One of the most authentic and distinctive voices in American popular music belongs to singer/songwriter/guitarist JOHN FOGERTY. His place in the pantheon of great artists would have been assured solely by his role as the creative force behind Creedence Clearwater Revival, but he has relentlessly added to his musical legacy. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area community of El Cerrito, he was exposed to a rich mixture of musical styles. After years of honing his performing and recording skills under various band names, John had a “eureka” moment and, on Christmas Eve, 1967, coined a new name for his group that reflected a renewed commitment to their music and its authentic origins. Thus was born Creedence Clearwater Revival.
The next year Creedence became one of the major forces of the classic rock era. Their self-titled debut album was released, along with their first hit single, “Suzie Q.” Six other studio albums and a string of major chart singles followed. Though the band split up in 1972, its legacy was recognized with Creedence Clearwater Revival’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
Fogerty began a solo career shortly after the demise of Creedence. In 1973 he released The Blue Ridge Rangers, an homage to classic country on which he played all of the instruments. Not long after, he made his titular solo debut with John Fogerty. Following a long legal struggle caused by an onerous recording contract, he re-emerged with renewed strength in 1985 with the multi-platinum Centerfield. The title track has become a rock standard and a modern day anthem for baseball. In recognition of that, Fogerty was invited to play it this year on opening day of the new Yankee Stadium – from center field, of course.
In the early 1990s Fogerty began a closer study of the blues that had been such a significant influence. He traveled to Mississippi and helped fund memorial markers for such blues forebears as Charlie Patton, James Son Thomas, Mississippi Joe Callicott, Memphis Minnie, and others. 1997’s Blue Moon Swamp was a huge commercial success for Fogerty and was awarded the Grammy for Best Rock Album that year. In 2005 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Revival was Grammy-nominated in 2008 for Best Rock Album, which prompted a memorable appearance on the awards show with two other rock and roll originals: Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. In 2009, Fogerty embraced a new platform when he was featured teaching his classic songs as part of Apple’s Garage Band software.
In the works for release this year is the much-anticipated The Return of The Blue Ridge Rangers as well as the feature length Royal Albert Hall concert documentary and biographical DVD release Comin’ Down the Road. John Fogerty, it seems, to borrow a term he invented many years ago, just keeps on chooglin’.