Monday, March 30, 2009

A sugar-coated slight

You want to talk about injustice? Forty years ago Creedence Clearwater Revival was riding the waves of its first big hit, "Proud Mary'', and you didn't need to grow up near a river town (although I did) to appreciate the message or the unique sound.

If you come down to the river
Bet you gonna find some people who live
You don't have to worry
'cause you have no money
People on the river are happy to give

In the ensuing year an amazing string of memorable swamp boogie records would certify CCR as one of America's most popular bands. But none of them reached the top of the charts. Incredibly, five of their songs during that span stopped just short -- at No. 2. And here is the ultimate humiliation: two of them were blocked by pure bubblegum.

Here are CCR's five No. 2 songs during that stretch, and what stopped them:

March 1969, Proud Mary (Dizzy, Tommy Roe)
June 1969, Bad Moon Rising (Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet, Henry Mancini)
Sept. 1969, Green River (Sugar, Sugar, Archies)
Feb. 1970, Traveling Band (Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel)
Sept. 1970 Lookin' Out My Back Door (Ain't No Mountain High Enough, Diana Ross

It makes me dizzy. My head is spinning...

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