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∙ John Fogerty: Lead vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, harmonica, piano, organ.
Creedence Clearwater Revival, frequently referred to as CCR or simply Creedence, was an American rock band, fronted by John Fogerty.
∙ Doug Clifford: Drums.
∙ Stu Cook: Bass.
∙ Tom Fogerty: Rhythm guitar, backing vocals.
The band started out as The Blue Velvets, formed by John Fogerty, Doug Clifford, and Stu Cook in El Cerrito, California in the late 1950s. They were an instrumental trio, however in 1959 they began backing Tom Fogerty, John's older brother, for school dances at El Cerrito High School, on fraternity house gigs and in the recording studio. In the middle of 1964, the band recorded two songs for Fantasy Records, a local label based in San Francisco at that time.
They were attracted to the label because Fantasy had released a national hit by Vince Guaraldi, "Cast Your Fate To The Wind". Max Weiss, Fantasy's co-owner initially changed the group's name to The Visions, but when the record was released, in November 1964, Weiss re-named the group The Golliwogs, an apparent reference to a once-popular minstrel doll called a Golliwogg. Seven singles were released in the San Francisco Bay area, but none received national attention. (However, in 1975 Fantasy released Pre-Creedence, a compilation album of recordings by The Golliwogs).
Eventually John Fogerty took control of the group, writing most of their material and singing lead vocals. The band's first album as Creedence Clearwater Revival was released in 1968. A cover of the Dale Hawkins Swamp rock classic "Susie Q." became their first hit single (the song was later featured in the movie Apocalypse Now). As a result, Creedence Clearwater Revival is considered part of that distinctly American Swamp Rock music, exemplified again most prominently in their song "Born On The Bayou".
By 1969, the band really began to find its voice; "Proud Mary", from the album Bayou Country became their second hit single, and also was a big hit for Ike and Tina Turner. It was followed by a series of successful songs, including "Bad Moon Rising", (a No. 1 hit in the UK), "Green River", "Down on the Corner", "Travelin' Band", "Who'll Stop the Rain?", "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?", "Up Around the Bend", "Fortunate Son", and "Lookin' Out My Back Door."
Due to John Fogerty's success as writer, singer, and frontman, the other band members began to feel they were being held back. Tom left the band in 1971, to pursue an unsuccessful solo career. John Fogerty insisted that bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford share equal songwriting and vocal time on the band's final album Mardi Gras in 1972. Many have speculated that Fogerty did this in anticipation of poor sales, in order to prove to brother Tom (and the rest of world) that his songwriting had always been the real commercial talent behind the band's success. The album did indeed receive poor reviews and sales, and the group disbanded shortly afterwards.
John Fogerty bought himself out of his contract with Fantasy Records and eventually established a successful solo career.
In 1990, Tom Fogerty died of AIDS, which he contracted from a blood transfusion.
CCR was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. At the induction, Tom Fogerty's widow brought the urn containing his ashes for a CCR reunion, but John Fogerty would not perform with his fellow bandmates.
Band members Doug Clifford and Stu Cook formed a band in 1995 with other musicians called Creedence Clearwater Revisited. They perform globally, only performing the original band's classics. John Fogerty still has no communications with Cook and Clifford.
Creedence Clearwater Revival was somewhat unfashionable during the time they were active, because they concentrated on tightly-focused, well-crafted jingles rather than long, loose album cuts. However within a few years of their breakup their legacy became secure as one of the great American rock bands, and they heavily influenced the entire genre of heartland rock.
Fogerty's songs are considered classics of the rock form and have been covered by countless artists; "Fortunate Son" in particular is revived whenever America goes to war (because its lyrics are clearly anti-war). A new live version of "Fortunate Son" by John Fogerty was recently released as part of his 2005 compilation album The Long Road Home which combines both his Creedence and solo hits.
CCR have had many of their songs appear in movies. Some include "Who'll Stop the Rain" in Who'll Stop the Rain; "Fortunate Son" in Forrest Gump; Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas with "Green River"; Remember the Titans with "Up Around the Bend"; The Longest Yard with "Have You Ever Seen the Rain"; The Big Lebowski with "Lookin' Out My Back Door" and "Run Through the Jungle," and The Big Chill; An American Werewolf in London with "Bad Moon Rising."
The bands name has its origins in Norvel Creedence who was a friend of John Fogerty. John Fogertys favourite beer was a brand called "Clearwater" who was briefly discontinued. When it was reinstated into production John named the band "Creedence Clearwater Revival". It should be noted however that this origin has not been confirmed.
∙ Creedence Clearwater Revival (July 1968)
∙ Bayou Country (January 1969)
∙ Green River (August 1969) ++
∙ Willy and the Poor Boys (November 1969) ++
∙ Cosmo's Factory (July 1970) ++
∙ Pendulum (December 1970)
∙ Mardi Gras (April 1972)
∙ Live in Europe (1973)
∙ Pre-Creedence (compilation of material recorded as The Golliwogs; released 1975)
∙ The Concert (recorded at the Oakland Coliseum, California, on 31 Jan 1970; released 1980)
∙ Creedence Clearwater Revival: Box Set, 6 CDs (2001)
Disk 1 contains recordings by The Blue Velvets and The Golliwogs; disks 2-6 are CCR recordings
∙ Bad Moon Rising: The Best of Creedence Clearwater Revival (2003)
++ These three albums are on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
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