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Creedence Clearwater Revival FAQ

What was Creedence Clearwater Revival?
Creedence Clearwater Revival was one of the all-time greatest American rock and roll bands. During their short heyday in the years 1968-1972, they cut a bunch of three-minute hit singles which have easily stood the test of time and become true classics. The group combined elements of rock and roll, rhythmn and blues, blues, country, gospel and various bayou styles - despite the fact that they emerged in El Cerrito, a suburb in San Francisco Bay Area, and had never even seen the Mississippi bayou.

Their line-up was John Fogerty (vocals, guitar), his brother Tom Fogerty (rhythm guitar), Stu Cook (bass), and Doug Clifford (drums).

Since John Fogerty grew up in California, and never had set foot in Louisiana or the Bayou country, what gave him the inspiration to write the songs he wrote?
While growing up, John listened to a lot of music written about the South and sung by southerners, among them bluesmen such as Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, Howlin' Wolf, etc. His mother introduced him to Stephen Foster's songs about the South (e.g., "Swanee River") when he was very young, and he liked those. He said, downtown El Cerrito was a pretty boring place to him, so he made up this mystical Southern imagery in his head. The old Sun Records recordings were big influences, too. Basically, all of John Fogerty's musical influences - blues, rockabilly (Elvis, Carl Perkins), country (Hank Williams) - were Southern.

Which are the greatest hits of CCR and John Fogerty (solo career)?
For two years, 1969 and 1970, Creedence Clearwater Revival was the most popular rock band in America. During those years the group released five of its seven albums and seven hit singles. All seven singles reached the top ten of the U.S. pop charts. Astonishingly, none reached #1 in the U.S., and yet no less than five of their records, all double sided hits, reached #2. They are, "Proud Mary" b/w "Born On the Bayou", "Bad Moon Rising" b/w "Lodi", "Green River" b/w "Commotion", "Travelin' Band" b/w "Who'll Stop the Rain", and "Looking Out My Back Door" b/w "Long As I Can See the Light".

Of their albums, both "Green River" and "Cosmo's Factory" reached #1, with the latter being their best seller.

John Fogerty's solo chart career peaked during the week of March 14, 1985. "Centerfield" hit #1 that week in its second week on the charts, and its lead-off single, "The Old Man Down the Road", reached the highest position of any of his post Creedence singles, at #9.

What did they do before CCR?
They were an amateur rock band. Formed in high school in 1959, they played as Tommy Fogerty & The Blue Velvets (1959-1964) and The Golliwogs (1964-1967), enjoying minor success in the San Francisco bay area. The quartet turned professional in December 1967 and changed their name to Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Where did the band's name come from?
Tom Fogerty had a friend at work who had a friend whose name was Creedence Nuball. John Fogerty took the "Clearwater" part from a beer advertisement. "Revival" referred to the band's rebirth or revival.

Why did CCR disband?
For the differences related to artistic direction and the management of the band - not unlike thousands of other rock bands. Creedence Clearwater was a band dominated by their frontman, John Fogerty. On their six first albums he did all the vocals and played lead guitar. He also wrote all of their own songs, arranged and produced each cut, and managed the band. Fruits of the formula included several gold records and the position as the number one singles band in America in the early 1970's.

During the years Creedence Clearwater existed, the rest of the group demanded a more collaborative share of labour, ie. writing, arranging and producing songs together and more voice in the financial issues. In consequence of the turmoil, John Fogerty insisted that the rest of the group members contribute equally to the songwriting, singing and producing on the album, "Mardi Gras". The album was an artistic and commercial failure and the group disbanded shortly afterwards, in late 1972.

Did CCR perform at Woodstock?
Yes. But their performance did not appear in either the film or original album "Woodstock" due primarily to John Fogerty's veto. He felt CCR's performance, impacted as it was by technical difficulties at the site and that it occurred in the wee hours immediately following a sleepy performance by the Grateful Dead, was not good enough to be forever documented on film and record. Four songs of the concert were released on the Woodstock box set in 1994.

I'm a newbie. Which CDs should I buy first?
There are dozens of Creedence Clearwater Revival compilation albums of which song line-ups are practically identical. Perhaps the best of them is "Chronicle". The essential original studio albums are the self-titled debut (1968), "Bayou Country" (1969), "Green River" (1969), "Willy & The Poorboys" (1969), and "Cosmo's Factory" (1970). All are easily available on CD.

The cornerstone studio albums of John Fogerty include "John Fogerty" (1975), "Centerfield" (1985), and "Blue Moon Swamp" (1997). CDs available - except "John Fogerty" in the U.S.

I can't remember many John Fogerty albums and live concerts in the years 1972-1996. Where the heck was he?
He spent the first hiatus (1976-1984) mainly in his studio. According to him, he had lost his abilities to write and make music due to disputes with his former label Fantasy. He said it was like someone had turned the switch to the "off" position. Somewhere at the end of this 10 year period he went fishing on a lake. While out there the phrase "A man named Ike was in the White House, big black limousines" was born in his head. This turned the switch to the "on" position again, and he released his "Centerfield" album in 1985.

During the second decade (1987-1996), he met his wife, got married, had kids and wanted to make a record again. According to him, he also tried to settle the disputes with his former label but with no results. He made many visits to the "Bayou" to meet blues masters and get inspiration from the birthplace of the blues. He also made efforts to improve his skills in guitarplaying. An earthquake distroyed his house and it took him one year to rebuild it. Then to finish the "Blue Moon Swamp" album (1997) took him about four years. First he tried to do it on his own. Then he tried to find the right band finally ending up in using different sets of musicians for different songs.

Why was John Fogerty reluctant to do his CCR songs on stage during his silent years?
According to Fogerty, he was unhappy with the contract he signed with his Creedence era label, Fantasy Records, back in 1964. After the disband of Creedence Clearwater, Fantasy let him out of his contract but he had to gave up his publishing rights to all his Creedence songs as a compensation.

What does John Fogerty do now?
He recently recorded "Blue Moon of Kentucky" for the Bill Monroe tribute album "Big Mon" (2000). He also appeared as a vocalist on "Blue Ridge Mountain Blues" on the recent "Earl Scruggs & Friends" CD (2001). He is supposed to be writing songs to his next studio album.

What is the "Shep" album of John Fogerty?
It's his self-titled LP released in 1975 and includes the Fogerty standards "Rockin' All Over The World" and "Almost Saturday Night". The cover sleeve features Fogerty with his dog, Shep. In the U.S., the CD version of the album is only available as an imported item.

What was the deal with the "Hoodoo" album?
It was a finished album of John Fogerty, due to be released in 1976. The bosses of Asylum Records didn't like the tapes, and the album was shelved. The single cuts ("You Got The Magic"/ "Evil Thing") were the only "Hoodoo" songs that were officially released.

Are the John Fogerty single cuts that were not released on his original albums available on greatest hits packages or box sets?
So far, no compilation albums or box sets focusing on the solo career of John Fogerty have been released. You have to search for the original vinyl singles e.g. in record fairs.

Did I mishear the lyrics of "Bad Moon Rising"? "Bathroom on the right?" I wasn't drunk.
People usually misheard the chorus "there's a bad moon on the rise" as "there's a bathroom on the right". In his concerts, Fogerty makes fun of it and purposely slips the "wrong" lyrics into the end of the song.

What do other former members of CCR do now?
Stu Cook and Doug Clifford formed a band called Creedence Clearwater Revisited in 1995. With three additional musicians in the place of the absent John and Tom Fogerty, the band performs Creedence Clearwater Revival classics.

Tom Fogerty died of AIDS in 1990. He got the virus in the blood transfer in the early 80's. His albums were released on CD in 1999.

Which movies feature CCR or John Fogerty music?
Check out International Movie Database at "More searches", "Word Search", "Soundtracks".

Can we expect a reunion of Creedence Clearwater Revival someday?
Doubtful. Since Tom Fogerty has passed away and the relations between the living former members have been strained for decades, the reunion seems unlikely.

Which CCR and John Fogerty videos are commercially available?
A few. CCR is featured on a 1999 released video called "The Best of 1969-70 Music Scene, Volume 1", with two songs: "Down On The Corner" and "The Night Time Is The Right Time". A 20-minute footage on the CCR concert at Royal Albert Hall, London, in 1970, was released semi-officially by DeAgostini in Italy in 1992. It has been out of print for years. A 6-minute segment of the clips of the Royal Albert Hall concert is available on the recent "An Ultimate Creedence Clearwater Revival 2CD" multimedia section. A video of the John Fogerty "Premonition" concert was issued in 1998.

Are there any books about the band?
Peter Koers, Rocking All Over The World. Germany, 1994. ISBN 3-926794-17-8. Written in German, English summary.

Peter Koers, Green River: The Illustrated Discography of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Germany, 1999. ISBN 3-925005-51-X. Written in English and German.

Craig Werner and Dave Marsh (Ed.), Up Around The Bend: The Oral History of CCR. USA, 1999. ISBN 0380801531. Features authentic interviews with John Fogerty, Stu Cook, and Doug Clifford.

Hank Bordowitz, Bad Moon Rising: An Unauthorized History of Creedence Clearwater Revival. USA, 1998. ISBN 0028648706.

Are there any CCR or John Fogerty fan clubs?
Check out our Links.

Are there any fan gatherings?
  • Annual gathering. More information from Glenda Kann (

  • Annual Fogerty Fest Finland. Featuring live concert by a cover band. More information from Jukka Leino (

  • Annual gathering of the former Worldwide CCR Fan Club. Featuring live concert by a cover band. More information from Peter Koers (

  • Rollin' On The River Fest in New Orleans. You can subscribe to their mailing list at More information from Fran Nolting (
  • West Coastal CCR Gathering. More information from Scott Gammon (
  • Which are the main CCR and John Fogerty resources on the Internet?
    Check out our Links.

    Where did John Fogerty get his habit of singing sideways into the microphone?
    It began in the mid-'60s. His pre-Creedence band, The Golliwogs, performed in a gross place. The people either made him laugh or sometimes disgusted him, so he usually ended up looking at the wall while he was singing. The wall would have all sorts of things written all over it, and he read it all. Looking at the wall then got him in the habit.

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