The Golliwogs


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 ()

- Doug Clifford -- drums, percussion
- Stu Cook -- bass
- John Fogerty -- vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Tom Fogerty (RIP 1990) -- vocals, guitar

 

- Blue Ridge Rangers (John Fogerty)
- Doug Clifford (solo efforts)
- Creedence Clearwater Revival
- John Fogerty (solo efforts)
- Tom Fogerty (solo efforts)
- Tom Fogerty and the Blue Velvets
- The Don Harrison Band (Doug Clifford and Stu Cook)

- Ruby (Tom Fogerty)

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title: The Golliwogs

Company: Fantasy

Catalog: F-9474

Year: 1973

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Country/State: Oakland, California

Comments: minor edge and corner wear; creased top right corner; original inner sleeve

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 5315

Price: $50.00

 

Having recorded three early-'60s singles as Tom Fogerty and the Blue Velvets, in 1963 namesake Tom Fogerty took a day job as a shipping clerk with San Francisco based Fantasy Records. Fogerty's "connections" led to an audition with Fantasy, which subsequently signed the band to a contract. Persuaded to adopt a more 'English' sounding name, the group (Fogerty, brother John, bassist Stu Clifford and drummer Doug Clifford) opted for The Visions. Ironically, unknown to the quartet, their 1964 debut 'Don't Tell Me No Lies' was released credited to The Golliwogs (Fantasy executives apparently having decided the name was even more English sounding). 

- 1964's 'Don't Tell Me No Lies' b/w 'Little Girl, Does Your Mama Know? (Fantasy catalog number 590)

Over the next year (occasionally performing in white afro wigs !!!), the band released two equally unsuccessful singles for Fantasy ('You Came Walking' b/w 'Where You Been?' and 'You Got Nothin' On Me' b/w 'You Can't Be True'). Starting with a 1966 Van Morrison-styled 'Brown Eyed Girl' b/w 'You Better Be Careful' the band was transferred to Fantasy's newly formed Scorpio subsidiary. Unfortunately, in early 1966 John and Clifford were drafted into the Army. Scorpio continued releasing Golliwogs' material through 1967, at which point the quartet morphed  into Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Following CCR's1972 demise, Fantasy Records released a slew of hastily prepared posthumous compilations and live sets. Adding to the label's problems was John Fogerty's mid-'70s defection to Asylum. Desperate for new CCR product the company raided it's vaults for additional material. Judging by the 12 tracks (the "A" and "B" from their first six Fantasy and Scorpio singles), "The Golliwogs: Pre-Creedence", there wasn't much to be found in the archives. Anyone expecting CCR material was bound to be a bit disappointed, since with the exception of 'Porterville', 'You Better Get It Before It Gets You' and 'Walking On the Water', the band's trademarked choogin' sound had yet to be fully developed. That's not to say the set wasn't worth hearing; 'You Came Walking' sported a nice fuzz guitar, 'You Can't Be True' sounded like a stolen Johnny Rivers effort and 'Call It Pretending' sported a nifty Motown sound.  Besides, trying to find, let alone buy the six original singles would set you back substantially. Interestingly, while Tom was a decent singer (handling most of side one), brother John was far better and - wow! do they sound young ...

"The Golliwogs: Pre-Creedence" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Don't Tell Me No Lies   (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty) - 1:55   rating: *** stars

'Don't Tell Me No Lies ' was their 1964 debut or Fantasy.  With Tom handling lead vocals the song had a very British Invasion sound.  Not the most original tune you've ever heard, but their enthusiasm was kind of endearing and it was nice to hear Tom on lead vocals.
2.) Little Girl (Does Your Mama Know?)   (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty) - 2:40  
rating: ** stars

Kind of an Everly Brothers feeling going on with this one.   John's slinky blues guitar solos provided the highlights. 
3.) Where You Been   (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty) - 2:25   
rating: ** stars

To be honest, the ballad 'Where You Been' was  plodding and predictable; hardly their creative zenith. 

4.) You Came Walking   (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty) - 1:50    rating: **** stars

Interesting effort that sounded like they were trying for a mash-up of surf music, The Beach Boys, and something out of The Beatles catalog.  Again, it wasn't all that original but John showed off some nice fuzz guitar solos and Doug Clifford got a chance to showcase his frenetic percussion work.  Shame it wasn't a little longerIt was tapped as their second single:

 

 

 

 

- 1965's 'Where You Been' b/w 'You Came Walking' (Fantasy catalog number 597) 

 

 

 

 

 

5.) You Can't Be True   (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty) - 2:40    rating: **** stars

With John handling lead vocals, it was Interesting to hear how the whole dynamic changed.  His voice didn't sound all that different from Tom's, but he had that "it" factor.   'You Can't Be True' was a slinky blues number with some killer harmonica kicking it along.   The group's third single for Fantasy:

- 1965's 'You Can't Be True' b/w 'You Got Nothin' on Me' (Fantasy catalog number 599)

6.) You Got Nothin' On Me   (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty) - 2:10    rating: ** stars

The studio chatter wasn't really necessary and the song itself was little more than a blatant copy of Chuck Berry's 'Roll Over Beethoven'.   They were lucky to not have been sued for plagiarism.   
7.) Brown-Eyed Girl   (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty) - 2:25   
rating: **** stars

The band at their garage rock best and if you think it sounds suspiciously like Van Morrison and Them's 'Gloria', note it was released a year before Van and company had their hit.  You can start to hear the CCR sound on this one.  It was also tapped as their debut for The Fantasy-affiliated Scorpio label.

- 1965's 'Brown-Eyed Girl' b/w 'You Better Be Careful' (Scorpio catalog number 404)

 

(side 2)

1.) You Better Be Careful    (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty) - 2:20    rating: *** stars

Maybe it's just my ears, but kicked along by Stu Cook's rumbling bass line and the Farifsa organ solo, 'You Better Be Careful' has always reminded me a bit of The Zombies' 'She's Not There'.   
2.) Fight Fire   (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty) - 2:30
    rating: **** stars

'Fight Fire' was a killer garage rocker with Tom and John sharing lead vocals.  Bolstered by some instantly recognizable guitar, it was another track that introduced some of their signature CCR sound.  Released as a single, this one should have given them a hit:

- 1966's 'Fight Fire' b/w 'Fragiel Child' (Scorpio catalog number 408)
3.) Fragile Child   (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty) - 2:35
    rating: **** stars

Another tune with the Fogertys sharing lead vocals.   Their voices sound very similar, but having listened to this one dozens of times  I think it's Tom on the first verse and John on the second.  Musically 'Fragile Child' was a surprisingly pleasing slice of folk-rock that showcased their sweet harmony vocals.   It appeared as the 'B' side to the 'Fight Fire' single.
4.) Walking On the Water   (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty - Stu Cook - Doug Clifford) - 2:30
    rating: **** stars

With John on lead vocals and plenty of fuzz guitar, 'Walking On the Water' finally unveiled the soon to be patented CCR sound.  While the band  never really embraced psychedelia, the song's dark, ominous feel and strange guitar sound (it sounded like an early synthesizer, but was apparently John playing through some sort of effect - maybe a Fender tremolo), came close to lysergic territory.   This one should have been a massive hit for the band.  One of the album's highlights.  The band re-recorded the song for their debut "Creedence Clearwater Revival" LP, dropping the psych flavor for a longer, more swamp-rock feel.   

- 1967's 'Walking on Water' b/w 'You Better Get It-Before It Get's You' (Scorpio catalog number 408)
5.) You Better Get It Before It Gets You   (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty - Stu Cook - Doug Clifford) - 2:50
   rating: *** stars

John taking a stab at a country-tinged tune.   Not particularly commercial, but I always loved the fuzz guitar and the way he roughed up his voice on this one.
6.) Porterville   (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty - Stu Cook - Doug Clifford)- 2:20
    rating: **** stars

Goodbye Golliwogs, hello CCR !!!   One of their best performance, though few folks have ever heard it.   John's voice was instantly recognizable on this chuggin' rocker with some of his most melodic guitar work.   The song was released as both a Golliwogs 45 and then as CCR's debut single:

- 1967's 'Porterville' b/w 'Call It Pretending' (Scorpio catalog 412)

7.) Call It Pretending    (John Fogerty - Tom Fogerty - Stu Cook - Doug Clifford) - 2:10     rating: **** stars

Fogerty and company dipping their creative toes into the Motown pool ...  A little Levi Stubbs and Four Tops in the mix ?    I have to admit I love this one.  Fogerty's gravelly voice was perfect for Motown stuff and the chirping backing vocals were lovely.    The song appeared as the 'B' side on their 'Porterville' single.


 


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