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Springfield will simulcast Ozark Mountain Daredevils concert during festival July 24, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Music.
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If you didn’t have a ticket to the Ozark Mountain Daredevils‘ headlining concert at the Gillioz Theatre during the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Missouri, on Aug. 9, no worries — the sellout show will be simultaneously broadcast for free on a 16-by-30-foot screen in Park Central Square downtown.

The band enthusiastically endorsed the idea, according to the Springfield News-Leader. And the band also had a few interesting things to say about Route 66:

In the release, band member John Dillon said that Route 66 “played a key role in Springfield’s access to popular music.”

“Because of our location on ‘The Mother Road’ our area of the country was able to tap in to the amazing talent of so many great performers from so many different genres,” Dillon said. “Our band was influenced by the spirit of Route 66, the artists who traveled through Springfield, and the music they shared.”

The show and simulcast, which includes the opening acts Powder Mill, Cindy Woolf and Mark Bilyeu, will begin at 7 p.m. Aug. 9. The city is encouraging people to bring lawn chairs to Park Central Square so they watch it.

The band’s biggest song was “Jackie Blue,” which came within an eyelash or two of being a No. 1 single in 1975. The band has been in semi-retirement for years, but surviving members reunite every so often for shows, especially in its hometown of Springfield. You can hear much of their stuff here:

Some festival proceeds will go to building the future Birthplace of Route 66 Roadside Park on College Street in Springfield.

(Image of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils in 1975 via Wikipedia)

The miracle of the Coleman Theatre’s restoration July 21, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, Preservation, Theaters.
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The history and eventual revitalization of the historic Coleman Theatre in Miami, Oklahoma, is one of the most inspiring and interesting stories you’ll hear on Route 66.

It continues to amaze how a town of just 13,000 people with nominal funding could return an opulent theater back to its old glory.

And who better to tell about it than the theater’s executive director, Barbara Smith?

As Smith noted, the theater continues to host tours almost every day. And it continues to bring in music acts, dramatic productions and the occasional film. Go here for its schedule of upcoming events.

The documentary was produced by students at Macon State College in Macon, Georgia.

(Image of the Coleman Theater from 1929 by CharmaineZoe’s Marvelous Melange via Flickr)

One-man band in Seligman July 16, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, People.
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Mark Di Giuseppe, aka The Straniero, performs Bobby Troup’s “Route 66″ outside, then inside Historic Seligman Sundries in Seligman, Arizona.

Di Giuseppe was born in the United States, but now calls Italy home.

The performance in Seligman was stripped down to what he usually does. Check out all the instruments he can play at once.

Tuxedo cruising May 28, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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Here’s Roy Gaines and His Orchestra playing a nice arrangement of Bobby Troup’s “Route 66,” from Gaines’ 2009 album, “Tuxedo Blues.”

If you like a big horn section, this is for you:

The song may be downloaded for 99 cents here.

Gaines has quite a biography. In addition to a long career in music, he’s done some acting as well.

(Image via RoyGaines.com)

New Nat King Cole collection coming June 3 May 11, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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A new collection of Nat King Cole hits, including “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66,” along with previously unreleased material, will arrive in stores June 3, according to a news release from Universal Music.

The collection, titled “The Extraordinary Nat King Cole,” includes the big hits “Mona Lisa,” “Unforgettable,” and “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.”

“Route 66,” written by Bobby Troup during a cross-country trip on the highway, became a national smash in 1946 and has inspired hundreds of cover versions since then, including versions by Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, John Mayer and Glenn Frey.

Amazingly, a researcher at Capitol Records found previously unreleased material, some more than half-a-century old:

Originally lost and unissued, the rare tracks were finally rediscovered by Alex Luke, former EVP of A&R at Capitol Records. Luke, a big Nat King Cole fan, spent two years working tirelessly in the Capitol vaults attempting to physically locate missing master tapes, searching every variation of Nat Cole’s name, combing through photos, union records, paperwork and tapes. It began as an effort to solve the mystery of a specific week-long lost Cole session from Chicago. That search uncovered the tracks here. “We deduced the session we wanted was lost in late 1955,” Luke says, “almost certainly as the result of the tapes coming to L.A. from an unusual location (Chicago) at a time when Capitol was moving operations into the brand new Capitol Tower. Nat even re-recorded a few of the tracks in late 1955 and 1956, which was a strong indication they were lost at that time.” Luke adds, “Sadly the missing session tapes are still missing, but finding these completely unreleased tracks and alternate takes in the vaults was a big win.”

The previously unreleased material includes “The Magic Window,” “Little Fingers,” “You’re Wrong All Wrong” and an alternate take of “Sleeping Beauty.” The collection also features duets with Dean Martin.

More details about two versions of “The Extraordinary Nat King Cole”:

Available on CD and digital download, The Extraordinary Nat King Cole will be released in two distinct versions. The standard single-disc edition contains 22 classic Cole performances, while the two-CD Deluxe edition adds 14 rare and/or previously unreleased tracks, including four never-before-heard vintage songs and previously unissued, alternate takes of the Cole standards “Straighten Up And Fly Right,” “Unforgettable,” “Mona Lisa,” “The Christmas Song,” and “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons” taken from the Nat King Cole Story sessions. Also featured are “Ain’t She Sweet” and “What to Do,” recorded in 1954, both of which find Cole trading vocals with his daughters Carole and Natalie (whose cross-generational 1991 duet version of “Unforgettable” helped to introduce her father to a new generation of listeners).

The two-CD and single-disc versions of the album may be pre-ordered here. MP3s of the album also will be available when it’s released.

(Image of Nat King Cole in 1947 by the Library of Congress via Flickr)

An interview with the owner of Grady’s 66 Pub April 24, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Music.
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A student with the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology made this video about Grady Cross, owner of Grady’s 66 Pub on Route 66 in Yukon, Okla.

Cross was a guitarist for regionally popular country-rock band, Cross Canadian Ragweed, until it broke up a few years ago. He saw his music club as a way to keep one foot in the live-music business, yet stay close to his hometown.

Grady’s 66 Pub is included in Route 66 News’ club listing for live music, microbreweries and other taverns of note near or on Route 66.

Cow Bop embarking on another summer Route 66 tour April 17, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, Road trips.
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Western swing and jazz band Cow Bop, along with several other guest artists and bands, will go on another Route 66 tour this summer, according to a news release from Cow Bop guitarist Bruce Forman.

This time, the World’s First Linear Music Festival on July 25 to Aug. 9 will be sponsored by Rifftime, a new community website.

There will be music all along the Mother Road, sharing pictures, stories and streaming video on the web through one coordinated website: route66.rifftime.com

“This is an exciting way to share my experiences and love of Route 66 with other artists and to revive the tradition of traveling and interacting with new people. Now the internet has made it possible to share all this with the world!” says Forman. “Bands will play in clubs, restaurants, bars, at iconic roadside stops and along the street, even jamming with others that are making this trip.  Just like the generations of people who have made the trip searching for something new, we are creating another way to share our music and to build a more vibrant community.”

An archive of Cow Bop’s three earlier Route 66 tours can be found here. Acts that want to take part during the tour are encouraged to sign up at the dedicated Rifftime site.

Here’s one of Cow Bop’s performances east of Albuquerque during a previous Route 66 tour.

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