Creedence Clearwater Revival had a spurt of huge hit singles in the late 1960s and early 1970s. "Proud Mary" might be the best known of these, and marked not just the moment at which John Fogerty and his band found their own voice. It stands as the definitive Creedence Clearwater Revival song: one that weaves Americana and shades of swamp rock, blues, country, rockabilly, gospel, and soul together, but sounds inimitably like Creedence Clearwater Revival. Like many Creedence songs, it's built around a primeval riff, heard at the very beginning of the tune and repeated throughout. That's an emphatic downward two-chord pattern, which on the third go-round keeps going down and down before leaping upwards in an exultant fashion before the verse. There's also the insistent chorus of "rollin' down the river," the word "rollin'" repeated twice by the band before the whole phrase is sung. The chorus in particular sounds very much like an ancient gospel song in its rousing rallying cry, though it's in fact the work of John Fogerty. Those musical hooks were enough to guarantee that "Proud Mary" would be a big hit, but there was much more in the verses, where Fogerty emotionally sang of leaving the city to work on a steamboat. That fit in well with the back-to-the-country roots getting in vogue among the counterculture by 1969, but Fogerty sounded like a working man finding release, not a middle-class hippie yearning for a pastoral ideal. There's also a nicely effective guitar solo, one which Fogerty said was influenced by Steve Cropper of Booker T. & the MGs. It's odd that "Proud Mary" was titled as such rather than "Rollin' Down the River," the chorus that sticks in the listener's mind first. But it didn't keep it from becoming a monstrous hit in early 1969, reaching #2. It's been covered by many artists since then, including Elvis Presley, Wilson Pickett, and many bar bands that have never recorded. But by far the most famous of those covers was by Ike & Tina Turner, who amplified the gospel and soul elements of the sound to turn it into a raveup with the feel of a church revival. The Ike & Tina Turner version, remarkably, made #4 in 1971, just a couple of years after the Creedence Clearwater Revival original had been a big smash.