FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  Date:  June 18, 2001

                                                                        Contact:  Lezli Austen

WUIS/WIPA to broadcast program on Route 66

SPRINGFIELD – WUIS (91.9/Springfield) and WIPA (89.3/Pittsfield) will broadcast “Across the Tracks: A Route 66 Story,” as a special presentation during the week of July Fourth. The three-part documentary will air on consecutive nights from 7 to 8 p.m. on July 4, 5, and 6.

This series tells the story of Route 66’s origins in railroads, how it became the first divided highway, was the location of the first fast food franchise (McDonald’s), and why the road officially closed in 1984. Narrated by Martin Milner, star of the old television series “Route 66,” these programs feature over 70 voices and songs that are a part of the history and description of the famous road. For example, the series describes a stop in Springfield for a horseshoe and explores Normal, Illinois, on its way west.

John Steinbeck wrote, “66 is the mother road – the road of flight.” In “Across the Tracks,” folk musician Pete Seeger recalls traveling Route 66 with Woody Guthrie and sings their unrecorded “66 Highway Blues.” Mary Toya, born in a boxcar on Route 66, describes the road from a Native American perspective. Musician Ry Cooder sings and tells of his first Route 66 trips and songs. This series also features excerpts from radio programs by Wolfman Jack and Orson Welles and films such as “The Grapes of Wrath.”

Special Route 66 artwork is available from artist Bob Waldmire. For more information, call Jiffy Johnson at 206-6516.

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