Down on the Corner
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"Down on the Corner" is a song by the American band Creedence Clearwater Revival. It appeared on their fourth studio album, Willy and the Poor Boys (1969). The song peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 20 December 1969. The flip side, "Fortunate Son", reached No. 14 on the United States charts on 22 November 1969, the week before Billboard changed its methodology on double-sided hits.
|"Down on the Corner"|
|Single by Creedence Clearwater Revival|
|from the album Willy and the Poor Boys|
|Creedence Clearwater Revival singles chronology|
The song chronicles the tale of the fictional band Willy and the Poor Boys, and how they play on street corners to cheer people up and ask for nickels (equivalent to $0.35 in 2019).
John Fogerty explained how the song lyrics were derived.
“[I] was kind of inspired by seeing an advertisement in the paper one day,” he says. “It was an ad from Disney that said in great big letters ‘Winnie the Pooh’. Something in my brain said ‘Winnie the Pooh and the Pooh Boys’. Obviously that was close to ‘Willy and the Poor Boys’. As I began to develop this idea it turned into music in that weird mystical, almost uncontrollable way, music comes to songwriters. Winnie the Pooh is still my favorite character who I’ve shared with my daughter Kelsy since the day she was born, though she's growing out of it. But I'm not.”
The song makes reference to a washboard, a kazoo, a Kalamazoo guitar, and a gut bass. In a 1969 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the band performed the song as Willy and the Poor Boys. Stu Cook played a gut bass, Doug Clifford the washboard, and Tom Fogerty the Kalamazoo, which mimicked the appearance of the band as they appear on the album cover.
Covers and samplesEdit
- Bo Diddley recorded a version of the song, on his album Another Dimension (1971)
- Jerry Reed recorded a version of the song, which appeared on his 1982 album The Bird.
- The Mavericks recorded a cover of this song on the album King of the Hill: Music From and Inspired by the TV Series.
- The rock group Big Country released a version of this song on the 2001 covers album, Under Cover.
- Adam Harvey performed a duet of this song with Leo Sayer on the Both Sides Now album.
- Beastie Boys sampled the song in the track "Time to Get Ill" from their Licensed to Ill (1986) album.
- The Goo Goo Dolls covered the song for their 1989 album Jed with Lance Diamond on vocals.
- MC Paul Barman samples the song on the track "Hot Guacamole" from the 2009 album Thought Balloon Mushroom Cloud.
- The a cappella group Street Corner Symphony covered this song at the request of the judges on the TV show The Sing-Off.
- Miriam Makeba offers a South African-inspired version on her 1970 album Keep Me in Mind.
- The Osmond Brothers sang the song in the Wonderful World of Disney episode "Disneyland Showtime."
- Harry Belafonte recorded the song on his 1970 duet album with Lena Horne entitled Harry & Lena on RCA Victor.
- The Weather Girls recorded a dance version of the song on their album Big Girls Don't Cry.
- D.O.A. mostly replaced the lyrics but kept the melody for their 1986 protest song "Billy and the Socreds"
- La Portuaria covered the song on their 2005 album Rio.
- Popular Finnish artist Kirka covered the song in 1970 with lyrics translated to Finnish.
- In 1989, Malcolm McCullum, Chris Lloyd, Armando Hurley, and Jamie Rigg covered the song for the ABC For Kids 0–9 Series of albums. It appeared on album No. 8 and was one of the songs from the project to be promoted with a music video using clay animation.
- In 2014, Bryan Adams covered the song for his 2014 album Tracks of My Years.
|United States (RIAA)||2× Platinum||2,000,000*|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Appearances in other mediaEdit
- The song has been featured in Walgreens commercials since 2012, with the tagline "At the Corner of Happy and Healthy" (referencing the chain's propensity to locate stores mainly at busy intersections). This version of the song is a rearrangement by Matt Downs of Dogwalk Music.
- The song was featured in the 1991 video ABC for Kids Video Hits Vol. 1, with an animated music video.
- Whitburn, Joel (1990). The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Sixties (25 October 1969 through 27 December 1969). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. ISBN 0-89820-074-1.
- "RPM Top 100 Singles - December 20, 1969" (PDF).
- Flavour of New Zealand, 6 March 1970
- B, Best Classic; News, s StaffThe BCB team brings you the latest Breaking; Contests; stories, On This Day rock history; Videos, Classic; retro-Charts; more. (2020-04-15). "Watch John Fogerty and Family Perform CCR Favorites". Best Classic Bands. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- "Lyrics for 'Down on the Corner'". Metrolyrics. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
- "American single certifications – Creedence Clearwater Revival – Down on the Corner". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 8 February 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.