This was co-written and originally recorded by rockabilly singer Dale Hawkins in 1956. His version
hit US #27 a year later. Eleanor Broadwater and Stan Lewis wrote it with Hawkins.
This was Creedence Clearwater Revival's first single. They went on to become one of the biggest bands of the late '60s and early '70s.
The Rolling Stones covered this in 1964. Creedence had been playing this at live shows, but stopped when the Stones released their version.
The album version runs 8:39. It evolved into a lengthy jam because the band had to fill long sets at their gigs.
This is the only Creedence hit not written by John Fogerty. They did some popular cover songs, including "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," but this is the only one to hit the Top 40.
This was produced with liberal use of late '60s studio tricks, including wide stereo separation, feedback, and vocal distortion.
When asked what the rhymes are in the latter part of the song, bass player Stu Cook said, "They were just simple rhymes. John hated it when songwriters used simple rhymes just to make things rhyme, so this was a statement against that. It was sort of anti-Dylan." (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada)
This became popular on the West Coast before it was available on vinyl. The band brought a cassette tape of the song to a San Francisco DJ, who played it in appreciation for the group's earlier support of a DJ strike.
Thanks to this, girls named Susie are automatically nicknamed "Susie Q."
The guitar riff on the original version was created by James Burton, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 as a sideman.
Their record company released their version of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' (no relation to Dale) "I Put A Spell On You
" at the same time as this. Their next 7 singles hit the Top 4 with their A-sides: "Proud Mary
" (#2)/"Born on the Bayou", "Bad Moon Rising" (#2)/"Lodi" (#52), "Green River" (#2)/"Commotion" (#30), "Down on the Corner" (#3)/"Fortunate Son" (#14 the week before BILLBOARD decided to combine both sides into one chart position), "Travelin' Band"/"Who'll Stop the Rain" (#2 combined), "Up Around the Bend"/"Run Through the Jungle" (#4 combined),"Lookin' Out My Back Door"/"Long as I See the Light" (#2 combined). (thanks, Brad Wind - Miami, FL)
The Susie Q was a popular dance step in the '30s. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
The single was titled "Susie Q (part 1)." The B-side was "Susie Q (part 2)."
This is one of the few Creedence songs where vocals of band members besides John Fogerty are heard. You can hear them in the second part of the song. (thanks, Jim - Oxnard, CA)