“Route 66,” covered by Chuck Berry … (Rhythm ‘n’ Blues / Pop – Music to Your Ears, Covers–30)

in music •  6 months ago  (edited)

There are various covers of this genre-transcending classic, including blues rock, psychobilly, and swing versions.

Chuck Berry – “Route 66”

“Route 66” (1961 – original from 1946)

A few nights ago, my friend Joel and I were sitting in the Moment’s Notice jazz club in Chiang Mai, and the house band started playing the classic rhythm and blues tune “Route 66.” 

Even though both of us have a fairly extensive knowledge of the various types of popular music of the past century, neither of us could remember the name of the writer or the musician who originally recorded it.  

On the Route Again

“Route 66”  was first recorded in 1946 by the great US musician Nat King Cole. Subsequently, Cole recorded 2 other versions, in 1956 and then in 1961.   

Cole’s original is classic R&B. But 15 years later, Chuck Berry turned it into a bopping, 1950s-style rock’n’roll tune.  And the fun had just started. Over the following decades, various other groups recorded their own fine interpretations.  

Get More Kicks, with Route 66

(In coming posts, I’ll introduce a few other covers of this genre-transcending classic, including blues rock, psychobilly, and swing versions.)   (Image source)

note – “Route 66”  was written by the US musician and actor Robert “Bobby” Troup, Jr.

Writing “Route 66”  was arguably his greatest accomplishment, but he became more popular for starring as Dr Joe Early in the 1970s TV series “Emergency.”   (Image source)

Chuck Berry

The US singer / songwriter Chuck Berry was the major pioneer of rock’n’roll. He took the elements of rhythm and blues, plugged in his electric guitar, pranced around on stage, and the rest is history.  

After Berry moved to Chicago in 1955, he recorded “Maybellene,”  which became a Number 1 hit on the R&B charts and sold over 1 million copies. Within 5 years, Berry had become a major star, and rock’n’roll was alive and kicking.  

Mover, Shaker, and Shaper

When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened in 1986, Chuck Berry was one of the first inductees. Moreover, the Hall included 3 of his songs on its list of “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.”   

On “Rolling Stone”  magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time,”  Chuck Berry ranks at Number 5.   (Image source)

If you ever plan to motor west
Travel my way
Take the highway that's the best
Get your kicks on Route 66

It winds from Chicago to LA
More than two thousand miles all the way
Get your kicks on Route 66

Now you go through St. Louis
Joplin, Missouri
And Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty
You'll see Amarillo
Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona
Don't forget Winona
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino

Won't you get hip to this timely tip
When you make that California trip
Get your kicks on Route 66

Won't you get hip to this timely tip
When you make that California trip
Get your kicks on Route 66
[3 x]   (Image source)

        Nat King Cole – “Route 66”    
          (Right-click to hear on YouTube)


Lyrics by Bobby Troup, courtesy of – AZLyrics.com
Reference – Wikipedia
Reference – Wikipedia
Reference – Wikipedia
Reference – CRLF.de

Into your ears … through 5 channels

 The various posts are categorized into 5 channels (Right-Click to see details)
         1 – “Music to Your Ears” (MTYE)
         2 – “Cover Versions”
         3 – “Honor Roll”
         4 – “Documentaries”
         5 – “Mock’n’Roll”

More “Cover Versions – Music to Your Ears” ...

          Previous posts in this series – "Cover Versions 1–20"  

Links to my other series ...

          Lou Reed – "Anthology of Memorable Lyrics, Part 1"
          Lou Reed – "Anthology of Memorable Lyrics, Part 2"

          Great Lyrics, a compilation – “Part One – My Lyrics Posts 3~30”
          Great Lyrics, a compilation – “Part Two – My Lyrics Posts 31~60”  

          Vocab-Ability – "Introduction to Vocab-Ability"  
          Vocab-Ability – "Index"  to all Chapters and Sections  

          Notes from Under the Tatami Mats – "Part One – Notes 1~50"  
          Notes from Under the Tatami Mats – "Part Two – Notes 51~87"  

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"Voyager 1" included a gold record album containing diverse sounds from mother Earth, including the human heartbeat, whale “songs,” and musical selections from around the world, including the works of Beethoven and Chuck Berry. My favorite parody of this gesture was a skit on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, shortly after the Voyager launch, in which they showed a written reply from the aliens who recovered the spacecraft. The note simply requested, “Send more Chuck Berry.”

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