Creedence Clearwater Revival – Down On The Corner

This is one of the first bass runs I ever learned…It was on the album Willy And The Poor Boys album.

The song was part of yet another double A-sided single paired with Fortunate Son. Down on the Corner peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100,

On the cover, the band is seen down on the corner performing to a (very) small crowd outside the Duck Kee Market. This location had no real significance except it just happened to be half a block from the recording studio. John Fogerty recalls only ever going in there one time, and that was sometime after the album’s release.

The album cover and building and below picture is recently.

Creedence Clearwater Revival in front of the Duck Kee Market in ...

From Songfacts

This song tells the story of a fictional jug band, Willy and the Poor Boys, who were street musicians “playing for nickels, can’t be beat.” The name of the jug band was also the name of CCR’s fourth straight million-selling album.

Just as The Beatles took the role of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Creedence became Willy And The Poorboys for this album. This is the only song that played to the concept, but CCR appeared on the cover as the fictional band. The Willy And The Poorboys persona suited the group, as they really were a basic, hardworking band who paid their dues before hitting it big. They sold the jug band theme by performing this song with a washtub bass and washboard.

John Fogerty did all the singing on this. He recorded a bunch of vocal tracks that were overdubbed to create the effect that he was harmonizing with himself.

The line in this song, “Willy goes into a dance and doubles on kazoo” is often misheard. A journalist named Phil Elwood thought the last part of the line was “Devil’s on the loose,” and published it in a newspaper article. John Fogerty got a big kick out of this, and as a nod to Elwood, put this line into the CCR song “Run Through the Jungle”:

They told me, “Don’t go walking slow
‘Cause Devil’s on the loose”

John Fogerty claims that bassist Stu Cook couldn’t play the bass properly for the song. “Eventually, we spent six weeks rehearsing the song, but Stu still couldn’t do it when we got to the recording session,” Fogerty says in Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music. The problem, according to the CCR frontman, was that Cook had no rhythm. This led to a tense moment in the studio, but they eventually managed to get the song down.

Down On The Corner

Early in the evenin’ just about supper time,
Over by the courthouse they’re starting to unwind.
Four kids on the corner trying to bring you up.
Willy picks a tune out and he blows it on the harp.

Down on the corner, out in the street
Willy and the Poorboys are playin’
Bring a nickel; tap your feet.

Rooster hits the washboard and people just got to smile,
Blinky, thumps the gut bass and solos for a while.
Poorboy twangs the rhythm out on his kalamazoo.
Willy goes into a dance and doubles on kazoo.

Down on the corner, out in the street
Willy and the Poorboys are playin’
Bring a nickel; tap your feet.

Down on the corner, out in the street,
Willy and the Poorboys are playin’
Bring a nickel; tap your feet.

You don’t need a penny just to hang around,
But if you’ve got a nickel, won’t you lay your money down?
Over on the corner there’s a happy noise.
People come from all around to watch the magic boy.

Down on the corner, out in the street,
Willy and the Poorboys are playin’;
Bring a nickel; tap your feet.

Down on the corner, out in the street
Willy and the Poorboys are playin’
Bring a nickel; tap your feet.

Down on the corner, out in the street
Willy and the Poorboys are playin’
Bring a nickel; tap your feet.

 

Pictures from http://www.popspotsnyc.com/creedence/

 

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

29 thoughts on “Creedence Clearwater Revival – Down On The Corner”

      1. That is pretty neat. I don’t know if I drove past the place that I’d recognize it- without knowing… What is your favorite album cover ever?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I sound like such a Beatle homer (because I am) but Sgt Pepper because…everytime I look at it I find different faces or things I’ve never seen before.
        Maybe as far as the other bands it might be Disraeli Gears…it’s brash and loud but fit the times.
        The scariest one is Black Sabbath…the one with the witch.

        I know I’m missing some.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Even Abbey Road I catch myself looking at everything…that was a good pick. Some of the worst I’m sad to say was many of those Elvis albums in the 70s. Some of them looked like a B Artist album cover. It is a lost art regardless.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ok…it’s like a baseball announcer who pulls for one of the teams that he is supposed to be partial to. He is called a “homer”

        Like

  1. What a good single- Fantasy might have been fine putting the two out as separate singles, both sides were winners. Cool to see what it looks like now… which is not that different! Think the Pepsi sign might be the same one that was there in cover pic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve known drummers who don’t have much rhythm…I can’t explain it but to some people it doesn’t come naturally but when they catch on…they are fine.
      I know some who can pick up something in a second.

      Like

      1. Yes…I will tell you a famous one…a great ryhthm guitar player…John Lennon.
        John and Paul talked about it…that is why some of the Beatle stuff sounds odd…his sense of rhythm was off…listen to Give Peace A Chance…to the beat…they had to fix it in the studio

        Like

      2. Good lord. Kinda disjointed.

        I watched the “official” video. Man. All that footage of marches, riots and arrests. The protests over this mess is starting. We had folks in Raleigh protesting, yesterday and one woman was arrested. I saw Ohio doing the same.

        Liked by 1 person

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