Creedence Clearwater 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 lyricist John Fogerty, rhythm guitarist and brother of John, Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook, and drummer Doug Clifford. Their musical style encompassed rock and roll and swamp rock genres. Despite their San Francisco Bay Area origins, they are sometimes also cited as southern rock stylists.
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.
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 Creedence Nuball, a friend of Tom Fogerty; "clear water", from a TV commercial for Olympia beer; and revival, which spoke to the four members' renewed commitment to their band. (Other contenders were Muddy Rabbit, Gossamer Wump, and Creedence Nuball and the Ruby.) Unlike many other rock artists of the day, they eschewed drug use.
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 Army Reserve stint.
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