In a world populated by Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival might have seemed a little boring. Don’t be fooled.
This group of journeyman musicians led by singer, songwriter, guitarist John Fogerty delivered potent Rock. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Fogerty somehow channeled the Southern Rock bayou sound better than most natives. No doubt his love for that music seeped into his playing, singing and songwriting.
The band’s name originated when rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty combined the first name of a friend (Creedence), with a TV commercial (Clearwater) and their desire to bring back a truer, more real sound (Revival).
Next came “Green River” with the title track, the ominous “Bad Moon Risin’” and the mournful “Lodi.”
“Willie And The Poorboys” came across as the most upbeat set thanks in a large part to the lighthearted and friendly “Down On The Corner,” plus the comical “It Came Out of the Sky.” However, this record also contains CCR’s best track, the fiercely anti-establishment “Fortunate Son.”
The band had reached the pinnacle but never had a #1 song. In fact, they held some kind of record for the most Top Ten singles without a chart-topper.
Eventually, Tom departed to spend more time with his family. He also launched a solo career that bombed. Drummer Doug Clifford and bassist Stu Cook started writing songs and wanted to sing but since they lacked John Fogerty’s talent and experience, they paled in comparison. The drop in song quality and internal tensions spelled the end of CCR.
Additionally, a royalty dispute caused John Fogerty and Fantasy Records to part on extremely hostile terms. For years, Fogerty refused to play his own songs because Fantasy Records owned the publishing rights and would profit.
In the mid-80s John Fogerty scored a major solo hit with “Old Man Down The Road,” a song that got him sued. Fantasy Records, who owned the publishing to “Run Through The Jungle,” claimed he plagiarized his own song. Fogerty won the judgement. The publishing issue took decades to resolve but Fogerty eventually won the rights to his songs.