That’s a line from New England folk singer Bill Morrissey, whose 1984 song “Barstow,” the leadoff track from his self-titled debut album, has apparently become so obscure that it doesn’t even register on the Wikipedia entry for “Barstow in popular culture.” (The fact that it was recorded before 2005 probably doesn’t help it any.)
Well, the heck with Wikipedia…that’s still the song I’m thinking of every time I drive I-15 through that high desert town that’s the most prominent stop on the road between LA and Vegas.
It’s also part of a new market to Toppy; this week, we present some April 2008 IDs from the Barstow-Victor Valley area, and at some point I’ll dig out some older IDs to flesh out this area.
This is a challenging market to define: the Victor Valley, just over the mountains from I-15 heading north out of San Bernardino, has gone from rural desert (and home of Roy Rogers!) to distant LA exurb over the last few decades. Barstow, another 40 miles or so up the highway, is still a fairly rough-and-tumble desert town with a strong railroad heritage and a few local signals of its own. And thanks to the “Highway Radio” stations with their multiple simulcasts, all three of which are heard on today’s update, the market continues for another hundred-plus miles out I-15 (old US 91) and I-40 (old US 66) to encompass the Mojave Desert towns of Baker, Mountain Pass, Ludlow and Essex.