Most of us are familiar with the moves of Elvis Presley and the piano assault of Jerry Lee Lewis, but what you may not know is that these performers honed their chops right off of Highway 67. "We have such a beautiful heritage in Arkansas,” says Representative J.R. Rogers of Walnut Ridge, “We need to capitalize on what we have."
Rogers has proposed a bill that would rename a stretch of Highway 67… Rock ‘n' Roll Highway
67. That's because Elvis, Jerry Lee, and Johnny Cash drove up and down this road together playing gigs in the mid to late 1950's. No doubt there was a whole lotta shakin going on. "It was just a raw emotion," says Rogers.
Johnny Cash of course was actually from the Natural State, and his freight train sound was something dark and different. In 2005, the movie "Walk the Line" showed Cash on the road with Lewis and Presley among others. Wild times... much of which took place on Highway 67. In many cases, the stars were driving all night, sleeping underneath amplifiers. Rogers say he wants Rock 'n' Roll highway to be the center of a new tourist industry that springs up around it.
"I think it could be a big deal for an area that played a big part in the birth of rock-n-roll,” he says.
The hope is that the Rock ‘n’ Roll highway could soon become a profitable trip down memory lane. The Rock ‘n’ Roll highway bill passed the house, with a near unanimous vote. It goes to the senate now. If passed, the highway department will put up signs recognizing the name change.