From the San Francisco Bay area, Creedence Clearwater Revival were popular in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Led by lead guitarist/singer/songwriter John Fogerty, the band included John’s brother Tom on rhythm guitar, Stu Cook on bass, and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford on drums. They signed with Fantasy Records in 1964, but their eponymous first album wasn’t released until 1968 (owing to John’s and Doug’s military service). Their first hit, a cover of Dale Hawkins’ 1956 hit “Suzie Q,” got a lot of airplay on stations in the Bay Area as well as on Chicago’s WLS, and was their first Top 40 single. The band recorded six more albums over the next five years, ending with 1972’s Mardi Gras (your tie-in for today!). Tom Fogerty left the band in 1971, and the group disbanded for good in 1972. Tom died of complications from AIDS (due to a tainted blood transfusion) in 1990; John has released several albums, including 1985’s Centerfield (the title track is heard at nearly every baseball stadium during ballgames); and Stu Cook and Doug Clifford formed Creedence Clearwater Revisited in 1995.
“Bad Moon Rising,” from 1969’s Green River, is today’s first tune. It peaked at #2 in the US and #5 in Canada, and was certified platinum. (I remember a discussion on WLS one evening, where Art Roberts had to set people straight on the lyrics of the chorus, which sound a lot ike “There’s a bathroom on the right” but obviously aren’t.) “Fortunate Son,” from 1969’s Willie and the Poor Boys, is the second tune. It reached #14 in the US.
It’s surprising that, as popular as CCR was, they never had a #1 hit in the US. In fact, they hold the distinction of having the greatest number of Number Two singles without ever having a Number One, according to Billboard. (Even stranger is the fact that, in Chicago, they had three Number Ones, four Number Threes, two Number Fours, and no Number Twos. The things you learn when you do this…)
Creedence Clearwater Revival: your Two for Tuesday, February 12, 2013.