Thursday, April 18, 2024

John Fogerty Finally Gets His Creedence Clearwater Revival Songs Back After 50 Years, Buying a Majority Stake in His Own Catalog


John Fogerty is finally reunited with his song catalog after 50 years.

Amazing. Irving Azoff and a small group of investors rallied to do what John has wanted since the 1970s. Now instead of selling his catalog — which everyone else is doing — Fogerty has his rights back to his Creedence Clearwater Revival songs with good partners.

Fogerty’s catalog was lost to him five decades ago when Saul Zaentz bought Fantasy Records, CCR’s label. Zaentz controlled the rights and wanted Fogerty to pay for use of the music. So John famously stopped playing his own songs. When he finally resurfaced with the hits “The Old Man Down the Road” and “Centerfield,” Zaentz actually sued him, saying Fogerty was just repurposing old songs. Fogerty won that suit, but still didn’t regain his rights to the old songs.

Zaentz, now dead quite a while, had a lot of nerve. He made Fogerty miserable and denied fans access to the CCR hits.

Fantasy was sold to Concord Records in 1994, which was eventually owned by Norman Lear. Now it seems that Concord has obliged Fogerty, Azoff and their group, sold the rights back to them and will be putting out CCR Records on the label with them. This is an incredible catalog of hits including “Proud Mary,” “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” “Traveling Man,” “Fortunate Son,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain.” and dozens more.

Fogerty says on Twitter, “As of this January, I own my own songs again. This is something I thought would never be a possibility. After 50 years, I am finally reunited with my songs. I also have a say in where and how my songs are used. Up until this year, that is something I have never been able to do.”

He adds: “I am looking forward to touring and celebrating this year! I want to thank @ConcordRecords for helping to make all of this happen. And, I am excited for new ideas and a renewed interest in my music … like a revival.”

The amazing thing is, CCR’s records have never been hotter recently. The greatest hits album sometimes rises into the top 10 on iTunes, ditto some of the singles. The songs are used in commercials all the time. The music has never gone out of style. The copyrights are worth a fortune if used properly. Fogerty on tour, singing CCR, should be a massive success.

I’m not surprised Azoff got involved in this rescue. He knows the value of songs, and artists’ rights. What Zaentz did to Fogerty was criminal and painful. So this is a happy ending, the good guys have won.

PS Fogerty released this song and video several years ago, called “Zantz Kant Dantz,” in response to this lifelong feud. It was very clever.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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