Route 66 - The Mother Road

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0120100705

Award-winning conductor Charles Hazlewood takes a trip down "The Mother Road", 25 years after it ceased to be an official US highway.

Established in 1926, it ran for over 2,400 miles across the southern part of America, crossing eight states from Illinois to California.

Though now decommissioned, some of the original route still exists and it is firmly established in popular culture through song, literature, television, film, photography and art.

"The Mother Road" is referenced in John Steinbeck's 1939 novel, The Grapes Of Wrath, reflecting its significance as a migration route during the Depression.

But in 1946, songwriter Bobby Troup was more celebratory, inviting us "get hip" to his "timely tip" and travel Route 66.

Initially recorded by Nat King Cole, it has since become a pop standard, covered by numerous artists including Perry Como, Bob Dylan, The Manhattan Transfer, The Rolling Stones, The Cramps and Depeche Mode.

In the 1950s it became a major highway for holidaymakers.

It was advertised as "The Main Street Of America", becoming synonymous with freedom and adventure, as local economies were boosted along the way.

But in the 1960s, when Interstate 40 was built, Route 66 was bypassed and economic hardship followed.

The highway was officially decertified from the US Highway system in 1985 but its legacy thrives in culture and in the efforts of preservation societies along the route.

Charles drives from Chicago to LA, on a personal musical odyssey, exploring the history and musical iconography, whilst meeting the people that still live, work, drive, and get their kicks...

on Route 66.

Award-winning conductor Charles Hazlewood takes a trip down 'The Mother Road'.

0220100706

Award-winning conductor Charles Hazlewood takes a trip down 'The Mother Road', 25 years after it ceased to be an official US highway.

Award-winning conductor Charles Hazlewood takes a trip down 'The Mother Road'.

0320100707

Award-winning conductor Charles Hazlewood takes a trip down 'The Mother Road', 25 years after it ceased to be an official US highway.