“Born on the Bayou” (1968) is the first track on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s (CCR) second album, Bayou Country, released in 1969. It was released as the B-side of the single “Proud Mary” that reached #2 on the Billboard charts.
“Born on the Bayou” is an example of ‘swamp rock’, a genre associated with John Fogerty, Little Feat/Lowell George, The Band, Canned Heat, J.J. Cale, The Doobie Brothers and Tony Joe White. The guitar setting for the intro is over-driven with amp tremolo on a slow setting; Fogerty uses a Gibson ES-175 (which was stolen from his car soon after recording this track). The E7 chord gives the song a strong Southern blues feel. To many, the vocal performance on this track represents a pinnacle in John Fogerty’s singing, the performance as a whole is regarded as one of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s finest hours. “Born on the Bayou” opened most of CCR’s concerts, and was known as the band’s signature song.