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Nat King Cole — (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66
Album: The Capitol Collector's Series
Avg rating:
7.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 951









Released: 1956
Length: 2:56
Plays (last 30 days): 1
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 L.A.
More than 2000 miles all the way,
Get your kicks on Route 66.

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

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

~interlude~

Won't you get hip to this timely tip
When you make that California trip?
Get your kicks on Route 66...
Get your kicks on Route 66...
Get your kicks on Route 66!
Comments (117)add comment
As a kid in the 80's I grew up with Depeche Mode's cover of this. 
Pretty cool hearing the original.
 ScottishWillie wrote:
I’m 60 next year and to celebrate (officially becoming elderly) I’ve decided to hire a Harley and ride across America and down Route 66. I’d like to say that it was this version of the song that promoted my desire but it was, in reality, a rerun of the 1976 Levi’s commercial. I recently saw this advert for the first time in 40 years and remembered a promise I’d made to myself as an 18 year old. It made me realise I'd better do it sooner, as at my age there may be no later!
 

I enjoyed my Route 66 trip so much that when I got paid off from work two years later, I used much of my redundancy cash to travel across the deep south of America from coast to coast. A third of the way across I had a motorcycle accident where I wasn’t injured but damaged my rental bike, badly. The response to my plight from ordinary American (though not the hire company) renewed my faith in humanity. I was helped by tree-hugging liberals and far-right gun-carrying Cristian’s. They were collectively some of the finest human beings it’s been my pleasure to meet. Americans tend to give themselves a hard time but the support and hospitality I received from strangers was humbling. It also convinced me that southern hospitality isn’t a myth it's real and very much alive. Thank you!



Man, did this guy have a smooooooth voice!  Several of his tunes have become musical icons.
 ScottishWillie wrote:

Just back from this trip. On the flight out from Scotland, I thought I’d built the trip up in my head so much it couldn’t possibly be as good as I hoped, but it was better in every way.  The best things about this trip weren’t the things I’d saw and the places I visited but rather the wonderful people I met. Thank you, Americans.
 
Americans. Thank you Americans... Who cares about Americans.... but Route 66
 xray38 wrote:

Just remember that America is huge and includes Mexico, United States and Canada. And that's just North America! Have fun!
 
Get yer kicks, but be safe. Bikes are not for everyone.

Image result for route 66 map
 ScottishWillie wrote:
I’m 60 next year and to celebrate (officially becoming elderly) I’ve decided to hire a Harley and ride across America and down Route 66. I’d like to say that it was this version of the song that promoted my desire but it was, in reality, a rerun of the 1976 Levi’s commercial. I recently saw this advert for the first time in 40 years and remembered a promise I’d made to myself as an 18 year old. It made me realise I'd better do it sooner, as at my age there may be no later!


 
Just remember that America is huge and includes Mexico, United States and Canada. And that's just North America! Have fun!
 ScottishWillie wrote:

Just back from this trip. On the flight out from Scotland I thought I’d built the trip up in my head so much it couldn’t possibly be as good as I hoped, but it was better in every way.  The best things about this trip weren’t the things I’d saw and the places I visited but rather the wonderful people I met. Thank you America.
 
My wife and I are doing the Eastbound trip this summer!
We can't wait!
Road trip!
 ScottishWillie wrote:
I’m 60 next year and to celebrate (officially becoming elderly) I’ve decided to hire a Harley and ride across America and down Route 66. I’d like to say that it was this version of the song that promoted my desire but it was, in reality, a rerun of the 1976 Levi’s commercial. I recently saw this advert for the first time in 40 years and remembered a promise I’d made to myself as an 18 year old. It made me realise I'd better do it sooner, as at my age there may be no later!
 
Just back from this trip. On the flight out from Scotland, I thought I’d built the trip up in my head so much it couldn’t possibly be as good as I hoped, but it was better in every way.  The best things about this trip weren’t the things I’d saw and the places I visited but rather the wonderful people I met. Thank you, Americans.
Absolute perfection. The laid back smooth vocals and that guitar!
 ScottishWillie wrote:

I’m 60 next year and to celebrate (officially becoming elderly) I’ve decided to hire a Harley and ride across America and down Route 66. I’d like to say that it was this version of the song that promoted my desire but it was, in reality, a rerun of the 1976 Levi’s commercial. I recently saw this advert for the first time in 40 years and remembered a promise I’d made to myself as an 18 year old. It made me realise I'd better do it sooner, as at my age there may be no later!



 
YEAH BRO im touched turn this ish up guys lol
 Cynaera wrote:
My parents were horribly bigoted - they hated Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, etc.  But they loved Nat King Cole because he was "almost white."  I was very glad to turn 18 so I could leave home and listen to the music I was missing.  And I love Nat King Cole's music - not because of any racial profiling, but because his voice just resonates with me. He left this earth too soon.{#Sunny}

 
Just like you did. You are both sorely missed.
GODLIKE   : )

I met an Italian couple who are planning a trip to the US and will drive Route 66. When I heard this I started singing this and they looked at me like I was crazy. I asked if they had ever heard the song and they said no. I then asked other Europeans in the room and none of them had heard of it either. So why would anyone travel halfway around the world to drive a road that doesn't even exist for long stretches? I thought is was surely because of this song.

I told them that their "homework" was to go to YouTube or wherever and listen to the song. I then took it upon myself to draw up a "mix tape" with multiple versions. The ones that I could think of off the top of my head were:
- Nat "King" Cole
- The Rolling Stones
- Depeche Mode
- Asleep at the Wheel

I then search around a bit and added:
- Bing Crosby
- Eva Cassidy
- The Cramps
- The Manhattan Transfer
- Ray Charles
- Van Morrision and Them
- Buckwheat Zydeco
- The Replacements

And the list could have gone on for double that or more.


 Aud wrote:
Road will be quite bumpy-road is deteriorated...

 
That's what I tried to tell the cop who pulled me over.


Road will be quite bumpy-road is deteriorated...

I’m 60 next year and to celebrate (officially becoming elderly) I’ve decided to hire a Harley and ride across America and down Route 66. I’d like to say that it was this version of the song that promoted my desire but it was, in reality, a rerun of the 1976 Levi’s commercial. I recently saw this advert for the first time in 40 years and remembered a promise I’d made to myself as an 18 year old. It made me realise I'd better do it sooner, as at my age there may be no later!


I think that great singers excel at doing the same thing with their voice that gifted guitar players do with their instruments — they are somehow able to stretch out, delay, modulate or otherwise tweak the timing and depth of each note, and especially each BLUE NOTE, so that the ear and brain circuitry get some kind of reward for anticipating and reveling in the actual, thrilling, danceable delivery of it...
Mr Cole abhorred the 'King' epithet. He thought it stank of 'nigger mentality' and how true. Stop it with the King shit.
NKC is probably best known as a great singer but he is also an amazing piano man. Check out his best album, After Midnight, to hear him work behind the keys in a small jazz format. Really good!
Doesn't get much better than this.  :-)
Nat King Cole is one of the smoothest singers ever, but this cheapskate production is just all LP-filler. I'd love to hear more of the man, but not this.
 Cynaera wrote:
My parents were horribly bigoted - they hated Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, etc.  But they loved Nat King Cole because he was "almost white."  I was very glad to turn 18 so I could leave home and listen to the music I was missing.  And I love Nat King Cole's music - not because of any racial profiling, but because his voice just resonates with me. He left this earth too soon.{#Sunny}

More please!
Wow... he was so good!
Was the piano player, primarily. And then he sang...
 daveesh wrote:
who is smoother than nat king cole?

 
WonderLizard wrote:
Mel Torme comes to mind—not necessarily smoother, but as smooth.
 
Possibly, it's subjective. Even if Mel Torme is as smooth there's something about Nat King Cole that puts him in a class by himself I think. Yeah, it's his tone. 
 daveesh wrote:
who is smoother than nat king cole?

 
Mel Torme comes to mind—not necessarily smoother, but as smooth.
 bachbeet wrote:
Great song from one of the all time great singers.  And, yes, he died way too young.  Just like too many other artists.

 

ciggy butts will get ya...
Dr. Early to Emergency. Dr. Early to Emergency.
{#Wave}..... this is so very good for my ears
Stones version next? Some contrast. 
 lmic wrote:
Is this early or late Nat?
 
If you want early nat, you need to check out his trio recordings.  the jazz community thought he was a sellout when he went into crooning...
Ahh, Route 66—had to be prettier than I-40.
Summer of '62—we drove from home in San Rafael to Boston taking Route 66 from Barstow to Oklahoma City. Amazing experience. Massive sandstorm stalled us in Albuquerque for three days; being able to stop by the side of the road in the Petrified Forest and walk up to the trees; and of course the three-headed calf and the amazing Snake Boy.
Oh Yeah!!!!  {#Bananapiano}
 Jamunca wrote:

If you're headed north and feelin' fine
It's time to get hip to this timely tip
When you make that Canadian trip
Spend some time on I-twenty nine

*holds out hand*
"Grammy please!"

 
*hands Jamunca a Grammy statue*  Yep, that totally works.  Now, we need to put it to music and sell it. {#Mrgreen}
 Grammarcop wrote:
When is someone going to write a song about I-29?
 
If you're headed north and feelin' fine
It's time to get hip to this timely tip
When you make that Canadian trip
Spend some time on I-twenty nine

*holds out hand*
"Grammy please!"

9 -> 10.

Can not be improved on. So simple, so cool ... (am taking a break from work to absorb this excellence)
I remember Rt. 66 from my childhood.  Brings back a lot of memories.  Love it.
Kingman, Needles, Barstow.....Route 66.  I am from Barstow!  (about the only part of it I am happy about is this mention in the song)
When is someone going to write a song about I-29?
 daveesh wrote:
who is smoother than nat king cole?
 
There aren't enough o's in smooth for this one.

Great song from one of the all time great singers.  And, yes, he died way too young.  Just like too many other artists.
Wow to think this is the first version... I never imagined it this way but I loved it!
My parents were horribly bigoted - they hated Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, etc.  But they loved Nat King Cole because he was "almost white."  I was very glad to turn 18 so I could leave home and listen to the music I was missing.  And I love Nat King Cole's music - not because of any racial profiling, but because his voice just resonates with me. He left this earth too soon.{#Sunny}
 daveesh wrote:
who is smoother than nat king cole?
  baby's butt

Nope, not even this baby's butt.


 On_The_Beach wrote:

https://www.myfruit.com.au/images/ResizedProductImages/size1/KraftSmoothPeanutButter.jpg

 

So far my favorite answer!
 daveesh wrote:
who is smoother than nat king cole?
 
https://www.victorianofficesuppliers.com.au/images/P/102.jpg
Good stuff man!{#Bananapiano}
 thewiseking wrote:
laid back greatness. when grown ups were cool this is what they listened to.
 
My kids think its Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones or The Beatles!
Ray Benson and Asleep At The Wheel do what I think is the definitive version, but ol' Ray would love this groovy smooth take too. Nice.

To be fair, Mr. Cole could sing a phone book and I'd give it at least a 6. What a voice.
 daveesh wrote:
who is smoother than nat king cole?
 

Michael Franks?
 daveesh wrote:
who is smoother than nat king cole?

.. nobody I can think of. 



I don't think there's a better jazz singer than Nat King Cole.
 daveesh wrote:
who is smoother than nat king cole?
 
Smooth like 18 year old scotch, baby. Hells yeah.

sweeeeeet daddy-o!  {#Bananajam}
who is smoother than nat king cole?
 WonderLizard wrote:

I'll always remember Bobby Troup (note spelling) for his cameo in M*A*S*H (the movie) as the sargeant who drove Hawkeye and Trapper around Tokyo, muttering, "Goddam army!"
 
Duly noted, thank you!
Nice segue....
Smack dab in the groove!
Smooooooooth.
NIce contrast to the Dylan cover.  I actually enjoy the history lessons, and consider Nat's voice as one of the smoothest ever recorded.
Very cool. Yeah.
 jhorton wrote:
What the hell happened to RP? It used to be so cool, now every time I tune in it's like a history lesson.....
 
Reminds me of words I once read highlighting the folly of youth . . . "invincible in their ignorance".

 Grammarcop wrote:
Hey, how about some love for Bobby Troop, the composer?
 
I'll always remember Bobby Troup (note spelling) for his cameo in M*A*S*H (the movie) as the sargeant who drove Hawkeye and Trapper around Tokyo, muttering, "Goddam army!"

 jhorton wrote:
What the hell happened to RP? It used to be so cool, now every time I tune in it's like a history lesson.....
 
Then act like you are in a classroom - sit down, be quiet, and take notes.
I love this stuff, and I think Bill has done a great job interweaving Classic Music (blues, R&B, Jazz, Big Band, Classical, etc...) in with the normal "alt" music (Wilco, KoL, Radiohead, Beth Orton, Jenny Lewis, Jack White, etc...)

The Route 66 took this song and used it for their promotion.  I grew up in Barstow, CA so this is something very special to me.  I used to drive the old 66 to school every day for most of my life.  So it brings back memories.......play it Nat

What the hell happened to RP? It used to be so cool, now every time I tune in it's like a history lesson.....
 HoneyBearKelly wrote:
Smooooooth.
 


veeeery nice {#Smile}

Smooooooth.
compare this to the Depeche Mode version......!
 ziggytrix wrote:
this would sound better with vinyl pops and noise and a ton of extra treble. and rain outside. and a bottle of wine.

 
{#Yes}

better? oh yes, but still good at work on a cold and sunny day ...


...to continue the numerical progression, thunder road (us route 70) i suppose should follow next...
Hey, how about some love for Bobby Troop, the composer? Oh, and my daughter sends her greetings to everyone in RP World!
Ahnyer_Keester wrote:
Man what a singer!! Such a smooth voice.
Dig. Silk, baby, silk. This song wouldn't be my first choice from him, but it's a pretty cool interpretation. I'm so used to the Asleep At The Wheel version, this one is an interesting diversion. c.
Get your kicks on route sexty sex.
laid back greatness. when grown ups were cool this is what they listened to.
Man what a singer!! Such a smooth voice.
this would sound better with vinyl pops and noise and a ton of extra treble. and rain outside. and a bottle of wine.
This is one of my least favorite NKC songs, that is why I can only give it a 9.
Al_Koholic wrote:
Well he is the "Late" Nat King Cole
hehehe funny!
Why, I'm sittin' near 66 half-way between Chicago and Saint Louie right now!
lmic wrote:
Is this early or late Nat?
Well he is the "Late" Nat King Cole
Okay, now play Radar Love--the ultimate road trip song.
lmic wrote:
Is this early or late Nat?
Middle.
Mr Cole is one of those artists whose music will live forever. Marvelous voice.
Is this early or late Nat?
just try and find a better example of american popular music stylings. NKC was truly and american iconic force. :good-vibes:
Frankie Miller used to play Nat Cole on the juke box in my dad's pub.Got me turned on to Nat,What a musician.
Many better Nat toons out there. Never cared a lot for this pur-ticular one...
kmgee wrote:
I feel honored to be the 66th person to rate this song.
You COUNTED? OCD?
NKC is a legend, esp by my dad's standards. Once upon a time you could write sweet simple tunes about trains, cars and roadways. Once upon a time, driving had a romance to it. :bananajam: :bananapiano:
physicsgenius wrote:
So this is it? This is the song that everyone is so excited about? Well, I guess I can say I heard it now.
you've never heard this song before? where have you been?
DoofusGeezer wrote:
AC/DC's Highway to Hell and now Nat King Cole - from the rediculous to the sublime!
best comment ever...I def agree!!!!
Now Wait a minute. I thougt RP's programming phylosophy was all about flow. AC/DC -> Nat Cole does not flow at all. :doh: Worst segue I ever heard Bill. WTF Are trying to challenge us? Good tune anyway....
AC/DC's Highway to Hell and now Nat King Cole - from the rediculous to the sublime!
Highways. Damn interesting set, youse. Are you heading toward that holiday song about travel... ? Certainly would fit.
Highway to Hell, then Route 66. I can see the road theme but melody-wise its a 15-car pileup.
So this is it? This is the song that everyone is so excited about? Well, I guess I can say I heard it now.
"I love this song!" said my 7 yr old daughter just now.
slartibart_O wrote:
get your kicks has had many great covers too - from depeche mode to the stones.
We heard the DM cover on Sirius whie driving around town recently. I had never heard it before. It is very cool.
hey, cool. I was born in amarillo, texas just yards from route 66 and still love the roadies that populate and travel it. get your kicks has had many great covers too - from depeche mode to the stones. chuck berry screwed it up royally and managed to insert towns that are nowhere close to the road. john mayer even does it decent on the soundtrack to the new pixar flick cars. all route 66 lovers should see it immediately. nonetheless bobby troup's tune is a classic. 10 all the way. And a cool segue into the austin band 8.5 souveneirs covering zztop sung to the groove of get your kicks. awesome. life is like totally yin/yang circular, man.
I feel honored to be the 66th person to rate this song.
Nat! Yeah.
Naturally, as a former curbside resident along 66, I must give due homage and props. Though not the original, this is still the most famous version.
More Nat Cole will make this truly Paradise and less of a rock thang. :drool:
Anything from the early "Trio" days is just brilliant.
ploafmaster wrote:
Wow, that voice is aMAZing. I could listen to it all day long.
And, IIRC, his primary goal was jazz piano. The voice thing came later.
Wow, that voice is aMAZing. I could listen to it all day long.
GregX59 wrote:
One of the greatest voices in the history of popular music. Great addition to the playlist!
You called that one right, X!
One of the greatest voices in the history of popular music. Great addition to the playlist!
Perfect!
Great to hear this! My favorite Nat King Cole era. So cool. :sunny:
Nice mix, keep up the good work.
I've long been wondering about this great's absence here. Good on you, RP!