CreedenceClearwater Revival (often abbreviated CCR) was an American rock band that gained popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s with a number of successful singles drawn from various albums.
The group consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty, his brother and rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook, and drummer Doug Clifford. Their musical style encompassed rock and swamp rock genres. Despite their San Francisco Bay Area origins, they positioned themselves as Southern rock stylists, singing often about bayous, the Mississippi River, catfish, and other popular elements of Southern iconography.
CCR's music is still a staple of American and worldwide radio airplay and often figures in various media. The band has sold 26 million albums in the United States alone.CCR was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
Before Creedence: 1959-1967
John Fogerty, Doug Clifford, and Stu Cook (all born 1945) met in junior high school in El Cerrito, California and began playing instrumentals and "juke box standards" together under the name The Blue Velvets. The trio also backed singer Tom Fogerty— John's older brother by three years—at live gigs and in the recording studio. By 1964, the band had signed to Fantasy Records, an independent jazz label based in San Francisco at the time.
Fantasy had released Cast Your Fate to the Wind, a national hit for jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi. The record's success was the subject of an NET TV special, which prompted budding songwriter John Fogerty to contact the label. For the band's first release, however, Fantasy co-owner Max Weiss renamed the group the Golliwogs (after the children's literary character, Golliwogg), apparently to cash in on a wave of popular British bands with similar names.
During this period, band roles underwent some changes. Stu Cook had gone from piano to bass guitar and Tom Fogerty became the band's rhythm guitarist. John Fogerty also began to write much of the band's material. Most notably, the young guitarist had taken over lead vocal duty. As Tom would later say, "I could sing, but John had a sound!"
Early success: 1967-68
The group had suffered a setback in 1966 when the draft board called up John Fogerty and Doug Clifford for military service. Fogerty managed to enlist in the Army Reserve instead of the regular Army while Clifford did a tenure in the United States Coast Guard Reserve.
In 1967, Saul Zaentz purchased Fantasy Records from Weiss and offered the band a chance to record a full-length album, but only if the group changed its name. Never having liked The Golliwogs, the foursome readily agreed. Zaentz and the band agreed to come up with ten suggestions each, but he enthusiastically agreed to their first: Creedence Clearwater Revival. The band took the three elements from, firstly, Tom Fogerty's friend Credence Newball, (to whose first name Credence they added an extra 'e', making it resemble a faith or creed); secondly, "clear water" from a TV commercial for Olympia beer; and finally "revival", which spoke to the four members' renewed commitment to their band. (Rejected contenders for the band's name included 'Muddy Rabbit', 'Gossamer Wump,' and 'Creedence Nuball and the Ruby', but the last was the start that led to their finalized name.)
By 1968, Fogerty and Clifford had been discharged from military service. All four members subsequently quit their jobs and began a heavy schedule of rehearsing and playing area clubs full-time.
The resulting 1968 debut album Creedence Clearwater Revival struck a responsive note with the emerging underground pop culture press, which touted CCR as a band worthy of attention. More importantly, AM radio programmers around the United States took note when a song from the LP, "Suzie Q", received substantial airplay in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as on Chicago's WLS. Blues aficionados doubtless appreciated the similarities between CCR's tough style and R&B artists on the Chess and Vee-Jay labels.
A remake of a 1956 song by rockabilly singer Dale Hawkins, "Suzie Q" was the band's second single, and its first to crack the Top 40. Reaching #11 nationally, it would be Creedence's only Top 40 hit not written by John Fogerty. Two other singles from the debut were released: a cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell On You" (which made it to #58) and "Porterville", written during John Fogerty's