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Two rockers on the road September 26, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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In recent days, Music Vault has posted two vintage videos of rock bands covering Bobby Troup’s big road song.

The first is by Earth Quake, playing at Winterland in San Francisco in 1974:

The next one is by the Greg Kihn Band, playing at Capital Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey in 1984.

Another couple’s view of the Mother Road September 25, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Road trips.
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This video was created by a YouTube account called Around the World in a Lifetime, which links to a website that wasn’t up yet.

The account holder said Route 66 was “one of the best rides of my life and well worth the trip.”

Music is by Iggy Pop, called “The Passenger.” Download is here.

A look back at the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival September 25, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Music, Towns.
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The folks in Springfield, Missouri, already are publicizing next year’s Birthplace of Route 66 Festival — scheduled for Aug. 7-8 — by showing a few of the highlights of the festival last month.

That includes a performance of “Chicken Train” by some local legends, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.

Birthplace of Route 66 Festival from SGF CityView on Vimeo.

Roger Miller Festival moving from downtown Erick September 24, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Music.
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The annual Roger Miller Festival is moving from its longtime downtown location in his adopted hometown of Erick, Oklahoma, to the Lost Creek Arena west of town on old Route 66, according to a news release from the venue.

The event — which will feature lots of live music, including Roger Miller’s son, Dean Miller — is set for Oct. 25. The festival also is getting aid and cooperation from nearby towns, including the Route 66 communities of Sayre, Oklahoma, and Shamrock, Texas.

More from the release:

Kicking off the day’s festivities is a new tradition bound to heat up old rivalries and start new ones, with the first-ever Oklahoma-vs-Texas “King of the Road Classic Car and Truck Show.” Winners in various classes will be awarded a unique 1st place prize: A custom-made, personalized Roger Miller “King of the Road” jacket. Show entries will be placed in categories such as the “Baddest Pick-Up Truck” class for the toughest, strongest and best looking trucks.

Festival goers will enjoy live music, savory food from an excellent vendor lineup and shopping with the local arts and crafts booths. Inclement weather will not hinder festivities with activities held inside the enclosed arena, excluding the car and truck show. [...]

Guests may bring chairs and camp out all weekend. Additional detailed information and tickets sales will be announced soon. Fans can keep up with the festival on www.rogermillerfest.com and Facebook.

The Lost Creek Arena hosted the inaugural Buckin Wild Music Festival in July, and drew 3,000 people. I suspect the city fathers in Erick saw those numbers and decided they could do a lot better than in downtown, where space and parking are a bit lacking.

Plus the venue’s owner, Brian Austin, has connections to the music industry and publicists — no small thing if you’re organizing what essentially is a music festival.

And in case you’re not familiar with Roger Miller, here’s a short bio:

Country music singer and songwriter legend Roger Miller came from humble beginnings on a farm near Erick, but rose to stardom in the country music world in the 1960s until his untimely death in 1992. With such legendary hits as “King of the Road” and “Dang Me,” Roger made a name for himself as an original. He also wrote #1 Hits such as “Invitation to the Blues” for other artists including Ray Price. He penned the hit Broadway musical, “Big River,” which earned seven Tony Awards in 1985. Roger Miller was voted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1995. His iconic music was recognized with 11 Grammy Awards during his lifetime.

(Illustration of Roger Miller via Klaus Hiltscher via Flickr)

Webb City wants to restore historic gas station September 24, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Gas stations, Preservation.
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29c Webb City MO - Daugherty Street Gas Station

The city of Webb City, Missouri, is seeking to land a grant to restore a historic gas station in its downtown, reported the Joplin Globe.

The station, which once sold Sinclair and Tydol gas, was built in the 1920s and designed to look like a replica of a nearby post office and serve those vehicles.

The U.S. Filling Station, located at 223 W. Daugherty St. across from the post office, was deeded to the city about a year ago without restrictions by the Patten family trust, said Mayor John Biggs. It was the family’s hope that the city could have it restored. [...]

Erin Turner, economic and community development coordinator for the city, said the initial estimate to restore the station is about $62,000. But since downtown Webb City was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places, the contractor has to be certified for historic preservation, which could push the cost higher.

The grant would pay for 60 percent of the project and the city would be responsible for the remaining 40 percent.

Turner said some longtime Webb City residents and business owners have already offered to help cover the city’s share if it receives the grant. A Patten family heir has pledged $5,000, Biggs said, and David Perry, president of Cardinal Scale Manufacturing, has pledged $25,000.

Two of the council members wanted the property sold instead, but the five other councilors voted down the motion. The property had been used rented for 10 months by a man who was restoring cars.

This Google Street View image from May 2013 shows the station looking considerably nicer:

View Larger Map

The station sits about a block north of a 1930s Broadway alignment of Route 66.

It would be the second historic gas station Webb City will have restored. The Webb City Route 66 Information Center is housed in a vintage gas station that was renovated and reopened in 2010.

(Hat tip to Ron Hart; 2009 image of the Daugherty Street gas station by John Hagstrom via Flickr)

“Easy Rider” motorcycle will be auctioned September 23, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motorcycles, Movies.
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It’s certain that many dream of driving the “Captain America” Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the “Easy Rider” film on a Route 66 journey.

Now you have the chance to do it, if you have a million bucks or so.

Several media outlets reported a few days ago the now-iconic motorcycle from the 1969 film starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson will be auctioned next month by California-based Profiles in History. The estimated sale price will be $1 million to $1.2 million.

A few details about the legendary chopper emerged:

  • Four such “Captain America” bikes were used in the film, in case one broke down during filming. However, three were stolen before the movie’s release, and their whereabouts remain unknown.
  • The motorcycle was featured in the film’s final scene. It was damaged during that climax, but repaired.
  • The film’s motorcycle mechanic was Dan Haggerty, best-known as the star in the “Grizzly Adams” movie and TV show. Haggerty kept the motorcycle for years after “Easy Rider’s” release.
  • The bike is owned by businessman Michael Eisenberg, who once owned a motorcycle-themed restaurant with Fonda and Dennis Hopper. The bike once was owned by the National Motorcycle Museum in Iowa.
  • It has letters of authenticity from the museum, Fonda and Haggerty.
  • A “significant portion” of the auction’s proceeds will go to the American Humane Association.
  • Yes, it runs.

More photos and details of the motorcycle can be found with the auction house’s book here (you’ll find it on page 382).

A really good website about all the filming locations in “Easy Rider,” including those on Route 66, is here. And you can’t have an “Easy Rider” post without this:

Joplin to install new directional signs September 22, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Signs, Towns.
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The city of Joplin, Missouri, will install more than 40 new wayfinder signs, including those that identify the original path of Route 66, reported the Joplin Globe.

The newspaper said:

Patrick Tuttle, director of the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the council that the 43 new signs, predominantly blue in color, will replace the current multi-colored signs and are compliant with state and federal sign standards. They will have reflective material to make them more visible in the dark.

The signs point motorists to such points of interest as Joe Becker Stadium, the Joplin Athletic Complex, the Joplin Museum Complex, the downtown historic district, the Range Line shopping hub and hotel district and some parks.

A special set of new Route 66 Byway signs will identify Joplin’s share of that historic highway’s original 1926 course. Some of the Route 66 signs will include an information box to tell the significance of Joe Becker Stadium near the original route that runs down Langston Hughes-Broadway and the Route 66 Mural Park near Seventh and Main streets.

The new signs, which will cost the city $83,000, were recommended by a tourism committee several years ago.

Continuing to have those signs is good news for Route 66 travelers in that area. Joplin is home to three alignments of Route 66, and it wouldn’t be easy to follow them without directional guidance.

(Hat tip to Ron Hart; image of a Route 66 Byway sign in Joplin by Leo Reynolds via Flickr)

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