In Los Angeles, we practically live and breathe in our cars, so it only makes sense that numerous iconic L.A. streets have been immortalized in song.
Whether it’s driving along the PCH to catch some waves at the beach, or heading out to the strip on Sunset to rock out at the Whiskey, L.A.’s streets are the lifeline of the city and are always booming with activity. Check out a few of our favorite classic hits that pay homage to L.A. streets!
“Ventura Highway” — America
One of America’s biggest hits from 1972 is a perfect song to cruise to with the windows down. With that catchy guitar hook and sweet melodic lyrics romanticizing about California living “where the days are longer/the nights are stronger than moonshine,” you can just feel all your troubles melt away. Listen here.
“Route 66″ — various
The iconic and now defunct U.S. Route 66 took dreamers all the way from Chicago to L.A.. It forever became a part of pop culture when songwriter Bobby Troup composed a song about the route in 1946. The same year, Nat King Cole recorded the original version, but the beloved tune has been covered by various artists like Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Jerry Lee Lewis and dozens more. Listen here.
“Rosecrans Boulevard” — 5th Dimension
Technically named Rosecrans Avenue, the psychedelic pop group made a dreamy ode to this avenue that takes you from Manhattan Beach to Fullerton. The singer references taking Rosecrans to visit a former love, but “Every time I drive my car down Rosecrans Boulevard/I wonder why I did.” Listen here.
“Sunset People” — Donna Summer
A funky dance number by the late, great Donna Summer, “Sunset People” pays homage to the late night scene on the Sunset Strip. There you can see no shortage of “foreign cars full of stars” and walk down the street to see “rock ‘n’ roll every night.” There’s no doubt, Sunset People are doin’ it right. Listen here.
“Whittier Boulevard” — Thee Midniters
One of the biggest ’60s acts to come out of East L.A., this rock group paid tribute to their roots with the instrumental rock hit “Whittier Boulevard.” Intro-ed with the whole group yelling “Let’s take a trip down Whittier Boulevard!” the uptempo tune takes you on a roller coaster of sound with a driving bass line, gritty guitars and punchy keys for a wild ride down Whittier Boulevard. Listen here.
- “Surf Route 101″ — Jan & Dean
- “Laural Canyon” — Jackie DeShannon
- “Boulevard” — Jackson Browne
- “Pacific Coast Highway” — Burt Bacharach