25/11/2013 11:58 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 05:59 GMT

Get Your Kicks: The Top Ten Songs That Inspired Me to Discover America

Movies, books and music are what shape most Brits' views of the USA, and of the three surely nothing is as potent as popular music. A three-minute blitz of beat and emotion, heard over and over, seeps into the soul so that you know before you go that New York is a helluva town, or you'll get your kicks on Route 66.

I've driven bits of Route 66, gone walking in Memphis, been 90 miles out of Atlanta by sundown and seen the cathedral mountains of Colorado. Of my top ten songs for inspiring travel in the USA, I've experienced nine of them personally. But, so far at least, I've only been to Carolina in my mind.

Mike Gerrard is an award-winning travel writer who has written about Elvis's Memphis, Bob Dylan's New York, Hank Williams's Alabama, the blues in Mississippi, Bob Marley in Jamaica and the Beatles in Hamburg.

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