Route 66 – The 15 BEST TOP Songs for Your Journey – Playlist / Soundtrack included!

Ultimate playlist for your Route 66 journey - the best songs

You have many hours of driving ahead on Route 66, so I created a list of best songs that you can listen during your Route 66 journey! Let’s see what people listen to immerse in the nostalgia of America’s quintessential road trip. At the end of this post I share my personal playlist that can be found on Spotify! I tried to mix some classic and old tracks with modern ones. Hope you will like it!

1. Chuck Berry – Route 66

One of the most famous songs about Route 66 is Bobby Troup’s “Get Your Kicks on Route 66,” also known simply as “Route 66.” Troup wrote the song during a cross-country trip on the highway after World War II. Chuck Berry’s version, released in 1961, is one of the most popular and influential. Other notable versions include those by Nat King Cole, The Pied Pipers, Bing Crosby, Perry Como, The Manhattan Transfer, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, and John Mayer, who introduced the song to a new generation of fans through its inclusion in the soundtrack of the movie “Cars.” Get ready to “Get Your Kicks on Route 66!

2. Bruce Springsteen – Cadillac Ranch

Bruce Springsteen best song for your Route 66 journey - playlist

Another classic song is “Cadillac Ranch,” written by Bruce Springsteen and first appearing on his 1980 album “The River.” The song references the famous Route 66 attraction, the Cadillac Ranch, a public art installation and sculpture located in Amarillo, Texas.

Check this post: Route 66 – The 25 BEST TOP Stops to Visit – Must-see places! What to see?

3. The Blues Brothers/Elvis Presley  – Jailhouse Rock

Elvis Presley - Route 66 ultimate playlist

A great song to play while visiting Joliet is one that pays homage to its famous jail. Joliet Prison, built in 1858, operated until 2002 and was famously featured in the movie “The Blues Brothers.

4. The Eagles – Take It Easy

The mention of “Standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona” instantly evokes the classic rock hit “Take It Easy” by the Eagles. Winslow has embraced the song and created a park in its honor. A great tune to play when visiting Winslow.

5. George Strait – Amarillo by Morning

Classic Mother Road song for your great journey on Route 66

Picture yourself driving through Amarillo in the early morning, past old motels and restaurants. What better music to accompany the journey than George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning?”

6. Marlena Shaw – California Soul

Great song for your stay in California on Route 66

A great classic tune recorded by Marlena Shaw is “California Soul.” Written by Ashford & Simpson, this funk-soul song was covered by Shaw in 1969 and is a must-play while visiting California to capture the vibe.

7. Traveller – Chris Stapleton

The best songs for your Route 66 journey

One of the more contemporary songs on the list is “Traveller” by Chris Stapleton. Stapleton, a renowned country music star in the USA, began his career writing hits for artists such as Kenny Chesney and George Strait. In 2015, he released his first album “Traveller,” which was a huge success and solidified his place as a leading country musician.

8. Ed Bruce – First Taste of Texas

Route 66 playlist

For your visit to Texas, I have a song by Ed Bruce, an American country music songwriter, singer, and actor. He is well-known for writing the 1975 hit “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.” Another great song by him is “First Taste of Texas.”

9. The Doors – Riders on the Storm

Another great song for your route 66 travel

During your journey on Route 66, you may encounter rain or even a storm. In that case, “Riders on the Storm” by American rock band The Doors is the perfect song. Released in June 1971 as the second single from their album “L.A. Woman,” this song is a great choice for a rainy drive.

10. The Eagles – Hotel California

Hotel California - The best songs for route 66 journey

The next track is the famous song “Hotel California” by the Eagles, released as a single in February 1977. This song is from the album of the same name and is a great choice to play during your stay in California.

11. Bryan Adams – Summer Of ’69

The best songs and playlist tracks for your Route 66 journey!

While not an obvious choice, Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69” has an incredible energy that will give you a boost on your long journey along the Mother Road.

12. Dire Straits – Calling Elvis

Calling Elvis another great song for your journey!

The song is about an Elvis fan who believes Elvis Presley is still alive, making references to many of his songs, including “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Love Me Tender”, “Love Me (Treat Me Like a Fool)”, “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Return to Sender”, as well as the expression “Elvis has left the building”. Amazing song that will remind and commemorate “King of Rock and Roll”.

13. Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf

Ultimate playlist with songs for your Route 66 travel

Check out the movie clip for this song! “Born to Be Wild” is often associated with biker culture and appearance and is prominently featured in the 1969 film Easy Rider.

Classic road trip songs - Route 66 playlist

A classic American song that is well-known worldwide! “Born in the U.S.A.” is the seventh studio album by Bruce Springsteen, released by Columbia Records on June 4, 1984. The album was a huge commercial success.

15. Billy Idol – Blue Highway

The best songs for Route 66 journey

Last but not least, “Blue Highway” by Billy Idol is a unique addition to this list. The song captures the spirit of adventure and freedom associated with traveling on American highways, while acknowledging its risks with the line “Yes, I almost died on a blue highway.” Ironically, Billy Idol himself had a near-fatal motorcycle accident in the late 1990s.

My Route 66 playlist with the best songs

👍 Find out more:

Route 66 travel guide with playlist - the best songs for your Route 66 journey!

More about songs, stories, trivia, and the best places to visit during your Mother Road trip can be found in my travel guide “Route 66 Travel Guide – 202 Amazing Places,” available on Amazon. This is the ultimate travel guide and pocket reference for anyone wishing to experience the nostalgia and wonder of America’s Route 66! MUST-HAVE for all Route 66 travelers. Visit 202 places on Route 66 with “Scan QR and go” for easy navigation.


Mark Watson is a California-based member of a Los Angeles Motorcycle Club and a keen traveler. He’s traveled the entirety of U. S. Route 66 seven times on his Harley-Davidson. He strives to interest others in the historic drive to keep the legendary Route 66 alive. He also traveled trough the Alaska Highway. He is an author of bestseller books on Amazon: “Route 66 Travel Guide – 202 Amazing Places” and “Alaska Highway – 202 Best Stops”.

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