Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sam Butera's Highway 101

Last week I threatened to to start talking about some Highway 101 music, so this week I will do so. The first track on my playlist is from Sam Butera. Most people I would guess have never heard of Sam Butera. From Wikipedia:
Sam Butera
Sam Butera source Wikipedia
Sam Butera (August 17, 1927 – June 3, 2009) was a tenor saxophone player best noted for his collaborations with Louis Prima and Keely Smith. Butera is frequently regarded as a crossover artist who performed with equal ease in both R & B and the post-big band pop style of jazz that permeated the early Vegas nightclub scene.
I am not sure how well known Louis Prima is but I think he's great. Most people know of his signature tune "Just A Gigolo". Here is a clip of Sam playing that hit with Louis Prima and Keely Smith. What I love about watching clips of Prima and Keeely is how disgusted she seems to be to be sharing the stage with Prima. Its hilarious. Anyway, I am sharing this clip with you to give you an idea of Sam Butera's sound. He solos at about 1:20 and it does swing!

Wasn't that fun?!? But this post is about a song Sam performed on his solo album with his backup band The Witnesses. The album was called "The Wildest Clan". The song is sort of a response song to Bobby Troupe's Route 66. I picked it as the opening song in our 101 adventure since I am also blathering on about Route 66 on this blog. I was hoping to find a sharable stream online but the best I could do was at the amazon mp3 store. Check it out...

The song uses exaggerated hipster, beatnik lyrics to celebrate Highway 101 in California. He mentions several of the famous cities along the way and hearing it makes me want to start driving. Here are the lyrics:

When you're tired of nine-to-fivin'
Or a heat wave drags you down
California cats just tip your hats to town
When you take a run up Highway 101

For the gang that digs just driving
There's a real cool route in line
But for top down dates that coast road takes the hand
Yeah for the frantic fun its Highway 101

Chorus (2x):
You've got San Francisco,
Monterey, Obispo,
Santa Barbara, LA
Course you may go South
To San Diego
Its a ball either way
99 they says a gasser
And I hear 18's cuckoo
As for 66-it can be kicks, that's true
But you'll swing, my son, on Highway 101

When you get in town,
Give me a ring
Baby you know that we're gonna swing
You can have some fun on Highway 101

Isn't that hip Daddy-O? Sam calls out 66, 99 and 18 saying that for his money 101 is the best drive to take a date in a convertible, a lot of classic Hollywood films agree as scenes of driving a convertible down 101 are in a lot of films. Having made that drive with my lovely wife a few times in a sedan, I agree as well that it is a great road. Although my favorite sections are north of the Golden Gate Bridge, but we will get to that later.

Next week we begin exploring Old Highway 101 in San Diego county. Won't you please join me?

If you like what you have read here I'd like to ask you a favor. If you purchase any item on Amazon after you link to them in the little Amazon search window below, I will get a little something from them. It doesn't cost you any extra and I cannot see what you have purchased.

With your help, I can keep the show on the road for you.


To read more Old Highway Notes, choose an off ramp and click on the highway sign:

photo 600px-US_66mid_zpsd2d7e6f4.png  photo 750px-US_101mid_zps4ac85a99.png
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