Now it goes by means of Saint Looey

Joplin, Missouri;

Oklahoma Metropolis appears to be like mighty fairly

You’ll see Amarillo;

Gallup, New Mexico;

Flagstaff, Arizona;

(Don’t overlook Winona)

Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino

Bobby Troup wrote these lyrics for a tune he titled (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.

Generally known as a composer, and later as an actor on the tv collection, Troup graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Wharton Faculty of Enterprise on the College of Pennsylvania in 1941. However earlier than he may think about making use of his diploma to the household enterprise, he enlisted within the U.S. Marine Corps and, possible as a result of his household owned a music retailer, he was assigned as a recreation and recruiting officer and arranged a primary Marine band comprising African-American recruits at Montford Level, North Carolina.

Troup’s tune, Daddy, was recorded by Sammy Kaye and his orchestra and was No. 1 on the Billboard chart for eight weeks in 1941. Frank Sinatra and Connie Haines recorded Troup’s Snootie Little Cutie early in 1942.

His Marines stint over, Troup and his spouse, Cynthia, packed their 1941 Buick and headed to Hollywood in 1946. They drove west on U.S. 40, and Troup thought-about writing a tune about that drive. However it was someplace alongside Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles that Cynthia reportedly prompt he as a substitute write to the title of Get Your Kicks on Route 66

Later that very same 12 months, Nat King Cole was the primary to report the tune. Subsequently, it was lined by everybody from Chuck Berry to The Rolling Stones.

Quick ahead to 2015, January 25 to be exact, and Steve Wingenfeld, a semi-retired Hagerty insurance coverage agent in Mesa, Arizona, is at Charley’s Storage, a restoration store. Wingenfeld’s pal, Bert Diehl, wanted to insure a automotive he was readying for a significant roadster present in California. 

The automotive was painted jet black, Wingenfeld remembers, and already had received quite a few awards in a number of states. The final piece being secured was the license plate, one of many specialty plates Arizona had issued after the Cardinals skilled soccer group moved to the Phoenix space from St. Louis, Missouri.

Wingenfeld requested if the pal was an enormous soccer fan. He mentioned he wasn’t, however he favored the plate’s colour scheme — a black background with a vibrant purple Cardinals emblem. 

Wingenfeld had grow to be a license plate collector again in highschool in Ohio, and would get a brand new self-importance plate yearly. For some purpose, Wingenfeld thought out loud about changing the hen’s head with a Route 66 protect.

“All of the individuals there mentioned that might be an amazing concept,” Wingenfeld remembers.  

Almost a 12 months later and after he testifyied in entrance of practically two dozen Arizona Senate or Home committee panels, plus different conferences with state officers — “Lots of people obtained actually uninterested in me” — the Historic Route 66 license plate was permitted on the market, with a portion of the worth earmarked for Historic Route 66 preservation efforts.

“YNONA” is what is alleged on my Historic Route 66 Arizona license plate. For some purpose, the state wouldn’t let me go together with WINONA, but accepted YNONA. 

I’d thought-about different choices, together with CHI2LA, which was accessible, however Bobby Troup’s lyrics saved going by means of my head. I’d pushed by means of Winona, which is close to Flagstaff, Arizona, and there gave the impression to be nothing remarkably memorable concerning the little neighborhood. 

However “Don’t overlook Winona,” Troup urged in his lyrics. So I didn’t, and proudly proclaimed it on my pickup truck till I moved to Nevada and needed to swap my state allegiance.

Not too long ago, Steve Wingenfeld and I have been concerned in the identical Zoom convention name and he mentioned one thing I discovered superb. In 2020, gross sales of the Historic Route 66 license plate generated $1 million for the Historic Route 66 Affiliation of Arizona, which can use these funds for things like the restoration of the famed Twin Arrows and different roadside landmarks, and maybe even for some repairs to the unique Route 66 roadway.

I believe I paid an additional $25 for the Route 66 plate, with $17 of these {dollars} going to the affiliation or different non-profit trigger. Apparently, I used to be one in every of round 50,000 Arizona automobile house owners who opted for the Route 66 plate. 

And now, if these individuals maintain renewing these plates, one other $1 million can be generated in 2021, and yearly for years to come back.

There are related efforts in different states alongside the route (if in case you have such a plate, what slogan did you choose?). 

Not too long ago, a federal fee was organized to plan the Mom Highway’s centennial celebration in 2026.  Due to Steve Wingenfeld’s resolution to observe by means of on a whim, extra of what was will nonetheless be there for that centennial celebration.

Larry Edsall

A former each day newspaper sports activities editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek journal earlier than making the transition to writing for the online and turning into the creator of greater than 15 automotive books. Along with being founding editor at, Larry has written for The New York Occasions and The Detroit Information and was an adjunct honors professor on the Walter Cronkite Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State College.