Creedence Clearwater Revival

The Creedence Clearwater Revival band, simply called the CCR, were known for their peculiarity in the music industry. They drifted from the common lyrical stunts of love and romance often employed by many bands and musicians into being more of a band that wrote songs concentrating on social and political issues in the late 1960’s.

CCR were also noted for promoting the natural riches of the southern parts of America despite their Northern descent. They had a style that blended diverse forms of rock genres: blues rock, swamp rock, roots rock, southern and even a bit of country rock.

Despite their short-lived career as a band, they made a name for themselves with their records and live performances in the Top charts of awards and magazines in the United States.

Members of Creedence Clearwater Revival

The line-up of the band consisted of these musicians:

  • Vocalist and lyricist John Cameron Fogerty
  • Thomas Richard Fogerty (the late brother of John Fogerty) playing rhythm guitar
  • Bassist Stuart Alden Cook 
  • Drummer Douglas Raymond Clifford

Bio

In the years before the formation of the band, singer John Fogerty, drummer Doug and bass guitarist Stu had met in their High school in California when they were juniors.

John’s brother Tom was already a musician, recording and playing at live shows. The three juniors formed a group in 1959 which they named the Blue Velvets.

As the Blue Velvets, they supported Tom Fogerty during some of his live shows and recordings.

They continued to play small gigs and recorded singles until 1964 when they signed with an American Independent record label, Fantasy Records owned by Max Weiss.

The Blue Velvets released their first single in 1964 but under a new name (The Golliwogs) that was given to them by their new boss which the group did not like very much.

The new name was inspired by a very popular children’s character and was supposed to help in the groups brand and publicity. This was the same period that the roles of some band members were changed into the classic-line up that made history.

Stu used to play the piano before the bass guitar. Tom used to be the group’s lead vocalist before playing the bass guitar but John took over that role.

Fantasy Records was purchased by a new client Saul Zaentz, an award-winning film producer and record company executive in 1967. They got the opportunity to record a lengthy album with their new manager and that allowed the band to change their name from The Golliwogs to Creedence Clearwater Revival, CCR for short in 1968.

The group had a pool of names to choose from including “Gossamer Wump”, “Creedence Nuball” amongst others.

Success

The career successes of the group began from the name change when eminent radio shows began to take notice and pay keen attention to the group’s past songs, especially their cover of 1956’s “Susie Q”.

They released more singles in May of 1968 and their self-titled debut album, CCR was blowing massively at this point.

They released an album titled Bayou County in January 1969 in Los Angeles. This album hit a whooping uncontestable number seven and was certified platinum in the US.

They followed these successes with their singles Proud Mary, a No.2 Billboard chart winner and Born on the Bayou which earned the same.

Two more singles were released that same year and they reached number two on the UK Singles Chart. Green River, their third album, followed earning a No.2 on the Billboard Charts. 

CCR toured aggressively that year through major festivals like the Atlanta Pop Festival. Another album was released in November of that year with chart earning singles, Down on the Corner and Fortunate Son. 

1969 to 1970 was the most charted and career recognizing year for the American rock band. 1970 produced four classic singles and their biggest-selling album, Cosmos Factory which had ground-breaking singles. They released another top seller, Pendulum in December as the last album for the year.

Demise of Creedence Clearwater Revival

Despite their successes from 1968-1970, CCR began to break down after Tom Fogerty resigned in February 1971. The group faced some problems with their managerial and musical structure and some inter-relational discords.

They still continued to record and perform in spite of the major misunderstandings between them. CCR toured Europe and the US and released their single Sweet Hitch-Hiker which earned the Top 10 spot on charts.

Their last and final album as a band was released in April 1972. This album unlike their other albums did not sell much and earned lower chart spots as well. The band could not successfully resolve the issues they had with their record label Fantasy Records and between themselves.

The group officially disbanded on 16th October 1992 after an official announcement by their record label. Two former members of the band, Stu Cook and Douglas Clifford formed an extension of the band called Creedence Clearwater Revisited which still exists as of this writing.

Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence Clearwater Revival

Facts about Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival is the only band that has had more than two singles topping the American charts at the same time. CCR has sold over 28 million records in the United States alone.

The group’s compilation album, the 20 Greatest Hits has been awarded the 10x platinum implying that 10 million and counting copies have been sold. The album still ranks on the Billboards 200 album charts as of the time of writing.

In their short-lived life as a band, they made the cut into the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, in a class of legendary bands that existed before them.

They were inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

The original arrangement of the band’s name was Clearwater Revival Creedence but it was misspelled on their long-playing record label as Creedence Clearwater Revival by a record printer, Brinson Buttercourt and they chose to keep it that way.

Stu Cook named his children after the band, Clearwater and Creedence.

Though inactive, CCR had five of their singles peaking at No.2 of the American charts. It has been recorded that no other band or artist has ever had many of their singles topping the charts like theirs did.

In Conclusion

CCR was a group that had a very promising future in the history of the American music industry and the globe as a whole. They were able to attain in less than a decade what took many of their fellow bands decades to achieve.

Many have suggested that more could have been done about the disagreements that caused their disbandment but nevertheless, their half-a-decade career was worth recognition while it lasted.

Top Creedence Clearwater Revival Songs

This is a list of some of the biggest hits released by Creedence Clearwater Revival:

  • “Bad Moon Rising”
  • “Born on the Bayou”
  • Centerfield
  • “Commotion”
  • “Cotton Fields”
  • “Down on the Corner”
  • Fortunate Son
  • “Green River”
  • “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”
  • “Hey Tonight”
  • “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”
  • “I Put a Spell on You”
  • “Lodi”
  • “Long as I Can See the Light”
  • “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”
  • “Medley U.S.A.”
  • “Molina”
  • “Porterville”
  • “Proud Mary”
  • Run Through the Jungle
  • “Someday Never Comes”
  • “Suzie Q”
  • “Sweet Hitch-Hiker”
  • “Tombstone Shadow”
  • “Travelin’ Band”
  • Up Around the Bend
  • Who’ll Stop the Rain

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