Green River (song)

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"Green River"
Green River label.jpeg
Single by Creedence Clearwater Revival
from the album Green River
ReleasedJuly 1969 (1969-07)[1]
RecordedSometime from March to June 1969[2] at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco, California[3]
GenreRoots rock, swamp rock
Songwriter(s)John Fogerty
Producer(s)John Fogerty
Creedence Clearwater Revival singles chronology
"Bad Moon Rising"
"Green River"
"Down on the Corner"

"Green River" is a song by American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was written by John Fogerty and released as a single in July 1969, one month before the album of the same name was released (see 1969 in music).[1] "Green River" peaked at number two for one week, behind the novelty bubblegum pop song "Sugar, Sugar" by "The Archies".


The song was based on a childhood vacation spot of John Fogerty's.[4][5] In an interview Fogerty gave to Rolling Stone in 2012, Fogerty stated:

What really happened is that I used a setting like New Orleans, but I would actually be talking about thing from my own life. Certainly a song like "Green River" – which you may think would fit seamlessly into the Bayou vibe, but it's actually about the Green River, as I named it – it was actually called Putah Creek by Winters, California. It wasn't called Green River, but in my mind I always sort of called it Green River. All those little anecdotes are part of my childhood, those are things that happened to me actually, I just wrote about them and the audience shifted at the time and place.[6]

Fogerty added that the "actual specific reference, 'Green River,' I got from a soda pop-syrup label... My flavor was called Green River."[5]


Billboard described the single as "a driving rocker in the same vein as" Creedence Clearwater Revival's previous single "Bad Moon Rising."[7]

Sales and airplay[edit]

"Green River" was certified gold (500,000 units sold) by the Recording Industry Association of America on December 13, 1990.[8]

Chart (1969) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[9] 5
Canada (RPM)[10] 5
West Germany (Official German Charts)[11] 8
UK Singles (OCC)[12] 19
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 2

Cover versions[edit]

Mary Wilson of The Supremes worked with UK record producer Gus Dudgeon on a cover version in the early 1980s. It remains unreleased. Country band Alabama recorded a cover version of the song that appears on their 1982 album Mountain Music. The Minutemen included a live performance cover of the song on their 1984 EP Tour-Spiel. Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings covered it on their first album, Struttin' Our Stuff. The Hollies based their swamp rock pastiche "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" off the basic structure of "Green River"; The similarities between the two songs prompted John Fogerty to file suit against the band, alleging plagiarism. The case was settled out of court with Fogerty receiving half of the revenue from the song.

Appearances in other media[edit]


  1. ^ a b Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits (CD liner). Creedence Clearwater Revival. United States: Fantasy Records. 1991. FCD-CCR2-2.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  2. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Overview: Green River by Creedence Clearwater Revival". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  3. ^ Green River (Expanded Reissue) (PDF) (CD liner). Creedence Clearwater Revival. United States: Concord Music Group. 2008. FAN-30877-02. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2010-12-30.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  4. ^ Thompson, Art. "John Fogerty Summons His Creedence-Era Spirit on Revival". Guitar Player.
  5. ^ a b Goldberg, Michael (1993). "Fortunate Son: John Fogerty - The 1993 Rolling Stone Interview". Rolling Stone. United States. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  6. ^ Greene, Andy. Q&A: John Fogerty on All-Star Duets LP, Unlikely Creedence Reunion, Rolling Stone, May 4, 2012
  7. ^ "Spotlight Singles" (PDF). Billboard. July 26, 1969. p. 64. Retrieved 2021-02-20.
  8. ^ RIAA Certification Search
  9. ^ " – Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  10. ^ "RPM - Item Display: Top Singles - Volume 12, No. 5, September 20, 1969". Library and Archives Canada. March 31, 2004. Archived from the original (PHP) on October 21, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  11. ^ " – Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River". GfK Entertainment Charts. To see peak chart position, click "TITEL VON Creedence Clearwater Revival"
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  13. ^ "Creedence Clearwater Revival - Billboard Singles". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 29, 2010.

External links[edit]