How Bobby Troup, the Composer of “Route 66”, Died of a Heart Attack

Bobby Troup was a talented musician, songwriter, and actor who left a lasting legacy in the entertainment industry. He is best known for writing the classic song “Route 66”, which has been covered by many artists over the years. He also starred as Dr. Joe Early in the popular TV show “Emergency!” alongside his wife Julie London. But how did Bobby Troup die and what were the circumstances of his death? In this article, we will explore the cause of death of Bobby Troup and his life achievements.

Early Life and Career

Bobby Troup was born on October 18, 1918, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His father was a music store owner and his mother was a piano teacher. He showed an interest in music from an early age and learned to play the piano, trumpet, and drums. He graduated from The Hill School, a prestigious boarding school, in 1937 and then enrolled at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in economics and joined the Mask and Wig Club, a musical comedy troupe.

His first musical success came in 1941 with the song “Daddy”, which he wrote for a Mask and Wig production. The song became a hit and was recorded by several artists, including Sammy Kaye, Glenn Miller, Bing Crosby, and The Andrews Sisters. The song also appeared in the film Two Latins from Manhattan and the cartoon Red Hot Riding Hood.

After graduating from college in 1941, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served as an officer during World War II. He was assigned to train African-American recruits at Montford Point, the first black Marine base. He also organized the first African-American band of U.S. Marines and composed a song called “Take Me Away from Jacksonville”, which became an anthem for the Marines at Montford Point and other areas of Camp Lejeune.

Route 66 and Other Hits

After the war, Troup resumed his music career and wrote his most famous song, “Route 66”, in 1946. The song was inspired by his road trip from Pennsylvania to California along the historic highway U.S. Route 66. He originally offered the song to Bing Crosby, but he declined. He then pitched it to Nat King Cole, who agreed to record it with his trio. The song became a huge hit and established Troup as a prominent songwriter. The song has since been covered by many artists, such as Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, and John Mayer.

Troup also wrote other popular songs, such as “The Girl Can’t Help It”, “The Meaning of the Blues”, “Daddy Long Legs”, and “My City of Sydney”. He also recorded several albums as a jazz pianist and singer, such as Bobby Troup Sings Johnny Mercer (1955), Bobby Troup Sings (1955), Do-Re-Mi (1957), Here’s to My Lady (1958), and Bobby Swings Tenderly (1959). He also produced Julie London’s version of “Cry Me a River”, which became a gold record.

Acting Career and Marriage

Troup started acting as a side career in the 1950s. He made his film debut as an uncredited musician in Duchess of Idaho (1950). He then appeared in films such as The Gene Krupa Story (1959), MASH (1970), The Five Pennies (1959), Bop Girl Goes Calypso (1957), First to Fight (1967), and The Swinger (1966). He also guest-starred in TV shows such as The Lucy Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, Perry Mason, The Bob Hope Show, Adam-12, and Dragnet.

In 1959, he married Julie London, a singer and actress who had previously been married to Jack Webb, the creator of Dragnet. Troup had met London in 1950 when they both worked on the film Task Force. They had three children together: Kelly Troup (1962-2002), Jody Troup (1964-), and Reese Troup (1966-). Troup also adopted London’s two children from her previous marriage: Stacy Webb (1948-) and Lisa Webb (1950-).

Troup and London co-starred as Dr. Joe Early and Nurse Dixie McCall in the TV show Emergency!, which ran from 1972 to 1977. The show was created by Jack Webb and followed the lives of paramedics and emergency room staff. Troup also composed the theme song for the show.

Death and Legacy

Bobby Troup died on February 7, 1999, at the age of 80. He suffered a heart attack at his home in Sherman Oaks, California. He was survived by his wife Julie London, who died five years later in 2004, and his five children. He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California.

Bobby Troup left behind a rich legacy of music and entertainment. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989. He was also honored by the U.S. Marine Corps with a plaque at Montford Point in 1996. His song “Route 66” has been recognized as a cultural icon and a symbol of the American road trip. His work as an actor and producer has also influenced many generations of viewers and performers.

Bobby Troup was a versatile and talented artist who made a lasting impact on the world of music and entertainment. He will always be remembered as the composer of “Route 66” and the star of “Emergency!”.

Doms Desk

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