Instead of needlessly hijacking the “Cars” thread in regards to the international appeal of The Mother Road, I thought I’d start this thread.
To me, Route 66 is emblematic the USA, particularly “The West” and the freedom of the open road. That feeling is shared Americans and people all over the world. (no cite other than people I’ve met and tour buses full of foreign tourists seen during my travels).
The TV program of the early 60s: Even though they spend almost no time on Route 66 proper, the show is an amazing time capsule. Buzz and Tod, the rich kid and the guy from Hell’s Kitchen–two 20-somethings in search of a place to settle down. They find jobs at the drop of a hat, working at a steel mill, a chicken farm, a missile plant. On the road they find women to fall in love with, men to have fistfights with, and get involved with melodrama all along the way.
The song: Bobby Troup wrote it en route to Los Angeles, Nat King Cole made it famous. Route 66 has been covered by dozens of artists. Do you have a favorite version?
The Mother Road: America’s Main Street, symbol of the way west since the 1930s, icon of our car culture. Tell almost anyone of a certain age that you’re going to drive from Chicago to LA and watch their eyes light up. The romance of the Blue Highways still calls to those who want to find the “real” America, even as it gets swallowed up by strip malls that look the same in every town.
Has anyone else driven Route 66? Seen the TV show? Played the song? I know there must be a few of you out there.