Car Tunes: Route 66 – Nat King Cole and Many Others

Everyone knows the great song Route 66, about the historic cross-country road that connected America before the Interstate highway system. Parts of the actual road are no longer but the song has become well established in the American song book. What’s not as well known is that the original version of the Bobby Troup composition was recorded by Nat King Cole and his trio in 1946 and it was a huge hit for the jazz pianist and oh-so-smooth vocalist. By now, the song’s been covered endlessly, in a variety of genres. Below the jump are versions by Chuck Berry, Asleep At The Wheel, Manhattan Transfer, Depeche Mode, the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, the Rolling Stones, John Meyer’s version from the animated movie Cars, songwriter and actor Bobby Troup, and Nat King Cole’s own daughter, Natalie Cole.

 

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