Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence Clearwater Revival

The band started out as The Blue Velvets, formed by John Fogerty, Doug Clifford, and Stu Cook in El Cerrito, California in the late 1950s. They were an instrumental trio, however in 1959 they began backing Tom Fogerty, John's older brother, for school dances at El Cerrito High School, on fraternity house gigs and in the recording studio. In the middle of 1964, the band recorded two songs for Fantasy Records, a local label based in San Francisco at that time. They were attracted to the label because Fantasy had released a national hit by Vince Guaraldi, "Cast Your Fate To The Wind". Moe Weiss, Fantasy's co-owner initially changed the group's name to The Visions, but when the record was released, in November 1964, Weiss re-named the group The Golliwogs, an apparent reference to a once-popular minstrel doll called a Golliwogg. Seven singles were released in the San Francisco Bay area, but none received national attention. (However, in 1975 Fantasy released Pre-Creedence, a compilation album of recordings by The Golliwogs).

Eventually John Fogerty took control of the group, writing most of their material and singing lead vocals. The band's first album as Creedence Clearwater Revival was released in 1968. A cover of the Dale Hawkins Swamp rock classic "Susie Q." became their first hit single (the song was later featured in the movie Apocalypse Now). As a result, Creedence Clearwater Revival is considered part of that distinctly American Swamp Rock music, exemplified again mo...