Ike & Tina Turner perform an excerpt of “Proud Mary” on The Ed Sullivan Show, 11 January 1970. It was a single from their 1970 album “Working Together.”
50 years ago. Half a century. The energy!
This is their original, longer version. It won them a Grammy Award.
“Proud Mary” was written by John Fogerty and first recorded by his band Creedence Clearwater Revival, released in Janaury 1969. It became a hit a couple months later. … In a 1969 interview, Fogerty said that he wrote it in the two days after he was discharged from the National Guard.
“Proud Mary’s” singer, a low-wage earner, leaves what he considers a “good job,” which he might define as steady work, even though for long hours under a dictatorial boss. He decides to follow his impulse and imagination and hitches a ride on a riverboat queen, bidding farewell to the city. Only when the boat pulls out does he see the “good side of the city”—which, for him, is one in the distance, far removed from his life. Down by the river and on the boat, the singer finds protection from “the man” and salvation from his working-class pains in the nurturing spirit and generosity of simple people who “are happy to give” even “if you have no money.” The river in Fogerty and traditionally in literature and song is a place holding biblical and epical implications. … Indeed, the river in “Proud Mary” offers not only escape but also rebirth to the singer.
– John Fogerty: An American Son, Thomas M. Kitts, 2015