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ROUTE 66 Theme Song, by Nelson Riddle, a Jazzy Classic, Inspired by an American Car.
Jan. 29 2014 | Lee Martell

Posted on 01/29/2014 9:40:48 PM PST by lee martell

One of the first television theme songs that caught my attention as a kid in Catholic School, was Route 66, written and conducted by Nelson Riddle. Route 66 was on Friday nights on CBS from Oct. 7 1960 to March 20 1964. It was shot on location, and though the show got it's name from that famous highway, very few episodes were shot on that actual highway. The program starred Martin Milner as Tod Stiles, and for the first two seasons George Maharis as Buz Murdock. The show centered around the adventures of two young men who traveled across America in a Chevrolet Corvette sports car. Route 66 was a hybrid between episodic TV drama, which has continuing characters and situations, and the anthology format (i.e. Twilight Zone) in which each week's show has a completely different cast and story.

Route 66 had just three continuing characters, and no more than two of whom appeared in the same episode. Like Richard Kimble from The Fugitive, the wanderers would move from place to place, becoming entwined in the struggles and routines of the people in that town. Unlike Kimble, nothing was forcing the Route 66 guys to stay on the move except their own sense of adventure. This series helped set the tone of what an open ended format could be. Virtually any story could be incorporated. The original idea was said to involve two ex-army men who had left the service, and were looking to re-establish themselves in American life. Tod (Milner) was portrayed as clean cut, plainspoken, well educated and All American. Buz (Marharis) was based on a working class, loose, hip personality, close to the concept of the Beat Generation. Route 66 seems the epitome of perfect driving music, for when you're not in a hurry, but want to drive fast anyway, with all the windows down, and breezes blowing in. With this theme song, Nelson Riddle made the music speak. The song sounds like something I would think of and experience privately, from beginning to the end with it's splashy cresendoes, not like a bunch of noises coming out of some radio.


TOPICS: Arts/Photography; Music/Entertainment; Society
KEYWORDS: route66
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1 posted on 01/29/2014 9:40:48 PM PST by lee martell
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To: lee martell

Love it.
Route 66

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcZ1k4d02KA


2 posted on 01/29/2014 9:42:45 PM PST by Nachum (Obamacare: It's. The. Flaw.)
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To: lee martell

It was a great theme song...I remember it well, from my teen years.


3 posted on 01/29/2014 9:44:15 PM PST by AlexW
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To: lee martell

Great show and great theme song. Still sounds good after all these years.


4 posted on 01/29/2014 9:49:38 PM PST by Conservative4Ever (waiting for my Magic 8 ball to give me an answer)
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To: lee martell

I like the Depeche Mode version...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqrKxBhKdFM


5 posted on 01/29/2014 9:50:04 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: lee martell

Ironically, I just listened to the other “Route 66” by Asleep at the Wheel not 15 seconds before coming to this thread ;-)

And having just read Linda Ronstadt’s book “Simple Dreams”, where she speaks powerfully of her admiration for Nelson Riddle, I’ve listened to the Route 66 Theme a half dozen times in the last week. It’s one I can listen to all day and never get tired of, just a terrific piece of music from one of the most talented arrangers and composers of our time.


6 posted on 01/29/2014 9:50:25 PM PST by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: Nachum

Ahh memories, thanks man


7 posted on 01/29/2014 9:50:31 PM PST by lardog ( Obama should be locked up.)
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To: lee martell

JEEZE!!!!

I LOVE that piece of music! Makes me wish I could play piano.

Thanks for posting this!


8 posted on 01/29/2014 9:52:19 PM PST by Mortrey (Impeach President Soros)
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To: lee martell

striking use of stings. great arrangement.


9 posted on 01/29/2014 9:52:43 PM PST by dadfly
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To: dadfly

oops. strings not stings.


10 posted on 01/29/2014 9:53:38 PM PST by dadfly
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To: lee martell

Oh, I had assumed it was the Bobby Troupe “Route 66.” My Bad.


11 posted on 01/29/2014 9:53:41 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: lee martell

I have the complete tv-series on dvd. Filmed on-location all across America, circa 1960-64. One of my all-time favorites. Great scripts, tons of great guest-stars. Incredible americana.


12 posted on 01/29/2014 9:56:38 PM PST by greene66
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To: lardog

I am just going a little crazy listening to some stuff I haven’t played in a while...

OUT OF LIMITS - THE MARKETTS - (ORIGINAL VERSION) 1962

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXyeb8ND89M

No Matter What Shape... - The T-Bones (1965)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP1dYj2hGss

The Ventures - Walk Don’t Run

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-evJ0J08Jw

and

Santo & Johnny, Sleepwalk, 1959 (this gets played a LOT)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1st_9KudWB0


13 posted on 01/29/2014 9:56:53 PM PST by Nachum (Obamacare: It's. The. Flaw.)
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To: lee martell
Here's a nice tribute video for Route 66. I've watched it many times. Contains an excellent recording of the theme song, along with representative footage from the series.

Including the final scene, in which Martin Milner is set to marry Jeannie!

14 posted on 01/29/2014 9:57:33 PM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: lardog

Nice piece on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Riddle


15 posted on 01/29/2014 9:59:12 PM PST by AlexW
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To: bigbob

Thanks for bringing up Linda Ronstadt. I forgive (most of)her liberal outbursts because of her delightful voice. Apparently, Nelson did not know of think much of Linda Ronstadt when he was first asked to work with her. One of his daughters did know Linda’s work quite well, and said, ‘Don’t worry Dad, Linda is OK, her checks will not bounce. Nelson also arranged the production on Nat King Cole’s Mona Lisa. That became a huge hit and led to many more sessions of studio work with Nat and Nelson Riddle.


16 posted on 01/29/2014 10:03:17 PM PST by lee martell
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To: Nachum

Wow, looks like you’ve hit the jackpot of tunes!


17 posted on 01/29/2014 10:06:15 PM PST by lee martell
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To: y'all
And the other Route 66 song, Nat King Cole Trio. . .

(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66

18 posted on 01/29/2014 10:09:15 PM PST by deks
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To: lee martell
Nelson Riddle did not write Route 66 -- though he did arrange and conduct the theme version for the TV show.

Music and lyrics are credited to jazz drummer Bobby Troup (1946) -- also known as the Julie London's husband.

Route 66 is one timeless composition that deserves a place on the list of All-time Top 100 American Songs.

19 posted on 01/29/2014 10:13:19 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media -- IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: okie01

I made the same mistake, this is the theme to the TV series “Route 66”, different song.


20 posted on 01/29/2014 10:14:21 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: lee martell

“The program starred Martin Milner as Tod Stiles...”

IMHO, Martin Milner is one of the more underrated actors of his era. He was excellent in both Route 66 and Adam-12, but he was also quite good in his early movie career. He turned in very solid performances in Sweet Smell of Success and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, among others. Very talented guy.


21 posted on 01/29/2014 10:15:35 PM PST by DemforBush (A Repo Man is *always* intense.)
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To: okie01
Music and lyrics are credited to jazz drummer Bobby Troup (1946) -- also known as the Julie London's husband.


22 posted on 01/29/2014 10:16:40 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: lee martell

OK,

While I am listening...

The Yardbirds - For Your Love

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn6cxaKRwtk

96 TEARS-— ? and The MYSTERIANS !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeolH-kzx4c

Woolly Bully-Sam The Sham & Pharaohs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6P7g_qz2OU


23 posted on 01/29/2014 10:17:34 PM PST by Nachum (Obamacare: It's. The. Flaw.)
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To: dfwgator
Oh, I had assumed it was the Bobby Troupe “Route 66.” My Bad.

It is the Bobby Troupe "Route 66". Arrangement and orchestra conducted by Nelson Riddle -- who was pretty good at what he did, too. Frank, for example, would know...

24 posted on 01/29/2014 10:17:41 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media -- IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: greene66

I purchased the set about 5-6 years ago. Still pop one in every once in a while. Also picked up the complete DVD sets of 77 Sunset Strip, The Hawaiian Eye, (Oh Connie!!!!), Sea Hunt, M Squad and Surf Side 6 along the way. Great stuff!!


25 posted on 01/29/2014 10:17:41 PM PST by bobby.223 (Retired up in the snowy mountains of the American Redoubt and it's a GREAT life!)
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To: Nita Nupress

Mother Road ping.


26 posted on 01/29/2014 10:19:11 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media -- IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: lee martell

Agree, Lee. She has a right to be a liberal if she wants to be, but to her credit Linda never (or seldom, at least) let her opinions interfere with her music, which appeals to all. Why any entertainer would intentionally alienate half or more of their potential audience is a mystery to me. I thought the book was very well written (by herself) and it’s clear that she recognized the contributions of a wide array of musicians and music professionals, including Nelson Riddle who would rank among the top tier. Given the selfish narcissism of the industry in general, it was refreshing to hear her praise and respect people of quality with superb talent.

Of course, a singer probably couldn’t go wrong by following the lead of the Chairman of the Board ;-)


27 posted on 01/29/2014 10:20:08 PM PST by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: bobby.223

Actually, I still even have my 20 off-air VHS videotape recordings of all the “Route 66” episodes from back when the series aired on Nick-at-Night in 1985-87! I was glad to retire them, when the official dvd-set was released.

“Route 66’s” sister series, “Naked City” has also recently come out (complete, including the single half-hour season from 1958-59) in a big dvd-set.


28 posted on 01/29/2014 10:22:39 PM PST by greene66
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To: okie01

Thank you for the info on Bobby Troup, the actual writer. I’ll bet a lot of people make that mistake. So the composition has been around for quite a while, available for artistic interpretation.


29 posted on 01/29/2014 10:25:25 PM PST by lee martell
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To: lee martell

Peter Gunn Theme - From "The Blues Brothers" soundtrack - youtube

30 posted on 01/29/2014 10:26:54 PM PST by Bobalu (Happiness is a fast ISR)
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To: dfwgator

Both Julie and Husband Bobby have that crisp, prim (and restrained) look of many British actors of that time.


31 posted on 01/29/2014 10:28:53 PM PST by lee martell
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To: lee martell

Nurse Dixie was all the reason I needed to watch Emergency!


32 posted on 01/29/2014 10:31:57 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: okie01

From Wikipedia:

Nelson Riddle was commissioned to write the instrumental theme when CBS decided to have a new song, rather than pay royalties for the Bobby Troup song “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.” Riddle’s theme, however, offers an unmistakable homage to the latter’s piano solo (as originally recorded by Nat King Cole) throughout the number.


33 posted on 01/29/2014 10:34:02 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: lee martell
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLUYf6cekMA

Bobby Troup hizzelf...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQwb4SpNuKo

Manhattan Transfer, my personal favorite.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5O0_g-aBZI

Asleep At The Wheel, a close second.

34 posted on 01/29/2014 10:37:06 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media -- IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: lee martell

I caught the show in reruns as a teenager in the late ‘80s when it was on Nick at Nite. Haven’t seen it anywhere else since.


35 posted on 01/29/2014 10:47:07 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: anyone

Link at #2 above, is the theme from the TV series “Route 66” (1960-1964). . .

from Wikipedia

“Route 66 Theme” - by Nelson Riddle

Nelson Riddle was commissioned to write the instrumental theme when CBS decided to have a new song, rather than pay royalties for the Bobby Troup song “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.” Riddle’s theme, however, offers an unmistakable homage to the latter’s piano solo (as originally recorded by Nat King Cole) throughout the number.

Riddle’s “Route 66 Theme” instrumental was one of the first television themes to make Billboard magazine’s Top 30, following Ray Anthony’s “Dragnet Theme” (in 1953) and Henry Mancini’s “Mr. Lucky Theme” (in 1960). The song earned two Grammy nominations in 1962.


36 posted on 01/29/2014 10:47:36 PM PST by deks
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To: Bobalu
Peter Gunn, Mr Lucky, and Emergency all can be seen on ME TV, which I have on cable. It carries those three golden oldies plus a host of others.

http://www.metvnetwork.com/

37 posted on 01/29/2014 10:47:46 PM PST by Robwin
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To: Robwin

Thanx Robwin :-)


38 posted on 01/29/2014 10:50:40 PM PST by Bobalu (Happiness is a fast ISR)
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To: lee martell; All

Route 66, Naked City, Emergency can be seen on MeTV these days.

http://metvnetwork.com/wheretowatch


39 posted on 01/29/2014 10:55:28 PM PST by Sparky1776
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To: okie01
Thanks...listened to all - great links!

(by the way, if you were using the <p> code for line spaces, it would have prevented the links from being clickable...if you just use the return key for line spaces and eliminate any HTML code, then the FR software should make the URLs clickable automatically)

40 posted on 01/29/2014 11:17:30 PM PST by deks
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To: Steely Tom

Thanks! That was well done.


41 posted on 01/29/2014 11:39:48 PM PST by deks
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To: dfwgator
She was also a great jazz vocalist... Listen here I have several of her albums somewheres

IIRC she also did Marlboro commmercials...and she was SMOKIN'...LOL

42 posted on 01/30/2014 12:38:58 AM PST by ken5050 (This space available cheap...)
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To: lee martell; Nachum
GReat thread..thanks..especially since I can't sleep...LOL

Here's another oldie but goodie...great instrumental.. "Telstar"...The Tornados

43 posted on 01/30/2014 12:45:49 AM PST by ken5050 (This space available cheap...)
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To: lee martell; Nachum; dfwgator
Here's another great old TV theme..by Henry Mancini.... Peter Gunn
44 posted on 01/30/2014 12:49:40 AM PST by ken5050 (This space available cheap...)
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To: ken5050

Youtube is in one of it’s selfish and contrary moods, wont allow me to see the video now. I’ll try again tomorrow, maybe the Youtube Goblins will be napping then.


45 posted on 01/30/2014 12:52:38 AM PST by lee martell
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To: lee martell
Good morning..Didn't pay your YouTube bill this month, eh?

BTW..a few weeks ago..I posted a thread on "One Hit Wonders"..with some great links..we had a lot of posts to it..more good stuff..don't know if you saw it...I wanted to ping you to it...tried SEARCH..but can't find it..it's cranky for me...see if you can find it..

46 posted on 01/30/2014 12:56:49 AM PST by ken5050 (This space available cheap...)
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To: lee martell

three summers ago my family left South Florida.
Drove the R.V. to Chicago’s Art Museum where across the street is the start to Route 66.
We drove the “Mother Road”, all the way to the end, The Santa Monica Pier where I use to hang out as a kid.
Most wonderful time was had by all.


47 posted on 01/30/2014 2:03:18 AM PST by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) obammy lied and lied and lied)
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To: Joe Boucher

Always wanted to do that. Take the few loops and abandoned sections that aren’t part of the expressway system now.


48 posted on 01/30/2014 3:36:20 AM PST by Vinnie
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To: DemforBush

No one mentions George Maharis.

IIRC he was caught in a bus station bathroom. You can guess the rest.
Don’t recall him in any other show.
In today’s environment he’d be a superstar.


49 posted on 01/30/2014 3:47:47 AM PST by Vinnie
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To: Vinnie
Always wanted to do that. Take the few loops and abandoned sections that aren’t part of the expressway system now.

Did that several years ago when I flew to Phoenix to purchase a car and drove it back largely via old 66. Awesome trip - just wish I had taken more time....

50 posted on 01/30/2014 4:21:52 AM PST by awelliott (What one generation tolerates, the next embraces....)
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