By the fall of 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival were one of the hottest rock bands in the world. The album features the songs «Down on the Corner», from which the album got its name, and «Fortunate Son», which is a well known protest song. Creedence also makes their own version of «Cotton Fields» on this album, which reached #1 position in Mexico. When the band members were finalizing the album, they and photographer Basul Parik went over to the intersection of Peralta St. and Hollis St. in Oakland, California and shot the photograph of the cover at Duck Kee Market owned by Ruby Lee.
Willy and the Poor Boys is the fourth studio album by American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, released by Fantasy Records in November 1969. It was the last of three studio albums the band released that year, arriving just three months after Green River.
The album features the songs “Down on the Corner”, from which the album got its name, and “Fortunate Son”, which is a well-known protest song. Creedence also released its own version of “Cotton Fields” on this album, which reached the #1 position in Mexico.
The album was planned to be formed around a concept introduced in “Down on the Corner”, with Creedence taking on the identity of an old-time jug band called “Willy and The Poor Boys”. However, this was dropped rather quickly, except for the cover, where the band remains in character.
Creedence Clearwater Revival, also referred to as Creedence and CCR, was an American rock band formed in El Cerrito, California. The band initially consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty; his brother, rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty; bassist Stu Cook; and drummer Doug Clifford. These members had played together since 1959, first as the Blue Velvets and later as the Golliwogs, before settling on the Creedence Clearwater Revival name in 1967.
CCR's musical style encompassed roots rock, swamp rock, blues rock, Southern rock, country rock, and blue-eyed soul. Belying their origins in the East Bay subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area, the band often played in a Southern rock style, with lyrics about bayous, catfish, the Mississippi River and other elements of Southern United States iconography. The band's songs rarely dealt with romantic love, concentrating instead on political and socially conscious lyrics about topics such as the Vietnam War. The band performed at the 1969 Woodstock festival in Upstate New York, and was the first major act signed to appear there.
CCR disbanded acrimoniously in late 1972 after four years of chart-topping success. Tom Fogerty had officially left the previous year, and John was at odds with the remaining members over matters of business and artistic control, all of which resulted in subsequent lawsuits among the former bandmates. Fogerty's ongoing disagreements with Fantasy Records owner Saul Zaentz created further protracted court battles, and John Fogerty refused to perform with the two other surviving members at Creedence's 1993 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Though the band has never officially reunited, John Fogerty continues to perform CCR songs as part of his solo act, while Cook and Clifford have performed as Creedence Clearwater Revisited since the 1990s.
CCR's music is still a staple of U.S. classic rock radio airplay; 28 million CCR records have been sold in the U.S. alone. The compilation album Chronicle The 20 Greatest Hits, originally released in 1976, is still on the Billboard 200 album chart and reached the 500-weeks mark in December 2020. It has been awarded 10x platinum.
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