Music For The Highway, by Rich Paschall
When I first became friends with my favorite French guy, who was here on a business internship, we took some road trips to see America. We would gathered up our favorite CDs for the highway and head off in musical style. In subsequent years he has returned for even more adventure. You probably plug your phone into a USB port and listen to a playlist. I guess we are just old-fashioned.
Among my friend’s favorite American songs was a tune by America (the band), A Horse With No Name. He knew it well before he arrived here and I happened to own America’s Greatest Hits. I thought it interesting a young French guy knew this 1970s song. We had an odd collection between the two of us each time we headed out, but America was always included. Certain songs now go with those great highway memories.
You may have your favorites. Perhaps you and your friends have all taken parts for Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Maybe you have other sing-along tunes. There are so many individual tastes for what might make good road music, that you would think I could not come up with a top ten.
Indeed it was difficult to settle on a list but I finally had to narrow down this favorite grouping to songs that mention roads, streets, highways or cars. We’ll save the other up tempo tunes for another time.
It’s the Summertime and The Heat Is On. Hop in your Little Red Corvette, 409 or Little Deuce Coup and Shut Up and Drive. Whether you are cruising down Electric Avenue or travelling the Boulevard of Broken Dreams, just stay On The Sunny Side Of The Street and you will soon be able to say I’ve Been Everywhere and I Get Around. No need to sing the Basin Street Blues, we have your road tunes.
10. Route 66. There was a popular song, recorded by many, named (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66, but the television series did not want to pay for it and commissioned another. I picked the Nelson Riddle instrumental.
09. Penny Lane. Yes, the Beatles hit is in my ears and in my eyes.
08. Takin’ It To The Streets. The Doobies Brothers, 1976
07. Drive My Car. Yes, it is another one by the Beatles. They’ve got the Beat, you’ve got the car.
06. Rockin’ Down The Highway. The Doobie Brothers hit the list again with another high energy tune.
05. Lake Shore Drive. “There ain’t no road just like it, anywhere I’ve found.” “Just slippin’ on by on LSD, Friday night trouble bound.”
04. On The Road Again. You can’t hit the road without Willie.
03. Radar Love. OK, it does not have a road or car in the title, but it is unmistakably a road tune.
02 Ventura Highway. This America tune is among the ones I always heard on the road with my best friend.
01. Take Me Home, Country Roads. This John Denver composition is one of the great sing along songs. I think I sang it once or twice or…
Listen to all of them on my playlist here: Road Music.
Last year’s list of summer tunes might work well for you: The Summer Wind.