Monday, May 26, 2014

Celebrity Rock: (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 (1964)

When you think of the TV show, Route 66, you think of the instrumental theme performed by musical director Nelson Riddle with Gil Grau conducting the orchestra. However, the song, "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66", came before the show was even a thought in the minds of Sterling Siliphant & Herbert Leonard, the show's creators.

Most of you remember the late actor Bobby Troup as Dr. Joe Early from Emergency! (1972-7), and an assortment of other character roles. What you may not know is that Troup was also a jazz singer-songwriter who composed "Route 66" several years prior. It was a hit for artists as diverse as Nat King Cole, John Mayer, & the Rolling Stones (!), but it was Troup who started it all. Troup didn't mix his singing with his acting all that often---2 appearances on Perry Mason and a recurring, pre-Emergency! gig on Mannix seems to be the extent of it---but let's take you back to 1964, when Troup and his jazz combo told us to "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66". The video begins with a brief clip of Troup's wife, singer-actress Julie London (Troup's 2nd wife), as this was from her variety show.




It was one of those little ironies, as the Troups were cast by Julie's ex-husband, Jack Webb, for Emergency!, but to my knowledge I don't think they ever did any musical numbers.......

2 comments:

magicdog said...

Always loved Riddle's instrumental version of this song, but as you mentioned, just about any version is easy to enjoy!

The show itself I didn't see until it turned up on Nick at Nite way back when. It's fun seeing Milner several years before his starring role in Adam 12! Back then, traveling coast to coast on highways was a new thing - Route 66 having been completed in the late 20s. Lots of people still plow through it - just for bragging rights, even though newer routes have long since bypassed it.

hobbyfan said...

By the time my local cabler shifted Nickelodeon/Nick @ Nite from premium to basic service, Route 66 was off the schedule. Me-TV has it buried at the moment, but should bring it to daytime once in a while, like Retro did.....