When composer Bobby Troup drove out to Los Angles, California in 1946, he followed Route 66, “The Mother Road”. During his trip, he got the inspiration for the song “Get Your Kicks On Route 66". His tune mentions twelve cities along the route; Chicago, IL; St. Louis and Joplin, MO; Oklahoma City, OK (which Mr. Troup wisely noted ‘looked mighty pretty’); Amarillo, TX; Gallup, NM; Winona, Flagstaff and Kingman, AZ; Barstow, San Bernardino and Los Angeles, CA.
The 19th annual special operating event known as “Route 66 On The Air” was created to celebrate the anniversary of that hit song. Amateur radio operators in twelve cities and towns mentioned in the song and several other additional cities along ‘The Mother Road’ will conduct an on-air special event from September 8th through the 16th.
‘’Route 66 On The Air” is organized and sponsored by the Citrus Belt Amateur Radio Club of San Bernardino, California. The event was started in 1999 with just the cities mentioned in Troup’s song participating. However, other cities along Route 66 asked to be included and the number of participating cities along “The Mother Road” has grown to over 20.
In Oklahoma, amateur radio clubs in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Elk City will be participating. The clubs have been assigned a special call sign by the Federal Communications Commission in recognition of the event.
The special event stations in Oklahoma typically operate from a variety of locations through the state with special emphasis on locations on or near Route 66. Individual amateur radio stations will be on the air during the event. Several amateur radio stations mounted in vehicles will also be operating along portions of Route 66 still in service.
Amateur radio operators who work any or all of the special event stations will receive a certificate with endorsements identifying which of the represented cities they contacted.