About the song
One of the most iconic songs of the 1970s, Proud Mary by Creedence Clearwater Revival, has a fascinating history behind it. In this blog post, we will explore how the song was written, recorded and performed by one of the most influential rock bands of all time.
Proud Mary was composed by John Fogerty, the lead singer and guitarist of CCR, in late 1967. He said he got the idea for the song after he was discharged from the Army Reserve and bought a cheap notebook to write down some lyrics. He wrote the words “Proud Mary” on the first page, without knowing what they meant. He later realized that they referred to a riverboat on the Mississippi River, a symbol of the Southern culture that he admired.
The song is about a man who leaves his troubles behind and starts a new life working on a riverboat. The lyrics express a sense of freedom and joy, as well as a nostalgia for a simpler time. The song also reflects Fogerty’s love for roots music, such as blues, country and gospel, which influenced his style and sound.
Proud Mary was recorded by CCR in January 1969, at RCA Studios in Hollywood. It was the first single from their second album, Bayou Country, which was released later that month. The song features Fogerty’s distinctive vocals and guitar work, as well as the tight rhythm section of his brother Tom Fogerty on rhythm guitar, Stu Cook on bass and Doug Clifford on drums. The song also showcases CCR’s trademark swamp rock sound, which blended rock and roll with elements of Southern music.
Proud Mary was a huge hit for CCR, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number one on the Cash Box chart. It also became an international success, topping the charts in Canada, Australia and several European countries. The song has been covered by many artists over the years, most notably by Ike and Tina Turner, who gave it a soulful and energetic rendition in 1971.
Proud Mary is widely regarded as one of the greatest songs of all time, and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is also one of the most performed songs in history, with over 100 million airplays in the US alone. The song is a testament to CCR’s legacy as one of the most influential and popular rock bands of all time.