Creedence Clearwater Revival

  • Rock band formed in 1967, from El Cerrito CA. Members were John Fogerty (vocals, songwriting, lead guitar), Tom Fogerty (rhythm guitar), Stu Cook (bass guitar) and Doug Clifford (drums).
  • John Fogerty, Cook and Clifford met in high school, and formed a band called The Blue Velvets, playing popular songs of the day. John’s older brother Tom joined soon after. After signing with a independent record company, they were renamed The Golliwogs.
  • In 1966, the band was put on hold as John and Doug received draft notices, causing both to enlist into the Army and Coast Guard Reserves, respectively. The following year, as they were discharged from their military service, the new owner of the record label offered them a chance to record an album, if they changed the name of the band. They came up with many suggestions – including Muddy Rabbit, Gossamer Wump, and Creedence Nuball and the Ruby. They settled on Creedence Clearwater Revival (aka CCR), which came from 3 sources – Tom Fogerty’s friend Credence Nuball; a television commercial for Olympia Beer (brewed with “clear water”); and the four member’s renewed commitment to the band.
  • Their first album was released, self titled Creedence Clearwater Revival, and included the hit Susie Q, the only Top 40 hit not to be written by John Fogerty. The song received substantial radio play, especially in San Francisco and Chicago, and was the springboard to future success.
  • 1969 was a huge year for them, with their second and third albums, Bayou Country and Green River, and their performance at Woodstock. Interestingly, they were not part of the Woodstock film or soundtrack, because John Fogerty thought the performance was sub-par. Fogerty complained that the band performing before them, The Grateful Dead, put the audience to sleep.
  • They hold the distinction of having the most #2 singles (five) without ever hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Those songs were Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Green River, Travelin’ Band (with B-side Who’ll Stop the Rain), and Lookin’ Out My Back Door (with B-side Long As I Can See the Light).
  • The band ultimately released 7 studio albums, 2 live albums, and many compilation albums.
  • The band split after only 5 years, with intense bitterness between the band members as John took complete control of the band. There also were numerous legal battles with record labels and the band members themselves over contract disputes.
  • Tom Fogerty died in 1990 from AIDS, which he acquired from a tainted blood transfusion.
  • CCR was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. However, since Fogerty was at odds with the bandmembers, he refused to perform with Cook and Clifford at the induction ceremony. Instead, he played with an all-star band, including Bruce Springsteen, while Cook and Clifford were barred from the stage.
  • John Fogerty had a successful solo career. He continues to perform occasional shows, as John Fogerty and his Travelin’ Band. In 2023, he secured the rights to the entire CCR catalog after a 50 year legal battle.
  • Rolling Stone magazine ranked the band #82 of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
  • Many believe that CCR is a southern rock & roll band, given their songs often refer to the bayou, the Mississippi River, and other southern references. It’s true that they have that sound, but in fact they were a California based band. I consider them one of the defining Classic Rock bands. You’ll hear that southern sound in this version of Lookin’ Out My Back Door.

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