9 Oldies Road Trippin' Songs for Cruisin' Down That Long Lonesome Highway

Updated on August 29, 2019
Sherry Hewins profile image

I grew up in the "classic rock" era, but I love music of every genre. Attending concerts and festivals is my passion. Music brings me joy.

Road Trippin' Oldies Songs

This list of road trippin' oldies songs was made with Baby Boomers in mind. There is no rhyme or reason for the order of these songs. That's just the way the list turned out.

  1. "Long Lonesome Highway"–Michael Parks
  2. "King of the Road"–Rodger Miller
  3. "Turn the Page"–Bob Seger
  4. "Born to be Wild"–Steppenwolf
  5. "Truckin'"–Grateful Dead
  6. "The Load Out/Stay"–Jackson Browne
  7. "Ramblin Man"–Allman Brothers
  8. "Green Onions"–Booker T and the MGs
  9. "On the Road Again"–Canned Heat

1. "Long Lonesome Highway"–Michael Parks

You may remember this song from the TV series Then Came Bronson. It always evokes an image of freedom for me. Bronson traveling from to town on his Harley, just following the road, wherever it might lead him.

The song was the closing vocal theme, played while the credits rolled. It was written and composed by James Hendricks, and sung by Michael Parks, who also played Bronson in the show. The song reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970.

2. "King of the Road"–Rodger Miller

"King of the Road" is an oldie but a goodie, I always loved it. Originally recorded in 1964 by country singer, Rodger Miller, it was a crossover hit charting at #1 on the US Country chart and #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song is from the point of view of a poor vagabond. Even though he describes himself as "man of means by no means," it's a cheerful song, and he seems to relish the freedom of the open road.

3. "Turn the Page"–Bob Seger

Whenever I hear it I think about my brothers in the early 70s. They had long hair, and we'd moved to a kind of red-neck mountain town. People working in stores and restaurants would refer to them as her, and she. It was more subtle than the incident at the truck stop Seger described, and not threatening. It was just a little jab. A sign of the attitude people had back then.

Bob Seger first released this song in 1973 on his album, Back in '72. Seger's live version on the 1976 Live Bullet album has become a favorite on classic rock radio.

I heard the Metallica version of “Turn the Page” on the radio in my car the other day. It's pretty good, but I like Bob Seger's version way better. I can't believe they are playing Metallica on an oldies rock station. Where does the time go?

4. "Born to be Wild"–Steppenwolf

What oldies road song list would be complete without this one?

"Born to Be Wild" was written originally written as a ballad by Mars Bonfire. He was a member of the band, The Sparrows, which later became Steppenwolf.

When Steppenwolf recorded it, they rearranged the song and sped it up, transforming it into the roaring rock anthem that we know and love.

Probably because of its connection with the movie Easy Rider, the song is often associated with bikers or the biker lifestyle. Some describe it as the first Heavy Metal song perhaps due to the phrase in the second verse "heavy metal thunder." I am not an expert on that subject, so you be the judge.

5. "Truckin'"–Grateful Dead

I think that line in the refrain, "What a long, strange trip it's been," resonated with of lot of us baby boomers. Phil Lesh said, "the last chorus defines the band itself," but I think it defines a lot of us too. I know my trip has been long and strange, how about yours?

"Truckin'" made it's debut on the 1970 album, American Beauty. All four of the main songwriters in the band, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and lyricist Robert Hunter, participated in the writing of it.

6. "The Load Out/Stay"–Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne co wrote "The Load-Out" and featured it on his 1977 album, Running on Empty.

The song describes life on the road for a band. The long hours passing the time on the bus, and then that short time on stage, doing what they came to do. He wrote it as a tribute to his roadies and his audience. The song was recorded live at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.

"The Load-Out" fades into an interpretation of Maurice Williams' 1960 hit "Stay," sung by Browne, Rosemary Butler, and David Lindley. "The Load-Out" and "Stay" are usually played together.

The charting on these songs is a little complicated since “The Load Out” and “Stay” were treated as two separate songs with “Stay” being the more popular, but kind of dragging “The Load Out” along with it. Eventually, they were listed together, and as a pair they peaked at #20. "Stay" stayed on the Hot 100 for a total of fifteen weeks.

I snagged the following from a comment on the YouTube video featured below. It's such a great story, I just had to include it here.

"King OfUtah 4 years ago

+N8VSON I have talked to people who were at THIS, the original recording, half the crowd had left, the roadies were actually packing equipment, none of them knew this song had been written. When the song started playing, people kinda started milling back in, the road crew were almost in tears from being recognized. The crowd you hear clapping were clapping for the roadies. That is the video I would like to have seen. But it does not appear to exist. If only we could send one i Phone back to the first time it was played...sigh."

7. "Ramblin Man"–Allman Brothers

The Allman Brothers Band included "Ramblin' Man" on their 1973 album, Brothers and Sisters. The song was written and sung by Dickey Betts, and inspired by a Hank Williams song of the same name.

The group was at first reluctant to record it, considering it too country. They need not have worried, it became their biggest hit, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

8. "Green Onions"–Booker T and the MGs

Everyone knows this song, but nobody knows the name of it. "Green Onions" is an instrumental song by Booker T. & the MG's, and this song just says “boogie down the highway” to me.

Booker T. Jones was the keyboard player for the house band of Stax Record. In 1962, the owner of Stax Jim Stewart wanted to record another song, "Behave Yourself." They needed a B-side for the record. Using a jam the band had been playing around with, they came up with a song that became "Green Onions."

When a DJ on a Memphis radio station, WOLK, played "Green Onions" on air public reaction was so positive, the song was re-released as an A-side.

The song was originally called "Funky Onions," it was renamed "Green Onions." When he was asked about the name of the song, Jones said, "That is the nastiest thing I can think of and it's something you throw away."

I'm glad they didn't throw it away, I love this song.

9. "On the Road Again"–Canned Heat

I bet this is not the “On the Road Again” you were expecting! Of course I love Willie Nelson, and his song, but you don't need me to tell you about it.

If you're an old hippie, I'm sure you know this song too, but maybe you need a little reminder.

"On the Road Again" first appeared on Canned Heat's second album, Boogie with Canned Heat, in 1968. An edited version was released as a single the same year. "On the Road Again" was Canned Heat's first record chart hit and one of their best-known songs.

The blues-rock song was adapted from earlier blues songs. The mid-1960s psychedelic rock elements made it a counter culture favorite. Second guitarist and harmonica player Alan Wilson provided the familiar falsetto vocal.

Whether you're heading out on the highway, or just taking an mental road trip from the couch, I hope you enjoy my road trippin' list.

© 2019 Sherry Hewins

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      2 months ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Hadn't heard that Load-out/Stay thing in forever. Although I've known the song for forever, I don't think I'd know what words to use to search for and find it.

      So thanks for remembering that to me.

      Roger Miller probably doesn't get enough remembrance or recognition these days. Well dang me, ought to get a rope and hang me, I reckon so.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 months ago

      What a fun list of cruisin songs! I remember hearing On The Road Again often when it was at the top of the list.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      This is a good list for baby boomers like me. My brother used to play the guitar and we often sang "King of the Road" together. He had a beautiful voice.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://spinditty.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)