Even, in front of a picture of the man, I feel I am in the presence of royalty! I mean, one can’t think of Nelson Riddle without thinking of his work with Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, right through to Linda Ronstadt (not even close to scratching the surface!). Add, literally, scores of scores for tv, movies, commercials etc., and we have a man remembered as an industry icon stretching over three decades.
Apparently, Nelson Riddle was asked to compose a theme for the show Route 66 because the network, didn’t feel like shelling out the royalties for ***Bobby Troup‘s popular tune Route 66***.
Nelson Riddle‘s arrangement of his Route 66 theme is impeccable! I love those lush strings over that kind of chunga chunga swing bed (the walking electric bass, in it’s infancy, was almost unheard of at the time in a monster band configuration like this). But, when the melody is restated with the guitar and that SASSY champagne muted trumpet background thing comes in… well let’s just say it’s like a romantic new year’s eve on the Queen’s birthday! That all being loved, I must say, that Floyd Cramerish piano lick going through the whole performance has been cyber-implanted in my brain stem since I first heard it in 1960, when I was eight years old!
Now then, *** “Would you get hip to this kindly tip, and go take that California trip”.*** Listen and love…
*The TV themes that stay with me reflect every character, every episode, the times the series took place in AND the genre of theater applicable; fresh forever in my music mind.