From the Wikipedia entry:
"(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66," often rendered simply as "Route 66," is a popular song and rhythm and blues standard, composed in 1946 by American songwriter Bobby Troup. It was first recorded in the same year by Nat King Cole, and was subsequently covered by many artists including Chuck Berry in 1961, The Rolling Stones in 1964, and Depeche Mode in 1987. The song's lyrics follow the path of the U.S. Route 66 highway, which used to run a long distance across the U.S., going from Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles, California. The title was suggested to Troup by his first wife, Cynthia.
Troup conceived the idea for the song while driving west from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles, California, and the lyrics — which include references to the U.S. highway of the title and many of the cities it passes through — celebrate the romance and freedom of automobile travel. In an interview he once said the tune for the song, as well as the lyric "Get your kicks on Route 66," came to him easily, but the remainder of the lyrics eluded him. More in frustration than anything else he simply filled up the song with the names of towns and cities on the highway.
The lyrics read as a mini-travelogue about the major stops along the route, listing several cities and towns that Route 66 passes through, viz. St. Louis, Missouri; Joplin, Missouri; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Amarillo, Texas; Gallup, New Mexico; Flagstaff, Arizona; Winona, Arizona; Kingman, Arizona; Barstow, California; and San Bernardino, California.
This smoothly cool, live performance was done in Japan for a 1964 Julie London (Troup's protege and later wife) television special:
On a sort-of-related note, I think it's