SAN BERNARDINO AND ‘ROUTE 66′

An aspiring songwriter named Bobby Troup arrived in L.A. in 1946 after a long drive west on Route 66. It didn’t take him long to hit it big. During his road trip he had written a tune called “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.” Nat King Cole heard it, liked it, and turned it into a national hit that same year.

The song mentions San Bernardino by name, and that’s just one of the interesting connections between the city and Bobby Troup.

In the 1950s he met Julie London, an aspiring singer who had grown up in San Bernardino. In 1955 he produced her first hit, “Cry Me a River,” and they married in 1959. The marriage lasted for 40 years.

London, who became one of the most famous torch singers of her era, died in 2000, one year after her husband.

Here are the lyrics of Bobby Troup’s classic song, as recorded in 1946 by Nat King Cole:

“(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66″

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 2,000 miles all the way.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Now you go through St. Louie, Joplin, Missouri,
And Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty.
You see Amarillo, and Gallup, New Mexico,
Flagstaff, Arizona, don’t forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernandino.

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.