Creedence Clearwater Revival – Have You Ever Seen The Rain

CCR is one band that crosses genres. I haven’t met many people that don’t like them. I can’t say the same for my band The Beatles, or The Stones, The Who, and others. Country fans, Metal fans, Rock fans, and bluegrass fans. It’s something about John Fogerty’s deceptively simple songs that says something to everyone.

John Fogerty did almost all the overdubs for the band until the Pendulum album when other members contributed. Pendulum is the album this song is on. Time was running out on this great band. John said this song was about the impending breakup of the band…Tom Fogerty had told the band he was quitting after the album was finished.

John’s brother Tom Fogerty quit the band after this album and CCR was then a trio. Tom’s voice was close to John’s and he felt restricted in CCR. If you want to hear what Tom sounded like…check out this post by Christian on the forgotten Forgerty brother. Creedence did release one more album after this called Mardi Gras without Tom and it has a few good songs but it’s not up to their standard.

I could tell you my feelings on this song but just listen to it today and it will make your Friday even better.

The song peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, #3 in New Zealand and #36 in the UK in 1971.

John Fogerty:  “That song is really about the impending breakup of Creedence. The imagery is, you can have a bright, beautiful, sunny day and it can be raining at the same time. The band was breaking up. I was reacting: ‘Geez, this is all getting serious right at the time when we should be having a sunny day.’”

 

From Songfacts

This song is John Fogerty’s take on the imminent departure of his brother Tom from the band, and the overall tension in the group at a time when they should have been enjoying their success. The line, “I want to know – have you ever seen the rain comin’ down on a sunny day?” refers to Tom leaving while CCR was at its commercial zenith. The flip side of this single, “Hey Tonight,” is John reassuring the band that all would go well despite the adversity.

Tom Fogerty left the group in early 1971, after this album was released. He released three solo albums before dying of tuberculosis in 1990. A fourth album, completed in 1988, was released posthumously.

According to John Fogerty, this song’s meaning changed for him over time. Introducing the song at a 2012 show in Arizona, he said: “This song was originally written about a very sad thing that was going on in my life. But I refuse to be sad now. Because now this song reminds me of my little girl, Kelsy, and every time I sing it, I think about Kelsy and rainbows.”

Fogerty added that this is his all-time favorite song, even though it’s one he wrote himself.

Musically, this song was inspired by the group Booker T. & the MG’s, whose most famous song is “Green Onions.” They opened for Creedence Clearwater Revival before CCR recorded the Pendulum album. John Fogerty loved the sound of Booker T. Jones’ Hammond organ, so he used it on some tracks for the album, including this one.

According to Stu Cook, this song and another track on the album, “Pagan Baby,” were written and rehearsed from scratch during one recording session. “Pagan Baby” was done in one take.”

This was used in the TV show Tour Of Duty, which was set in Vietnam during the war. >>

Bonnie Tyler covered this song for her 1983 blockbuster album Faster Than the Speed of Night. Her version reached #47 in the UK. >>

In 2006, Rod Stewart covered this song on his album Still the Same… Great Rock Classics of Our Time. >>

Allison Moorer covered this for her 2015 Down To Believing album. She explained why to Billboard magazine: “The record label wanted me to do a cover. I said ‘I don’t really think the record needs a cover on it,’ and we certainly have enough songs, but in the spirit of being cooperative, I said ‘OK, if you really want one, I’ll come up with something.'”

“If I was going to do a cover, it was going to be something that I had always wanted to do,” she continued. “I’m a huge Creedence fan, and that song might be my very favorite song of theirs. I’ve always thought it was the perfect country / rock song, and this record to me is a country / rock record, so I thought ‘If I’m ever going to this, this is the perfect time. I think what you hear on the record is actually the second take.”

As part of the CCR50 campaign to honor the 50th anniversary of Creedence Clearwater Revival, a video was commissioned for this song starring Jack Quaid, Sasha Frolova and Erin Moriarty as childhood friends in Montana. Directed by Laurence Jacobs, it takes a nostalgic turn when one of the friends moves away.

Willie Nelson recorded this with his daughter Paula Nelson for his duets album To All the Girls… The veteran country singer’s cover was included in the closing moments of the HBO miniseries Big Little Lies’ season 2 finale on July 21, 2019. The interest generated drove Nelson’s cover to a #36 debut on the Country chart dated August 3, 2019.

Have You Ever Seen The Rain

Someone told me long ago
There’s a calm before the storm
I know it’s been comin’ for some time
When it’s over so they say
It’ll rain a sunny day
I know shinin’ down like water

I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day?

Yesterday and days before
Sun is cold and rain is hard
I know been that way for all my time
‘Til forever, on it goes
Through the circle, fast and slow,
I know it can’t stop, I wonder

I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day?

Yeah

I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day?

 

 

John Fogerty – Rock and Roll Girls

When John Fogerty released the Centerfield album in 1985 I was excited. He had disappeared from the music scene for 10 years. I gave up hope of ever hearing new music from him. I kept hoping he would regroup with Creedence but I didn’t know at that time of the hostile history between them. This album was highly anticipated. I bought the album and it didn’t disappoint.

This is the second track on Fogerty’s Centerfield album, his first in 10 years. The song was inspired by his 12-year-old daughter, Laurie. Fogerty would watch her and her best friend hanging out and jokingly call them the Rock and Roll Girls.

The song peaked at #20 in the Billboard 100, #16 in Canada, #38 in New Zealand, and #83 in the UK in 1985.

 

Rock and Roll Girls

Sometimes I think life is just a rodeo
The trick is to ride and make it to the bell
But there is a place, sweet as you will ever know
In music and love and things you never tell
You see it in their face, secrets on the telephone
A time out of time, for you and no one else

Hey, let’s go all over the world
Rock and roll girls, rock and roll girls

Yeah, yeah, yeah

If I had my way, I’d shuffle off to Buffalo
Sit by the lake and watch the world go by
Ladies in the sun, listenin’ to the radio
Like flowers on the sand, the rainbow in my mind

Hey, let’s go all over the world
Rock and roll girls, rock and roll girls

Hey, let’s go all over the world
Rock and roll girls, rock and roll girls

Hey, let’s go all over the world
Rock and roll girls, rock and roll girls, yeah, yeah, yeah

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/

 

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Lodi

Every bar band who has ever played this song in hole in the wall bar… can relate to the lyrics. This song was the B-Side to Bad Moon Rising. CCR and The Beatles had the best double-sided singles of anyone in my opinion.

Lodi is a city in California located in the central valley, about 38 miles south of Sacramento and 87 miles away from Oakland. Fogerty and his earlier band (The Golliwogs) often performed in out of the way towns like Lodi.

Because of being the B side… Lodi peaked at #52 in the Billboard 100 while the A-side Bad Moon Rising peaked at #2 in 1969.

Drummer Doug Clifford on Lodi California: “There were nine people in there, they were all locals, they were all drunk and all they did all night was tell us to turn it down.”

From Songfacts

In Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, John Fogerty explained that the inspiration for “Lodi” came from trips with his father around central California, an area of the world where he “felt very warm and special.” This seed of an idea grew into a story about a traveling musician whose career “is in the rearview mirror.” Fogerty was only 23 when he wrote this song about an aging musician.

This song is a reflection on John Fogerty’s days with The Golliwogs, an early version of Creedence Clearwater Revival. They had to struggle for success, playing wherever they could with dilapidated equipment and an often indifferent audience. He did not want a return to the Bad Old Days.

Al Wilson recorded a cover of this song. His version was issued on Soul City Records in America and on Liberty Records in the United Kingdom. It was played extensively in the few underground “Northern Soul” clubs of England during the late 1960s and early ’70s, getting its first exposure at the famous Twisted Wheel Club Allnighters in Manchester, England. 

In a radio interview, John Fogerty said when he was young his parents took him and his brother to camp at Lodi lake (called Smith lake then) and they hated camping there. So later on they wrote a song about Lodi using their old hatred for the place. 

Tesla did an acoustic version of this song that was included on their 1990 live album, Five Man Acoustical Jam. Each band member got to pick a song to cover for the set, and Tesla drummer Troy Luccketta chose “Lodi” since he was born there.

Lodi

Just about a year ago
I set out on the road
Seekin’ my fame and fortune
Lookin’ for a pot of gold
Thing got bad and things got worse
I guess you know the tune
Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again

Rode in on the Greyhound
I’ll be walkin’ out if I go
I was just passin’ through
Must be seven months or more
Ran out of time and money
Looks like they took my friends
Oh Lord, I’m stuck in Lodi again

A man from the magazine
Said I was on my way
Somewhere I lost connections
Ran out of songs to play
I came into town, a one night stand
Looks like my plans fell through
Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again

If I only had a dollar
For every song I’ve sung
Every time I had to play
While people sat there drunk
You know, I’d catch the next train
Back to where I live
Oh Lord, stuck in a Lodi again
Oh Lord, I’m stuck in a Lodi again

John Fogerty – Centerfield

Spring training has started and baseball will be returning soon. It’s a good day to listen to John Fogerty’s Centerfield. This was John Fogerty’s comeback after being away from the charts since 1975.

The song peaked at #44 in the Billboard 100 in 1985. The album Centerfield peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1985.

Along with “Talkin’ Baseball” and “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” this quickly became one of the most popular baseball songs ever. It’s a fixture at ballparks between innings of games and plays at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

 

John Fogerty: “I’d hear about Ruth and DiMaggio, and as my dad and older brothers talked about the Babe’s exploits, their eyes would get so big. When I was a little kid, there were no teams on the West Coast, so the idea of a Major League team was really mythical to me. The players were heroes to me as long as I can remember.”

“It is about baseball, but it is also a metaphor about getting yourself motivated, about facing the challenge of one thing or another at least at the beginning of an endeavor. About getting yourself all ready, whatever is necessary for the job.”

 

From Songfacts

This song was inspired by Fogerty’s childhood memories of baseball, and although he didn’t play the game, he loved watching it and hearing the stories his father would tell about the legendary New York Yankees centerfielder Joe DiMaggio, who like Fogerty was from San Francisco. 

Fogerty left Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1972 and released solo albums in 1973 and 1975 that sold poorly. For the next 10 years, Fogerty refused to record because of legal battles with his record company, but when Centerfield was finally released in 1985, it hit the mark thanks to this title track. A song about baseball was a risk, as the sport isn’t exactly rock-worthy. In the MLB.com interview, Fogerty said: “Over the years it seemed like sports songs just didn’t qualify into the rock-and-roll lexicon. There was that unwritten distinction. It was never considered rock-and-roll. And I realized creating this song would very much put baseball in a rock-and-roll setting. I expected to be roundly thrashed by owners of the flame.”

One of Fogerty’s idols – Chuck Berry – inspired the lyrics, “Rounding third he was heading for home, it was a brown eyed handsome man,” which is lifted from Berry’s song “Brown Eyed Handsome Man.”

Baseball legends mentioned in this song: Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, and Ty Cobb.

The second verse refers to the legendary Mighty Casey from the epic poem Casey At The Bat. At the end of the story, Casey strikes out. >>

The line, “It’s a-gone and you can tell that one good-bye” comes from the catchphrase of baseball announcer Lon Simmons, who called games for the San Francisco Giants. He would often say, “Tell it goodbye” when the Giants hit a home run.

Fogerty produced this track and played all the instruments.

On July 25, 2010, in honor of the 25th anniversary of “Centerfield”‘s release, Fogerty played the song at the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, where he became the first musician honored by the Hall of Fame – at least the baseball one. Fogerty is in both the Songwriters and Rock and Roll Hall of Fames.

At the ceremony, Fogerty donated a custom-made baseball-bat-shaped guitar to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The 1984 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was held at Candlestick Park in Fogerty’s hometown of San Francisco. This led to erroneous reports that he watched the game from the center field bleachers, leading to this song. Among the publications to report this was Billboard Publications Rock Movers & Shakers.

When George W. Bush was campaigning for president of the US in 2000, he told a reporter this was his favorite song. Bush used to own part of the Texas Rangers baseball team, and liked the line “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play.”

Brad Paisely played “Centerfield” at an outdoor festival when he was 13 years old, something he told Fogerty about many years later. After the conversation, Fogerty hit him up for his 2013 album Wrote a Song for Everyone, where he performed his songs with contemporary musicians. Paisely picked a deep cut: “Hot Rod Heart” from Fogerty’s 1997 solo album Blue Moon Swamp.

Fogerty has always been a huge baseball fan; the first book he ever read was Lou Gehrig: Boy of the Sandlot.

When his boys played Little League, Fogerty always got a kick out of listening to this song when it was played during warm-ups.

Centerfield

Well, I beat the drum and hold the phone
The sun came out today
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field
A-roundin’ third and headed for home
It’s a brown-eyed handsome man
Anyone can understand the way I feel

Oh, put me in, coach, I’m ready to play today
Put me in, coach, I’m ready to play today
Look at me, I can be centerfield

Well, I spent some time in the Mudville Nine
Watching it from the bench
You know I took some lumps, when the mighty Case struck out
So say hey, Willie, tell the Cobb
And Joe DiMaggio
Don’t say it ain’t so, you know the time is now

Oh, put me in, coach, I’m ready to play today
Put me in, coach, I’m ready to play today
Look at me, I can be centerfield

Yeah, got it, I got it

Got a beat-up glove, a home-made bat
And a brand new pair of shoes
You know I think it’s time to give this game a ride
Just to hit the ball and touch ’em all
A moment in the sun
It’s a-gone and you can tell that one good-bye

Oh, put me in, coach, I’m ready to play today
Put me in, coach, I’m ready to play today
Look at me (yeah), I can be centerfield

Oh, put me in, coach, I’m ready to play today
Put me in, coach, I’m ready to play today
Look at me, gotta be, centerfield
Yeah

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River

One of my favorite songs by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The song peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100, #19 in the UK, and #5 in Canada. If you want proof that life isn’t fair… Green River was kept from #1 because of the novelty bubblegum song “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies.

The song is an example of a perfect rock song. Great lick, lyrics, and wonderful guitar fills by John Fogerty.

The song was on the album Green River which peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Chart.

John Fogerty: “Green River is really about this place where I used to go as a kid on Putah Creek, near Winters, California. I went there with my family every year until I was ten. Lot of happy memories there. I learned how to swim there. There was a rope hanging from the tree. Certainly dragonflies, bullfrogs. There was a little cabin we would stay in owned by a descendant of Buffalo Bill Cody. That’s the reference in the song to Cody Jr. [“Up at Cody’s camp I spent my days…”

The actual specific reference, Green River, I got from a soda pop-syrup label. You used to be able to go into a soda fountain, and they had these bottles of flavored syrup. My flavor was called Green River. It was green, lime-flavored, and they would empty some out over some ice and pour some of that soda water on it, and you had yourself a Green River.”

Image result for green river fizzy drink 50s

 

From Songfacts

John Fogerty has said that Green River is his favorite Creedence Clearwater Revival album, in part because it sounds like the ’50s albums by the likes of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash that came out of Sun Records in Memphis.

Asked about his songwriting by Mojo magazine, John Fogerty replied: “More common is me fooling around on the guitar coming up with a riff or a lick or even just a tone which sparks some kind of creativity. Your mind gets a vibe, like the lick for ‘Green River’ – that’s what it sounded like, a green river, haha. And that was a title I had carried around since I was about eight years old.”

Green River

Well, take me back down where cool water flow, yeh
Let me remember things I love
Stoppin’ at the log where catfish bite,
Walkin’ along the river road at night,
Barefoot girls dancin’ in the moonlight

I can hear the bull frog callin’ me
Wonder if my rope’s still hangin’ to the tree
Love to kick my feet way down the shallow water,
Shoe fly, dragon fly, get back t your mother
Pick up a flat rock, skip it across Green River

Up at Cody’s camp I spent my days, oh,
With flat car riders and cross-tie walkers
Old Cody, Junior took me over,
Said, you’re gonna find the world is smouldrin’
An’ if you get lost come on home to Green River
Well, come home

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Lookin’ Out My Back Door

When I first started to pay attention to the lyrics to this song…I would have bet Mr. Fogerty wrote it under the influence while looking out his back door. John said the song was written for his son Josh, who at the time was three years old. It was inspired by the Dr. Seuss book And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry StreetIn the book a kid is watching a parade go by with wondrous and magical animals and characters. Fogerty put the action “out my back door” to a place he could escape to.

The song was on the album Cosmo’s Factory… arguably Creedence’s best album. The song peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100 in 1970. Creedence had 16 songs in the top 100 in their short career but no number 1’s. Five songs peaked at #2. I never understood that but that is a post for another day. They were on a small label..Fantasy Records.

The album did peak at #1 in 1970.

There’s a giant doing cartwheels, a statue wearin’ high heels.
Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.
A dinosaur Victrola list’ning to Buck Owens.

Great imagination John…

From Songfacts

Much like The Beatles “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” many people thought this was about drugs when it was really an innocent song inspired by a child. According to the drug theory, the “Flying Spoon” was a cocaine spoon, and the crazy animal images were an acid trip. This was even less plausible than the Beatles misinterpretation since Creedence Clearwater Revival was never into psychedelic drugs.

This is played in the film The Big Lebowski. 

The album cover shows Creedence Clearwater Revival’s rehearsal space, which is not their original digs: they started rehearsing in a shed in the backyard of their drummer Doug Clifford’s house. Clifford once said it was “better than working in a factory,” so their rehearsal rooms became known as “The Factory.” Clifford’s nickname was Cosmo, so this space was known as “Cosmo’s Factory.”

John Fogerty played a bit of dobro on this track. He’s seen holding the instrument on the cover of the 1969 album Green River, but “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” is the only time he played it on a Creedence song. In 1993, he bought a dobro at a vintage guitar show and set out to master the instrument, playing it for hours on end and using it on his 1997 solo album Blue Moon Swamp. He got some help along the way from Jerry Douglas, a preeminent dobro player who was part of Alison Krauss’ band Union Station.

Lookin’ Out My Back Door

Just got home from Illinois lock the front door oh boy!
Got to sit down take a rest on the porch.
Imagination sets in pretty soon I’m singin’

Doo doo doo lookin’ out my back door.

There’s a giant doing cartwheels, a statue wearin’ high heels.
Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.
A dinosaur Victrola list’ning to Buck Owens.

Doo doo doo lookin’ out my back door.

Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band.
Won’t you take a ride on the flyin’ spoon?
Doo doo doo.
Wond’rous apparition provided by magician.

Doo doo doo lookin’ out my back door.

Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band.
Won’t you take a ride on the flyin’ spoon?
Doo doo doo.
Bother me tomorrow, today, I’ll buy no sorrows.

Doo doo doo lookin’ out my back door.

Forward troubles Illinois, lock the front door oh boy!
Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.
Bother me tomorrow, today, I’ll buy no sorrows.

Doo doo doo lookin’ out my back door.