Creedence Clearwater Revival on TV in ’69

By Chris M. Junior

Doug Clifford recalls almost getting beaten up before an appearance on

Doug Clifford recalls almost getting beaten up before an appearance on “The Johnny Cash Show.” (Universal)

Creedence Clearwater Revival was a steady presence on the radio throughout 1969, and the red-hot band was a television mainstay that year, too. CCR drummer Doug Clifford has vivid memories of the band’s three TV appearances in ’69.

“The Ed Sullivan Show”:

CCR graced the “Sullivan” stage twice in 1969. An exchange with the host during the band’s first appearance, which aired March 9, really stands out in Clifford’s mind.

“Sullivan was so drunk when we did the show he couldn’t pronounce [our name],” Clifford recalls. “When we came over, he pulled us out of order. We were in a certain order to line up with the cue cards for questions, and he’s calling me John and Stu was Tom — it was a beauty.”

“The Johnny Cash Show”:

Episode 15 of The Man in Black’s music-variety program featured Creedence and aired Sept. 27, 1969. Cash’s show originated in Nashville, Tenn., and Clifford found himself in a world of trouble when he wandered away from the set.

“I wanted to buy a real cowboy shirt,” he recalls. “I’m out walking during a break to this store, and I walk by a bar, and the next thing I know, I’m up against the wall. These guys have my hair … and I’m thinking, ‘I am going to get [a good beating] here.’

“And then I hear this voice: ‘Boys, what the hell are you doing?’ And it was Johnny. I don’t know where he was going, but he happened to pass by when this was going on. He said, ‘Let this man go. He’s on my show. If you want trouble, you got it.’ They said, ‘Sorry, John. We thought he was one of those hippies.’ ”

“The Andy Williams Show”:

CCR taped a segment in August ’69 that aired Oct. 18 on the smooth crooner’s show, but it was anything but a smooth experience for the group, which endured technical difficulties beyond its control.

“Whatever could have gone wrong went wrong on their side of it,” Clifford says. “It was kind of embarrassing. We were ready to go, but the big-time network special was just crumbling around us.”

Read More about Creedence Clearwater Revival:

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Three of a kind

Goldmine reviews Creedence Clearwater Revival: The Singles Collection


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