A History of Cars and Rock and Roll

Young drivers today are too young to remember the days of cruising down the road with AM radio blasting out of your car. It was the era of American graffiti and cars were a big part of teen culture. As a result, many older rock and roll songs feature cars as their subjects, as well as cruising down the highway having a great time.

 

Is there any  more evocative song than Little Red Corvette by Prince? Sports cars have often been a popular subject for songwriters, going back years. Back in the day when the Cobra was a popular car, the Rip Chords’ Hey Little Cobra was popular among the surfing crowd.  Think a woody with surfboard on top and the California coast—or the North Carolina equivalent.  Or how about Wilson Pickett singing about Mustang Sally?

 

Of course, punching buttons on a radio can be a distraction and even contribute to an accident, which won’t bode well when you go out to get Carolina car insurance quotes.  There is no such thing as a Free Ride, despite the song of the same name by The Edgar Winter Group.

 

Even the Beatles got in the act with a car related song that went, “Baby you can drive my car…”  It’s Drive My Car.

 

Being “on the road” is a romantic notion that has resonated for many singers and songwriters through the years. Back in the 1960s, Canned Heat did a song called On the Road again. You can almost see a bunch of hippies in a beat-up VW bus navigating down the North Carolina highways and byways. Of course, Willie Nelson had a completely different song of the same name that is an old favorite for many. There seems to be no end to the ways that being on the road can be set to music –and become popular.

 

Pink Cadillac by Bruce Springsteen is another favorite, way different than songs popularized by the Beach Boys and celebrating driving and the surf culture. Fun, Fun, Fun “til her Daddy takes the Tbird away” is a favorite singalong for baby boomers. In that same era was Little Deuce Coupe and so many others.  Yes cars, have been a favorite musical topic for years.

 

But there may be no better singalong car song than Don McLean’s American Pie in which he drove his Chevy to the levy.