|The phrase "Proud Mary" reminded John Fogerty
of a domestic washerwoman, which is what he started writing the song
about. When he wrote the music, the first few chords reminded him of
a paddle-wheel going around, and he thought of the Mississippi
River. Instead of "Proud Mary" being a clean-up lady, "she" became a
boat. (Thanks to Ron Foster. More from Ron at
|Fogerty wrote the lyrics based on 3 song title
ideas- "Proud Mary," "Riverboat," and "Rolling On A River."
|This was a hit for Ike And Tina Turner in
1971. It was a highlight of their live shows.
|This was the first of 5 singles by Creedence
that went to #2 on the US chart. They had the most #2 songs without
ever having a #1.
|Despite popular belief, John Fogerty was not
writing from experience when he wrote this. Thanks to his military
commitment, he hadn't ventured further east than Montana. (thanks,
Brad Wind - Miami, FL)
|"Proud Mary" attracted 35 covers in the year
1969 alone. Over 100 have been made so far.
|Fogerty carried around a notebook with titles
that he thought would make good songs. "Proud Mary" was at the top
of the list.
|The line, "Pumped a lot of pain down in New
Orleans" is actually "Pumped a lot of 'Pane," as in propane. He was
|Leonard Nimoy, who played "Mr. Spock" on
Star Trek, recorded an infamous cover of this song. Near the
end, he sings the chorus Elmer Fudd style - "Big wheel keep on
toynin', Pwoud Mawy keep on boinin'..." It is included on a CD
called Golden Throats.
|John Fogerty: (about how the guitar riff came
about) "I don't know where the germ started. I can kind of remember
writing the chords at the beginning of the song. Believe it or not,
I was playing around with the famous riff from Beethoven's Fifth
Symphony. I used to tell people that the song sounds like what it's
about. I thought, by the way, that the opening riff sounded just
like the wheel at the back of a boat. 'Proud Mary' is not a
side-wheeler, it's a stern-wheeler." (thanks, Brett - Edmonton,
Canada, for above 2)
|Even though Creedence Clearwater Revival was
from El Cerrito, California, many people thoght they were from New
Orleans because of their sound. They helped feed the rumor by naming
their second album Bayou Country.