I started streaming this song today, and then started flipping between various versions that I knew.
“Route 66” by Bobby Troup seems to capture or convey something elemental that people like to sing. He wrote the song while driving cross-country with his wife. His lyrics are the foundations for multiple interpretations, from Nat King Cole to John Mayer, with a chunk of people in between. I happened to start with the Depeche Mode cover today, and then popped into the Mayer version before jumping back to Nat King Cole and then then the Stones. It’s intriguing how each performer adjusts it to their style and era of music. As fascinating as all of that, Route 66 features powerfully in the Steinbeck novel, The Grapes of Wrath.
Enjoy them all, a celebration of a classic road and a classic song, “Route 66”, about a road that barely still exists.
Nat King Cole
Bobby Troup – the composer.