Creedence Clearwater Revival – Born On The Bayou (1969)

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Born On The Bayou (1969)

“Born on the Bayou” (1969) is the first track on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s second album, Bayou Country, released in 1969. It was released as the B-side of the single “Proud Mary” that reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts. The song was covered by Little Richard.

Songwriter John Fogerty set the song in the South, despite neither having lived nor widely traveled there.

Fogerty said, “Born on the Bayou” was vaguely like “Porterville,” about a mythical childhood and a heat-filled time, the Fourth of July. I put it in the swamp where, of course, I had never lived. It was late as I was writing. I was trying to be a pure writer, no guitar in hand, visualizing and looking at the bare walls of my apartment. Tiny apartments have wonderful bare walls, especially when you can’t afford to put anything on them. “Chasing down a hoodoo.” Hoodoo is a magical, mystical, spiritual, non-defined apparition, like a ghost or a shadow, not necessarily evil, but certainly other-worldly. I was getting some of that imagery from Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters.

“Born on the Bayou” is an example of “swamp rock”, a genre associated with Fogerty, Little Feat/Lowell George, the Band, J.J. Cale and Tony Joe White. The guitar setting for the intro is over-driven with amp  tremolo on a slow setting; Fogerty uses a Gibson ES-175 (which was stolen from his car soon after recording this track).

Creedence Clearwater Revival performed the song at Woodstock.

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