car and take off, lol...'cause that's exactly the feeling I get whenever I hit that road.

Anyone else ever "do the trip"?
April 16th, 2004 10:47 AM
MarthaMyDear Thank you, charlotte, for this article (although I don't have time to read it until later on today, etc.)!!! I used to live near the L.A. part of Route 66 on Sunset Blvd. when I lived in Los Feliz (L.A.) and I'm moving back, maybe, to the same or near the same area soon!!! Thank you very much, once again!!! PEACE!!!

*** Martha ***

P.S. (I've never taken this trip, Parmeda, but I would LOVE TO!!! Maybe some day, I hope!!! ROCK ON!!! )
[Edited by MarthaMyDear]