Creedence Clearwater Revival topped the US album charts with Cosmo’s Factory this day in 1970. To mark the occasion, here are nine CCR facts you might not know.
School pals John Fogerty, Doug Clifford and Stu Cook first worked together in 1959 under the name of The Blue Velvets, with Tom Fogerty as the vocalist. They released three singles.
The band then became The Golliwogs in 1964, when releasing a single on Fantasy. Thankfully, after taking a break because Clifford and Cook were called up for military service, it was agreed they’d change the name again.
The name Creedence Clearwater Revival means nothing as a phrase. The word ‘Creedence’ referred to someone called Credence Newball, who was a friend of Tom Fogerty. ‘Clearwater’ came from a TV commercial for Olympia Beer. And ‘Revival’ was a nod to the fact that the band returned in 1967 after a three year hiatus, due to the aforementioned military commitments. They almost settled for the name Creedence Nuball And The Ruby at one stage.
CCR’s first hit single was ‘Susie Q’ in 1968. What makes this different to anything the band did before or after is that it is their only Top 40 single NOT written by John Fogerty. This came from Dale Hawkins, who is acknowledged a pioneer of the type of swamp rock boogie that inspired the band.
CCR had five singles in America which peaked at number two. No other artist has had so many number two singles without ever topping the charts.
The title of the 1970 album Cosmo’s Factory came from the fact that Clifford had dubbed their rehearsal space - a warehouse in Berkeley, California – as a factory, because of John Fogerty’s work ethic. Clifford’s nickname was Cosmo.
The band played their first UK shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London on April 14⁄15 1970. The set both nights opened with Born On The Bayou and closed with Keep On Chooglin’.
CCR officially split up October 16, 1972, and only reunited in full for Tom Fogerty’s wedding in 1980. Clifford and Cook have worked together under the name Creedence Clearwater Revisited, but Tom Fogerty’s death from AIDS in 1990 ended any hopes of a full reformation. And ongoing differences between John Fogerty and Cook/Clifford has prevented even these three from playing together.
CCR were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993, John Fogerty refused to play onstage with Cook and Clifford. Instead, he fronted an all star band featuring, among others, Bruce Springsteen.