What’s a Road Trip Without Route 66?

by Deb Bartlett

It is likely the best-known road in North America. It’s been written about, sung about, and filmed. It’s been cemented as the road to opportunity. If you haven’t guessed, I’m talking about Route 66, the famous 2,448 mile highway that runs from Chicago IL to Los Angeles, CA.

Songwriter Bobby Troup invited to us to get our kicks on Route 66, but that came seven years after John Steinbeck immortalized the highway in The Grapes of Wrath. Set during the Great Depression, the Joad family, and thousands like them made their way from America’s heartland to California in search of a better future. Ever since, Route 66 has been a metaphor for heading towards promise, and fulfilling dreams.

Route 66 was written in 1946, and recorded that year first by Nat King Cole then Bing Crosby with the Andrews Sisters. Several versions followed. Chuck Berry’s version was faster, and inspired the Rolling Stones to record it on their first album.

Other versions were recorded by The Manhattan Transfer, Depeche Mode, Michael Martin Murphey, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Glenn Frey, and John Mayer.

Trivia Time: there are many other songs that reference places along Route 66. One was written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, and recorded by the Eagles. Do you know what it is?



Take It Easy references the corner in Winslow, Arizona, which is located on Route 66. See the girl in the flat-bed Ford slowing down?





Both of these songs made the cut and can be found on the Road Trip album of Collection Four - Boomer Tracks. This collection of six albums features favourites of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Room 217’s Collections are designed for use in palliative care, but have many applications. Learn more about using music in palliative care and end of life in our free downloadable user guide.


Deb Bartlett is a journalist by profession, with a particular interest in the health and education beats. As Room 217’s Resource Lead, her experience as a writer lends valuable communication and networking expertise within the wide range of Room 217 customers and media relations.