Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogerty Wins Music Rights 50 Years Later

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Fogerty now retains all rights to his solo work, but his new majority interest gives him control – for the first time – over 65 CCR copyrights, including hits like Bad Moon Rising, Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Proud Mary, and Fortunate Son.

Rocker John Fogerty, the founding member of Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), has announced he now owns the global publishing rights to the iconic rock band’s songs, after five decades of legal battle.

“As of January, I own my own songs again. I never thought it would be possible,” Fogerty said on Twitter. “This is something I thought would never be a possibility. After 50 years, I am finally reunited with my songs.”

“I’m looking forward to going on tour and celebrating this year!” he added.

The victory, which ends one of the bitterest and longest-running copyright battles in music history, came after the 77-year-old bought a majority stake in the rights to the band’s catalogue from Concord Records, which has owned the rights since 2004.

Fogerty, who founded CCR in 1968, alongside his older brother Tom, Doug Clifford, and Stu Cook, was the group’s lead singer, lead guitarist, and principal songwriter, but they broke up in 1972 and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Before their disbandment, late music mogul Saul Zaentz signed a teenage Fogerty and his group to his Fantasy Records label in the mid-1960s, making the label owner of the group’s distribution and publishing rights.

The deal, which Fogerty described as a bad one as he traded insults and lawsuits with Zaentz and also claims he lost money because Fantasy misled him with bad investments and absorbed his earnings from royalties, was the subject of decades of lawsuits and intense press attention.

When CCR disbanded, Fogerty became exasperated with Fantasy, but could not get out of the deal without ceding even more royalties to Zaentz. He went long periods without recording and even refused to sing the band’s songs for years.

Concord bought Fantasy in 2004, and the royalties which Fogerty had not received in 25 years were quickly reinstated, and increased, but the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer still hadn’t gotten his publishing rights back.

The company’s recently announced deal with Fogerty, which applies to the publishing rights available to songwriters, comes at an undisclosed price, but it will see the label retain ownership of the rights to the CCR master recordings already in its possession.

Concord President Bob Valentine, who sees in Fogerty’s work “some of the best songwriting of the 20th century,” said in a statement that “given the unique circumstances surrounding John’s relationship with Fantasy, we are more than delighted to reach an agreement”.