February 7, 1999 - Bobby Troup died on this day. He was a singer/songwriter/actor and jazz musician who found success early in life when some of his first songs were recorded by big names like Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, The Andrews Sisters and Frank Sinatra.
During World War II he served as a Captain in the Marines and was given command of an all-black unit in Jacksonville, North Carolina. His men were all living in tents, but under Troup's leadership they built Quonset huts, new showers, a basketball court and best of all - a nightclub.
Troup may be most remembered for writing the classic song, "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66." It's a song he wrote while driving from Pennsylvania to California. He had the tune in his head but was having trouble coming up with lyrics so he simply started singing about the towns and places he saw along the way.
The song has been recorded a zillion times by everybody from Nat King Cole to the Rolling Stones.