“Left a good job in the city, working for the man every night and day. And I never lost one minute of sleeping worrying about the way things might have been.”
To many, those words begin the iconic recording of “Proud Mary” by rock n’ roll legend Tina Turner. But those words were written by a man whose career has been just as storied and accomplished as Turner’s. From fronting the incredibly influential Creedance Clearwater Revival to enjoying a successful solo career, John Fogerty has been a constant example of how excellent songwriting can endear to generations of music lovers. On May 10th, the people of Tuscaloosa can experience the songs of this singer/songwriter when Fogerty performs at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.
Fogerty started Creedance Clearwater Revival in 1967 with his brother Tom, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford. Despite forming in California during the height of the counterculture movement, CCR’s music was based more in roots rock and Americana. Along with The Band, CCR were influential in bringing back country and honky tonk elements to rock n’ roll. Their style helped set the scene for the rise of southern rock in the 1970’s. Songs like “Proud Mary”, “Fortunate Son”, “Born on the Bayou” and “Bad Moon”, among many others, are staples of classic rock radio to this day, and the album Green River continues to be recognized as a classic record.
However, relationships within the band deteriorated quickly after they rose to success. Essentially, Fogerty found himself at odds with the other four members of the band, and issues regarding credit for songwriting created tensions that couldn’t be resolved. The breakup of the band was so contentious that Fogerty never reconciled with his brother before Tom’s death in 1990. He even refused to play with Cook and Clifford when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cook and Clifford would later tour as Creedance Clearwater Revisited. The breakup would also put Fogerty at odds with Fantasy Records, who legally owned the band’s catalog.
Despite these issues, Fogerty pressed forth to become a very successful solo artist. He scored a hit in 1975 with “Rockin’ All Over the World”, but his subsequent efforts during the decade failed to match his previous output commercially and critically. However, in 1985 his career was reenergized with the release of the album Centerfield. The title track continues to be used at baseball events nationwide. However, the rest of the album contained many veiled insults to CCR’s former manager and record company. By the end of the decade, he was playing CCR material in his live set again. Since then, he has continued to record and tour on a regular basis. In 2005, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Fogerty also has the odd distinction of being accused in court of plagiarizing himself. As part of his fight with Fantasy Records, issues arose over the song “Old Man Down the Road”, which Fantasy Records claimed copied the chorus from CCR’s “Run Through the Jungle”, a song Fogerty wrote. He won the case when he proved in court that the songs were both unique compositions.
Fogerty brings yet another major act to the Amp, which is putting together quite an impressive lineup so far this season. Along with the likes of Dave Matthews Band, Boston, Needtobreathe and Blackstreet, Fogerty brings another big name with tons of experience to the venue. Fans will likely get a healthy dose of both Creedance and Fogerty’s solo material, as well as some covers from artists that helped him find his voice. It will be something fans of classic rock sure won’t want to miss.

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