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Creedence Clearwater Revival

1959-1972
John Fogerty(guitar, vocals, harmonica, saxophone, piano.)
Tom Fogerty(guitar)
Stu Cook(bass)
Doug Clifford(drums)

Artistfacts for Creedence Clearwater Revival

  • Tom Fogerty is John's older brother. He was four years older then the other members and was 18 while the rest were still 14. The band was originally called Tommy Fogerty and the Blue Velvets. They were also known as the Golliwogs before CCR.
  • They sold millions of records, but never had a #1 hit. They did score 5 #2 hits on the Hot 100.
  • Tom died in 1990 from respiratory failure brought on by tuberculosis.
  • For a time in the '70s, Cook and Clifford were the rhythm section for various solo artists, including Doug Sahm.
  • CCR released 3 platinum albums in 1969: Bayou Country, Green River, and Willy And The Poorboys.
  • They lost a Battle of the Bands competition once to the Count Five, who later had a hit with "Psychotic Reaction."
  • When CCR was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Tom Fogerty's wife brought his ashes in her purse.
  • They performed at Woodstock at three in the morning, following the Grateful Dead. They were so unhappy with their performance that they forbade the use of it in the Woodstock motion picture and anything promoting the movie. They didn't want their performance on the album, either, but Fantasy Records sealed the deal by not agreeing on royalties, which made sure they were not included on the album.
  • They formed as the Blue Velvets in 1959 while John Fogerty, Doug "Cosmo" Clifford, and Stu Cook were still in Potola Junior High School (El Cerrito, California). By 1961, they were backing local artists at sock hops, county fairs, and recording studios.
  • In 1959, Tom Fogerty's first band, Spider Webb and the Insects, broke up. Tom started a solo career by asking his little brother's friends if they could back him up when he was cutting demo records. Because John didn't do much singing at the time, the Blue Velvets were primarily an instrumental band at the time of big brother Tom's request. They said yes and changed their name to Tommy Fogerty and the Blue Velvets.
  • After three failed singles on Orchestra records, Tommy Fogerty and the Blue Velvets submitted an audition tape of instrumental music to Fantasy Records in an attempt to sell the tunes to Vince Guaraldi, who had a huge hit with "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" and would later write and arrange the music for Charlie Brown specials. Co-founder of the label, Max Weiss, was impressed by their audacity and their energy and signed Tommy Fogerty and the Blue Velvets in March of 1964.
  • Weiss suggested that the group change their name as he thought that the Blue Velvets were a remnant of the '50s. The Group settled on The Visions, but by the time their first Fantasy single came out, the British Invasion was in full force and new label owner Paul Saenz changed their name to the Golliwogs (after an English doll) and put it on the first of a string of flop singles.
  • Although they were experiencing futility on the record front, they were making a name for themselves playing at parties, military bases, and clubs up and down the Pacific coast. At times the quality of the PA system was close to nonexistent, which put a strain on Tom Fogerty's lead voice. Eventually John Fogerty took on more and more of the lead, developing a shouting/screaming style that later became his trademark.
  • After a six-month hiatus (John served six months in the army; Cosmo served in the Coast Guard), Saentz decided that if the group was to become a viable option for Fantasy Records, a few changes had to me made. He had the band ditch the Golliwogs name, involve itself more with the Bay Area music scene and underground radio, and put more attention on John Fogerty.
  • They changed their name to Creedence Clearwater Revival, reportedly in honor of a friend of a friend of Tom's named Credence Nuball. The new name came from three sources: Creedence: from "credence," a belief in themselves, Clearwater: initially it came from a beer commercial, but it resonated more strongly with the burgeoning environmental movement via an anti-pollution TV commercial, Revival: from the hope to revive the band's career.
  • Starting in 1968, most of their songs were written, produced, arranged, and sung by John Fogerty. He carried a notebook full of phrases that he wanted to convert into songs, including "Bad Moon Rising," "Born on the Bayou," "Proud Mary" (the first on the list), "Up Around the Bend," and "Riverboat Queen."
  • Tensions within the group arose in 1970 as the Fogerty brothers clashed and Clifford and Clark, who were resentful that the group appeared to be a one-man show (in fact, virtually every decision involving the group was made by a majority vote of its members). Tom Fogerty left in early 1971, after the release of the group's PENDULUM LP to revive his solo career (he released three albums on Fantasy before dying in 1990. A fourth, completed in 1988, was released posthumously). CCR continued as a trio.
  • The end was near in 1972, when the group voted 2-1 to contribute equally to their next (and what proved to be their last) album, Mardi Gras. As a result, Stu Cook's "Door to Door" appeared on the disk alongside the year-old "Sweet Hitchhiker" and their cover of Ricky Nelson's "Hello Mary Lou."
  • In 1973, Fantasy Records sued the group for breach of contract as Fogerty prepared his second solo LP. The suit was settled when Fogerty and the group sold all rights to the songs and recordings to Fantasy Records and Saul Saentz. Fogerty was so embittered about this that he refused to perform any of his CCR songs until 2000. He later recorded three songs for his Centerfield LP that attracted the ire of Saentz: the Top 10 hit "Old Man Down the Road" triggered a suit by Saentz purporting that Fogerty plagiarized himself (Fogerty prevailed and won attorney's fees); "Mr. Greed" and "Zantz Kant Dance" (later "Vantz Kant Dance") triggered a defamation lawsuit by Zaentz in which the jury sided with Fogerty.
  • In 1995, over Fogerty's strenuous objections, Cook and Clifford reformed the band without him and rechristened it Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Fogerty sued his two former bandmates to prevent the use of the name and the preformance of old CCR tunes in the act. When Fogerty got the injunction, Clifford, Cook, and company toured as "Cosmo's Factory," and raised the ire of Fogerty when a promoter billed then as "Cosmo's Factory -- Former Creedence Clearwater Revival Members Stu Cook and Doug Clifford -- An Evening of CCR." The injuction was overturned on appeal.
  • When CCR was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1993), Cook and Clifford walked out when they were informed that Fogerty would be performing CCR tunes with the house band and Bruce Springsteen and had no interest in performing with the two of them. (thanks, Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for above 14)
  • Bruce Springsteen: "Creedence wasn't the hippest band in the world, but they were the best." Springsteen covered many of CCR's songs, including "Fortunate Son", "Bad Moon Rising", "Proud Mary", "Run Through The Jungle", "Who'll Stop the Rain?", and "Travellin' Band." (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada)
  • The band (minus Tom Fogerty) reformed at a class reunion in 1983. It is the last time that the 3 surviving members of CCR played together. (thanks, Jani - Raahe, Finland)
  • Their name comes from a combination of 3 things: Tom Fogerty's friend Credence Nuball, Clearwater beer, and the desire to revive the band's fortunes. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
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Comments: 22

When I teach new young drummers to play, one of the first things I have them do is listen to and copy Doug Clifford. He's so simple and tasteful they can really pick up a lot of valuable stuff. Although more and more they are not interested in that music or worse, don't know who CCR is. But, since that's the way I started out it must be the right way :)Dave - Fulton, Mo
A friend of mine took me to see CCR in 1969 in Long Beach, California just before I went overseas while in the military. This is still one of my all time favorite concerts, they played all their great tune's up until that point in their career and the building was jumping, people were all over the place having a great time. Sound system's weren't as developed as they are today but they sounded perfect as I'm sure John Fogerty wouldn't have it any other way. I've seen him a dozen time's over the year's with different lineups and he never disappoint's me.Jerry - Los Angeles, Ca
It's a shame CCR broke up so bitterly, and that very few younger people seem to have heard them before. They're one of my favorite bands of all time, and I wish they lasted longer.Roy - Granbania, Ma
The villan in the story is Ego and greed. It is a shame that Ego gets in the way of greatness.
First off, I was looking for the Bad Moon lyrics, I heard the tune on Northern Exposure and I could not make out 'fear quakes' and lightening. I wound up on a site where the music was playing. My 1 year old grandson, just crawling--was moving very fast for a baby from one room to the other where the computer is. He was dancing from the waist up and even stood up on his knees to dance. The site played Bad Moon and then Proud Mary, and the baby loved it. Then I clicked on someone teaching Bad Moon on the guitar--the baby was really focused. I ordered the Chronicle 20 greatest hits-of CCR and will play it for the baby next week.
I really enjoy the sound, and am glad that the artist thought enough of his fans to write Bad Moon.
Ego, greed-this is animal magnetism claiming to be part of you when it is not. It is trying to take away your Christ-hood ("Christ within your hope of glory"), it wants that divine part of yourself to fade away, so it can use you.
If you wonder where this comes from, I am learning Christian Science, and have a nodding aquaintance with Psi Tech technical remote viewing, where they did remote view Jesus resurrecting, God, the perfect human, and the reason behind Jesus crucifixion and resurrection.
Apparently, there is some kind of battle for our souls going on, and this is the testing ground. We are to be who we are and take time to stand back and enjoy. This is only a pit stop in eternity, don't blow it. Thanks for the music, CCR, Bossa Nova, Miriam Makeba :)
Rusty - Los Angeles, Ca
Tom's rythem guiter= Great,Doug & Stu's beat was a perfect blend ,for one the greatest musical voices of all time in John Fogerty.All folk's go through troubles and you had yours.But each of you made it to the top,be thankfull.I sure am,Thank's guy's for some great tunes I can revisit throughout life's journey.-Roy,Santa Fe,TxRoy - Santa Fe, Tx
Hope that helps!Brandon - Fort Smith, Ar
Cross Canadian Ragweed's name comes from the last name of three of the four band members. Grady Cross, Cody Canada, and Randy Ragsdale (the fourth member is Jeremy Plato). As far as I know it is just a coincidence that their initials CCR as the same as that of Creedence.Brandon - Fort Smith, Ar
Being a native Californian, I was a huge CCR fan. Since then John Fogerty has fallen into the politics game and promoted ultra-left candidates and causes as is his right. I have choosen to store his music in the attic and may again listen to them someday...doubt it!
Steve, Lindale, GA.
Steve Gumina - Lindale, Ga
Saw John Fogerty live in '05. Checked the bio's after the show, he was about 60. The voice was the same â?? unbelievable.Dill - Alexandria, Va
Anyone hear about "Deja Vu All Over Again"?Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
So who's the bad guy? Is it Saentz for being greedy and trying to keep John from making music? Or is it Stu Cook and Doug Cliffords fault for, not being willing to play second fiddle to John, who is clearly the genius behind CCR? Or is it Tom for seeking his own personal glory at the cost of a great band? Or is it John for being a control freak and ditching his old buddies at the Hall of Fame induction? It's just a shame all that petty bickering had to get in the way of one of the greatest rock bands everRagnar - Ojai, Ca
James Burton, one of John Fogerty's key influences, also used banjo strings on his guitar to facilitate bending.Chris - Bluffton, Sc
Creedence never had a number one single in the United States, but several reached number one in other countries, like Bad Moon Rising, in England.They had two number one albums in the US.
John Fogerty reached number one with Centerfield in 1985. They have sold over 100 million records around the world.
Charles - Augusta,, Ga
there are nine Tom Fogerty albums: Tom Fogerty, Excalibur, Myopia, Zephyr National, the first Ruby album with Randy Oda, Rock and Roll madness (with Ruby) , Deal It Out, Precious Gems, and Sidekicks with Randy Oda. There is also a Best of Tom Fogerty cd available through Varese Vintage records. He had some good and under appreciated music. May he rest in peace. Charles, Augusta, GaCharles - Augusta,, Ga
Although John is the driving force behind CCR, I feel Doug and Stu got shafted. Can anyone verify that the southern-rock influenced band Cross Canadian Ragweed adapted their name from CCR's? Also, longtime Mellencamp drummer Kenny Aronoff backed up John on some live and studio projects.Matt - Charleston, Sc
stu cook in the 80's joined the country band southern pacific - which was started by a couple of ex-doobie bros john mcfee and keith knudsenChuck - Peoria, Il
It is a shame John doesn't get the credit he deserves. A generation of teenagers like me were inspired by his songs. I hope one day there will be another Revival...John was CCR.Sam - San Antonio, Tx
The song "Down on the Corner" is about my Great Grandfather Willy Davis. He would work on really great hot rods in his garage and the band knew him very well, hence that song.Stephany - Clearfield, Ut
Listen to the beginning of Vince Guaraldi's Cast Your Fate To The Wind, specifically the piano solo intro just before the whole band kicks in. Compare that to the opening guitar riff on John Fogerty's 1985 hit Centerfield. I'd say John had kept that tune in his head for more than 20 years before using it in a song of his own.John - Glen Gardner, Nj
Ah some wrote that John Fogerty didn't start playing CCR Stuff live until 2000 is wrong he start playing them live in 1987 at benefit concerts then when Blue Moon Swamp was release in 1997 he played CCR song then.Brent - Eugene, Or
John fogerty put banjo strings on his guitar for a few songs, it's what gives his riffs a twangy effect. I've heard no one else has done this.Everett - Providence, Ri
CCR helped set foundations of rock as we know it today. Creedence is awesome!Cody - San Antonio, Tx