Willy and the Poor Boys – Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)


Willy and the Poor Boys is the fourth studio album American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, released by Fantasy Records in November 1969, and was the last of three studio albums that the band released in that year. 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.  … Bandleader and songwriter John Fogerty had assumed control of the band after several years of futility but, despite their growing success, the other members – bassist Stu Cook, drummer Doug Clifford and guitarist Tom Fogerty, John’s older brother – began to chafe under Fogerty’s demanding, autocratic leadership. The band’s output in 1969 alone – three full-length albums – was staggering considering that they were touring nonstop throughout.  … ‘Down on the Corner’ chronicles the tale of the fictional band Willy and the Poor Boys, and how they play on street corners to cheer people up and ask for nickels. The song makes reference to a Washboard, a Kazoo, a Kalamazoo Guitar, and a gut bass. In a 1969 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the boys performed the song as Willy and the Poor Boys. Stu Cook played a gut bass, Doug Clifford the washboard, and Tom Fogerty the Kalamazoo, which mimicked the appearance of the band as they appear on the album cover. The single would peak at #3. … The song is a counterculture era anti-war anthem, criticizing militant patriotic behavior and those who support the use of military force without having to ‘pay the costs’ themselves (either financially or by serving in a wartime military). The song, released during the Vietnam War, is not explicit in its criticism of that war in particular, but features attacks on the elite classes (the families that give birth to eponymous ‘fortunate sons’) of the United States and their withdrawal from the costs of nationalistic imperialism are easy to contextualize to that conflict. The song was inspired by the wedding of David Eisenhower, the grandson of United States President Dwight David Eisenhower, to Julie Nixon, the daughter of President Richard Nixon, in 1968. …
Wikipedia
Rolling Stone
Genius
Discogs (Video)
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YouTube: Fortunate Son, Down on the Corner (Live0
YouTube: “Willy and the Poor Boys” – Full Album 10 videos

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