In 1959, The Blue Velvets began as an instrumental cover band in John Fogerty’s Junior High School years. Playing at local dances together as a band in the early 60s brought them enough success to be signed to Fantasy Records. What would be cause for celebration was more confusion when the record label rep changed the band’s name, without telling the members, to “The Golliwogs,” a name meant to fit in well around the British pop invasion of the time. The band produced seven singles, none of them, hits.
While members of the band, including Fogerty, began military service, the record company released the last of the Golliwogs singles, including “Porterville.” The only difference is…this single was released under the name Creedence Clearwater Revival, a name that was chosen this time by the band themselves.
The band’s first success came in a cover of Suzie Q, and just kept rolling with a stream of six albums in a span of just over two years. Their second album, Bayou Country, made the biggest impact with the release of Proud Mary / Born on the Bayou. Nine of the band’s singles cracked the top 10 for a span of three years, including counter protest songs Who’ll Stop the Rain and Fortunate Son.
In the early 70s, the band broke up and Fogerty went on to a fairly successful solo career. But former band members Doug Clifford and Stu Cook created Creedence Clearwater Revisited in 1995 and have continued to tour under that name, much to the chagrin of Fogerty, who has repeatedly shown no interest in getting the band back together.
When the band was accepted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, John Fogerty said he “always used to say that [he] wanted to make records they would still play on the radio in 10 years.” I’d say he was more than right.