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Route 66 News

Oklahoma Route 66 Museum exhibit focuses on music of the road

The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton has started a new exhibit that focuses on the music and music artists who helped make Route 66 famous, according to a news release from the museum.

“Music for the Mother Road: Route 66” features displays and interactive pieces about the history of radio and the popular songs people listened to over the decades as they traversed Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif.

“Music is so much a part of the history of Route 66,” said Pat Smith, director of the Route 66 Museum in Clinton, about 85 miles west of Oklahoma City. “It seems very appropriate to represent all the music by the decades.”

The museum features a new exhibit every quarter, and for the final months of 2013, museum staff decided to feature the tunes of a hodgepodge of singers and musicians. Artists and songs featured include Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere,” Woody Guthrie’s “Will Rogers Highway” and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Road Trippin’.”

As visitors enter the exhibit room, not only will they see the exhibit but they’ll hear it. Music playing throughout the room will take visitors back decades, while artifacts and interactive pieces will teach them about some of the artists who helped make Route 66 famous.

This exhibit will stay up until the end of 2013.

If you’re interested, I put together a playlist of about 200 road songs that are downloadable.

(Image of the psychedelic-painted Volkswagen minibus at the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum by ElectraSteph via Flickr)

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One thought on “Oklahoma Route 66 Museum exhibit focuses on music of the road

  1. David Heward

    I think this is a wonderful idea. Just wanted to pass along a suggestion to the folks at the museum. As someone who was born and raised on Route 66 (at Holbrook Hospital 1947), I grew up listening to Radio Station KOMA 1520 from Oklahoma City. For many years, it was the only station we could get (and only at night) that played Rock and Roll. I know that this was true of many if not MOST of the small towns along Route 66… and thus it is an important part of the muscial legacy of the Mother Road… and deserves to be honored accordingly at the museum. ROCK ON! David Heward

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