From The Beginning
Based on highlights of the book Rocking All Over The World by Peter Koers.
In 1959 three classmates from Portola Junior High School in El Cerrito, California started performing together.  They were John Fogerty (5/28/45) on guitar, Doug Clifford (4/24/45) on drums, and Stu Cook (4/25/45) on the piano.  In November, 1959, John's brother, Tommy was added to the group and they became:
Tommy Fogerty & the Blue Velvets.

The quartet later changed into a vocal band and became a popular attraction in El Cerrito.  The group developed its unique sounds by listening to records of blues men Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, plus early rock artists such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Carl Perkins.  Young John Fogerty was also inspired by Duane Eddy, Ray Charles, and Booker T & the MGs.

By his mid teens, John Fogerty could play guitar, dobro, piano, organ, tenor saxophone, harmonica, drums, and several other instruments.  He also had a good voice and contributed many original compositions throughout the band's career.  Tom taught himself to play almost as many instruments as his brother, but his main instrument remained rhythm guitar.

During the years as the Blue Velvets, the group completed three singles, all 7" 45RPMs:  "Come on, Baby", "Have You Ever Been Lonely?", and "Yes You Did".

In 1963, John became a packing and shipping clerk at Berkeley based Fantasy Records.  The next year the group auditioned for Fantasy Records as an instrumental band.

Fantasy's Weiss brothers signed them but encouraged the British style of music instead of instrumentals.  Weiss renamed them to make them sound more British and the Blue Velvets now became known as the:


The band disliked but accepted the name as a precondition of their recording deal.  The foursome was never happy with the appellation nor the blond wigs they were sometimes required to wear.

Tom Fogerty dominated the early releases, but in late 1966 and early 1967 his younger brother decided to take over the vocals and by 1967 John Fogerty was wresting for control of the group.

The series of singles released by the Golliwogs included Beatles-influenced "Don't Tell Me No Lies", "Where You Been", "You Can't Be True", "Brown Eyed Girl", "Fight Fire", and "Walking On The Water".  The one and only album released by the Golliwogs, a compilation of their A and B sides, was released a decade later in 1975.  Musically, the Golliwogs were influenced by the British Invasion bands, particularly the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and the Kinks.

In 1966 John and Doug were drafted into the army and on their return in 1967 the group cut "Porterville".  It made some inroads but didn't make the charts.  They had now developed a defined, original sound.

During 1967 Fantasy was sold and the new owner was impressed by the Golliwog's recordings.  This resulted in discussions that led to the group turning fully professional in December of 1967.  In doing so they became known as:

Creedence Clearwater Revival

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Creedence Clearwater Revival (1968-1972)