A legendary rockstar’s birthday is reason for every fan to celebrate. So raise your glasses, because it’s the father of blues swamp rock John Fogerty’s 75th.
Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) wouldn’t have risen to the level of stardom that it did without John Fogerty. He wrote almost every single one of their hit songs (except “Susie Q”). Maybe you’ve heard of “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” or “Travelin’ Band,” which all made it towards the tops of the charts. Plus, though not written by Fogerty, I’m sure you’ve heard of CCR’s version of “I Put A Spell On You”—if from the rendition done by the Sanderson sisters in Hocus Pocus. (Or, if you’re cool, you know the original by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.)
Creedence Clearwater Revival, “I Put A Spell On You”
But even though CCR is known for their gritty damp blues down-by-the-Bayou rock ‘n’ roll, they didn’t start out like that.
John and his brother Tommy Fogerty were actually first in a band called Tommy Fogerty & The Blue Velvets, with Tommy fronting the group as the name implies. Their sound during this era conformed more with the sound of that time, the infancy of rock ‘n’ roll—much more similar to bands like Bill Haley & His Comets or Buddy Holly. It was pretty crisp, clean rock ‘n’ roll that was considered “devil” music at the time, but now sounds extremely tame.
Tommy Fogerty & The Blue Velvets, “Come On Baby”
After Tommy Fogerty & The Blue Velvets, they formed The Golliwogs—ever heard of them? This group is when John started to take his place as frontman, quickly becoming its main songwriter. Here, you start to get a taste of the signature John Fogerty vocals, though the music is still in that early ‘50s rock style. His grungy sound adds to the increasingly more tough-guy lyrics. Finally, in 1967, they formed CCR and started down their path as badass rockers.
The Golliwogs, “Tell Me”
CCR split just five years later in 1972, but Fogerty kept truckin’ with a solo career and even a No. 1 hit with “Centerfield” in 1985.
John Fogerty, “Centerfield”
John Fogerty had a falling out with his two bandmates after the breakup. After the passing of his brother Tommy Fogerty in 1990 from AIDS, a CCR reunion was officially never meant to be. But even at 75, the pioneering musician keeps on playing music. He even gave the world an at-home performance in March to brighten up life for his fans during COVID-19 quarantine.
John Fogerty Performs CCR hits for ‘In My Room’
So cheers to John Fogerty, the ever-evolving musical legend, and everything he’s done for rock ‘n’ roll.