The Searchers (band)

The Searchers (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Searchers
The Searchers (1965).jpg

The Searchers (1965)
Background information
Origin Liverpool, England
Genres Merseybeat, pop, rock, British rock and roll
Years active 1959–present
Labels UK Pye, Philips, Liberty, RCA, Sire; US Mercury, Liberty, Kapp, RCA, Sire
Associated acts Mike Pender’s Searchers
Website www.the-searchers.co.uk
Members John McNally
Frank Allen
Spencer James
Scott Ottaway
Past members Tony Jackson
Mike Pender
Chris Curtis
Billy Adamson
John Blunt
Eddie Rothe
Notable instruments
Rickenbacker Rose Morris 1993/12

The Searchers are an English beat group, which emerged as part of the 1960s Merseybeat scene along with the Beatles, the Hollies, the Fourmost, the Merseybeats, the Swinging Blue Jeans, and Gerry and the Pacemakers.

The band’s hits include a remake of the Drifters’ 1961 hit, “Sweets for My Sweet“; remakes of Jackie DeShannon‘s “Needles and Pins” and “When You Walk In The Room“; an original song written for them, “Sugar and Spice“; a cover of the Orlons‘ “Don’t Throw Your Love Away“; and a cover of the Clovers‘ “Love Potion No. 9“. They were the second group from Liverpool, after the Beatles, to have a hit in the United States when “Needles and Pins” charted during the first week of March 1964.

Band history[edit]

Origins[edit]

Originally founded as a skiffle group in Liverpool in 1959 by John McNally and Mike Pender, the band took their name from the classic 1956 John Ford western The Searchers. Pender claims that the name was his idea,[1] but McNally ascribes it to ‘Big Ron’ Woodbridge (born Ronald Woodbridge, 1938, in Liverpool, Lancashire), their first lead singer. The genesis remains unresolved.

The band grew out of an earlier skiffle group formed by McNally in 1957, with his friends Brian Dolan (guitar) and Tony West (bass – born Anthony West, in 1938, Waterloo, Liverpool, Lancashire died 11 November 2010, West Way, Hightown, Merseyside). When the other two members lost interest McNally was joined by his guitarist neighbour Mike Prendergast. They soon recruited Tony Jackson (born Anthony Paul Jackson, 16 July 1938, The Dingle, Liverpool, Lancashire — died 18 August 2003, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire) with his home-made bass guitar and amplifier, who was recruited as a lead singer, but took a back seat at first in order to learn the bass. The band styled themselves as ‘Tony and the Searchers’ with Joe Kelly on drums. Kelly soon left to be replaced by Norman McGarry (born 1 March 1942, Liverpool, Lancashire), and it is this line-up — McNally, Pender (as Prendergast soon became known), Jackson and McGarry — that is usually cited as the original foursome.

1960s and 1970s[edit]

McGarry did not stay long, however, and in 1960 his place was taken by Chris Crummey (26 August 1941 – 28 February 2005), who later changed his name to Chris Curtis. Later that year Big Ron had a successful audition with Mecca and became a ballroom singer. He was replaced by Billy Beck, who changed his name to Johnny Sandon (born William Beck, in 1941, Liverpool dıed 23 December 1996). The band had regular bookings at Liverpool’s Iron Door Club as ‘Johnny Sandon and the Searchers’.

Sandon left the band in late 1961[2] to join The Remo Four in February 1962.[3] The group settled into a quartet ‘The Searchers’ with Jackson becoming the main vocalist. They continued to play at the Iron Door, The Cavern, and other Liverpool clubs. Like many similar acts they would do as many as three shows at different venues in one night. They negotiated a contract with the Star-Club in the St. Pauli district Hamburg for 128 days, with three one-hour performances a night, starting in July 1962.[2]

The band returned to a residency at the Iron Door Club and it was there that they tape-recorded the sessions that led to a Pye Records recording contract with Tony Hatch as producer. (Their first single was issued in US on Mercury, the second on Liberty without success and then a deal was arranged with U.S. based Kapp Records to distribute their records in America.) The first Pye single; ‘Sweets For My Sweet’ featured Tony Jackson as main vocalist supported by Pender and Curtis and shot to number one in the UK in 1963, firmly establishing the band as a major spearhead of the ‘Mersybeat’ boom just behind The Beatles and alongside Gerry and The Pacemakers. Their first album, sung mostly by Jackson and Pender Meet the Searchers was released in August 1963, and reached number 2 on the British album charts by the next month.[4] A slightly changed version of it, including the song “Needles and Pins” hit #22 in the US album charts in June 1964.[5] 1964 also saw the Top 20 hit “What Have They Done To The Rain”, a song written in 1962 by protest folk singer Malvina Reynolds as “The Rain Song” as part of the anti-nuclear movement.

Phillips records then rush released an earlier recording they held of a cover of Brenda Lee’s hit;’Sweet Nuthins’ which dismayed the group and made the lower end of the UK chart but this did not disturb their momentum.

Hatch played piano on some recordings and wrote “Sugar and Spice“—the band’s UK number 2 hit record—under the pseudonym Fred Nightingale; a secret he kept from the band at the time. Apparently Curtis disliked this song (largely a revamp of the first hits’ key aspects) and refused to sing on it, tho’ he later agreed just to do the distinctive high harmony vocal links between verses, Jackson again took lead vocal.’Love Potion No.9′ sung by Jackson lifted from the first LP was a non UK single hit in the USA on Kapp Records,

Mike Pender then took the main lead vocal on the next two singles; ‘Needles And Pins’ and ‘Don’t Throw Your Love Away’ each featuring Chris Curtis on co-lead/high harmony vocal (both UK chart topping singles), however live footage of these songs as performed on; ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ and NME Poll Winners concert respectively show Pender and Jackson together singing the lead vocal in close harmony with Curtis vocal support, suggesting some differences existed between the live band and the studio version at that point.

After scoring with their hit “Needles and Pins”, bassist Tony Jackson, who was only allowed one co-lead vocal on their second album (on ‘Sho Know A Lot About Love’), left the band and was replaced by Hamburg pal Frank Allen (born Francis Renaud McNeice, 14 December 1943, Hayes, Middlesex) from Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers.Tony Jackson was also then signed to Pye as a solo act and backed by The Vibrations issued a few singles of which the first ‘Bye Bye Baby’ charted in the UK in 1964, Jackson also re-cut ‘Love Potion No. 9’ but it failed to chart.The next Searchers single to chart in the UK during this period was; ‘Someday We’re Gonna Love Again’ (1964).

Frank Allen’s debut single with the band, a strong cover of Jackie de Shannon’s; ‘When You Walk in The Room’ shot to number three in the UK suggesting all was well for the revised line up (some fans had been unhappy about Jackson’s shock departure), and later UK chart hits followed with; ‘What Have They Done To The Rain’, ‘Goodbye My Love’ (a rather expreimental single for that time with long harmonised passages that reached number four), then the folk flavoured ‘Take Me For What I’m Worth’ (written by P.F Sloan) then some lesser UK chart hits following over 1965/66 with; ‘He’s Got No Love’,’When I Get Home’, and finally ‘Have You Ever Loved Somebody’. An EP release; ‘Ain’t Gonna Kiss Ya’ – The Searchers’ featuring the first LP track; ‘Ain’t Gonna Kiss Ya’ (sung by Jackson) also charted in 1963.

Pye rather ‘rush released’ LP product by the group over 1963-64 as the put together ‘Sugar & Spice’ LP was quickly issued in 1963 consisting of both tracks not used on the first album and others plus the second single, this album charted while the first was still in the chart possibly diluting sales. Further Pye albums; ‘It’s The Searchers’ (1964) and ‘Sounds Like…’ finally; ‘Take Me For What I’m Worth’ (both 1965) were better spaced but a budget ‘Golden Guinea’ re-issue of the second album plus a compiled; ‘Smash Hits’ & ‘Smash Hits Vol 2’ on Pye’s budget ‘Marble Arch’ label over 1966-67 in place of any later ‘new’ album probably only further hindered the band as a current recording act and suggested Pye were possibly ‘cashing in’ before the (assumed) ‘Pop group bubble burst’ (as many even in 1966 still assumed it must do), as late as 1970 Marble Arch issued an edited version of the third album ‘It’s The Searchers’ from 1964.

Chris Curtis, who had song-writing ambitions, left the band in April 1966 and was replaced by the Keith Moon-influenced John Blunt (born John David Blunt, 20 March 1947 in Croydon, Surrey), who in turn was replaced by Billy Adamson (born William Adamson on 27 May 1944 in Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland; died on 11 November 2013 in France) in January 1970, after he left in December 1969. In 1967, Curtis formed a new band called Roundabout with keyboard player Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Although Curtis’s involvement in the project was short-lived, Roundabout would eventually evolve into Deep Purple the following year.

Chris Curtis choice of Bobby Darin’s ‘When I Come Home’ despite a strong band performance, was a relative chart failure by their standards which to an extent undermined his position as song selector for the band thereafter, and some internal disagreements over musical policy/direction, that had been evident earlier when Tony Jackson left resurfaced which probably further hindered the group’s musical progression and very likely played a part in Curtis later leaving in 1966.

As musical styles evolved, The Searchers did attempt to move with the times recording covers of songs by The Rolling Stones (‘Take it or Leave it’) and The Hollies (‘Have You Ever Loved Somebody’ – a minor UK chart hit tho’ a rival cover by Paul & Barry Ryan probably robbed both parties of a bigger hit), while they began to write their singles ‘A’ sides first Curtis-Pender (‘He’s Got No Love’ with a Stones style guitar hook) and later Pender-Allen (‘Secondhand Dealer’, the final Pye single which was a Ray Davies style ‘observational’ song), however Pye records dropped them in 1967 when their original contract expired, without any follow up to the strong 1965 ‘Take Me For What I’m Worth’ album, despite some promising later recordings, the departure of Chris Curtis after an Australian tour in 1966, who was chief songwriter, song selector, and key high harmony voice, plus a figurehead member, was another key blow as Curtis was often the band’s main PR man. Frank Allen then handled the high harmonies and new drummer John Blunt (a Keith Moon influenced drummer) boosted them musically but despite some promising latter Pye singles including a cover of ‘Western Union’ their UK chart days were over, while their strong ‘Merseybeat’ connections probably went against them by 1967 seemingly dating the group as a ‘Beat Boom’ item, which was at that point not helped by their ‘smart’ band image that looked dated by 1967 compared to the ‘summer of love’ look of that period (unlike contemporaries The Beatles, Stones, Hollies and re-launched/re-imaged Tremeloes, etc., who all continued having hit singles) while a number of other key bands disbanded circa 1966 (Animals, Mersybeats, etc.) . As a result, the UK hits ran out. While they continued to record for Liberty Records and RCA Records, they ended up on the British “Chicken in a Basket” circuit, although they did score a minor US hit in 1971 with “Desdemona”. A contract with RCA Victor’s UK wing resulted in an album of re-recorded hits titled; ‘Second Take’ (1972) later re-issued on the budget RCA International label as; ‘Needles And Pins’, tho’ this was overshadowed by Pye’s ‘Golden Hour of…’ compilation of the original hits that came out at the same time. Despite recording new material – including covers of Neil Sedaka’s ‘Solitaire’ and The Bee Gees ‘Spicks And Specks’ which were issued as RCA singles with scant promotion, much of their new work was left unissued at the time and RCA later quietly dropped the group.

The group continued to tour through the 1970s, playing both the expected old hits and contemporary songs such as a powering extended live version of Neil Young’s ‘Southern Man’ and were rewarded in 1979 when Sire Records signed the band to a multi-record deal. Two albums were released: The Searchers and Play for Today (retitled Love’s Melodies outside the UK). Both records garnered critical acclaim featuring some original tracks and covers of songs like Alex Chilton’s ‘September Gurls’ and John Fogerty’s ‘Almost Saturday Night’ but with scant promotion and little if any radio airplay did not break into the charts. The first album was quickly revamped following release with a few extra tracks added, one song dropped (a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Coming From The Heart’) and was given a new sleeve, which may have only confused the public, These albums did, however, revive the group’s career, as concerts from then on alternated classic hits with the newer album songs that were well received. A Sire single; ‘Hearts in Her Eyes’ (written by Will Birch and John Wicks and successfully updating their distinctive 12 string guitars /vocal harmonies sound) picked up some radio airplay and with more promotion might have charted, but ultimately missed out. PRT Records meanwhile actively re-promoted their old sixties back catalogue with compilations such as; ‘The Searchers File’, ‘Spotlight On The Searchers’ etc., which were on sale at group gigs with the Sire albums, and helped re-establish them.

According to John McNally, the band were ready to head into the studio to record a third album for Sire when they were informed that due to label reorganization, their contract had been dropped. It was, in fact, because so few people bought the second album, although it was beloved by fans.

1980s[edit]

In 1981, the band signed to PRT Records (formerly Pye, their original label) and began recording an album. But only one single, “I Don’t Want To Be The One”[6] backed with “Hollywood”, ended up being released. They promoted this with a, by then, rare UK Television appearance on ‘The Leo Sayer Show’, but the single got little if any radio airplay (like their Sire singles) and were not readily stocked in most record shops. The rest of the tracks, except one, would be included as part of 1992’s 30th Anniversary collection.

In December 1985 Mike Pender left the group after a farewell performance in London to form a new band,[7] and now tours as Mike Pender’s Searchers. McNally and Allan recruited former First Class vocalist Spencer James as Pender’s replacement.[7]

In 1988, Coconut Records signed the Searchers and the album Hungry Hearts was the result. It featured updated remakes of “Needles and Pins” and “Sweets For My Sweet” plus live favorite “Somebody Told Me You Were Crying”. While the album was not a major hit, it did keep the group in the public eye.

The band continued to tour with Eddie Rothe replacing Adamson on drums and is considered to be one of the most popular 1960s bands on the UK concert circuit. The Searchers incorporate full band electric performances with an acoustic set as well. In 2010 Eddie Rothe announced that he would be leaving The Searchers to spend more time with his fiancee Jane McDonald. On 26 February he was replaced by Scott Ottaway.

Billy Adamson, the band’s drummer from 1970 to 1998, died in France on 11 November 2013. He was 69.[8]

Creating ample amounts of confusion, former Searchers lead singer Mike Pender also tours, formerly with his own band under the name “Mike Pender’s Searchers” but now with various pick-up groups with whom he tours but still using the name “Mike Pender’s Searchers”, as he performs hits of the Searchers and some new material of his own.

Discography[edit]

Studio Vinyl Singles / 45 rpm.

  • 1963 – Sweets For My Sweet / It’s All Been A Dream – Pye 7N-15533 UK
  • 1963 – Sweet Nuthins / What’d I Say – Phillips BF-1274 UK
  • 1963 – Sugar And Spice / Saints And Searchers – Pye 7N-15566 UK on Dark maroon label = 1st press / 2 press in light maroon label.
  • 1964 – Needles And Pins / Saturday Night Out – Pye 7N-15594 UK
  • 1964 – Don’t Throw Your Love Away / I Pretend I’m With You – Pye 7N-15630 UK
  • 1964 – Someday We’re Gonna Love again / No One Else Could Love You – Pye 7N-15670 UK
  • 1964 – When You Walk In The Room / I’ll Be Missing You – Pye 7N-15694 UK
  • 1964 – What Have They Done To The Rain / This Feeling Inside – Pye 7N-15739 UK on Dark maroon label = 1 press / 2 press in light maroon label.
  • 1965 – Goodbye My Love / Till I Met You – Pye 7N-15794 UK
  • 1965 – He’s Got No Love / So Far Away – Pye 7N-15878 UK
  • 1965 – When I Get Home / I’m Never Coming Back – Pye 7N-15950 UK
  • 1965 – Take Me For What I’m Worth / Too Many Miles – Pye 7N-15992 UK ( Export issue in pic. sleeve )
  • 1966 – Take It Or Leave It / Don’t Hide It Away – Pye 7N-17094 UK
  • 1966 – Have You Ever Loved Somebody / It’s Just The Way – Pye 7N-17170 UK
  • 1967 – Popcorn, Double Feature / Lovers – Pye 7N-17225 UK
  • 1967 – Western Union / I’ll Cry Tomorrow – Pye 7N-17308 UK
  • 1967 – Secondhand Dealer / Crazy Dreams – Pye 7N-17424 UK
  • 1968 – Umbrella Man / Over The Weekend – Liberty LBF-15159 UK
  • 1969 – Kinky Kathy Abernathy / Suzanna – Liberty LBF-15340 UK
  • 1971 – Desdemonia / The World Is Waiting For Tomorrow – RCA Rca-2057 UK
  • 1971 – Love Is Everywhere / And A Button – RCA Rca-2139 UK
  • 1972 – Sing Singer Sing / Come On Back To Me – RCA Rca-2231 UK
  • 1972 – Needles And Pins / When You Walk In The Room / Come On Back To Me – RCA Rca-2248 ( maxi-single )
  • 1972 – Vahevala / Madman – RCA Rca-2288 UK
  • 1973 – Solitaire / Spicks And Specks – RCA Rca-2330 UK
  • 1979 – Hearts In Her Eyes / Don’t Hang On – Sire SIR-4029 UK ( Pic.sleeve )
  • 1980 – It’s Too Late / This Kind Of Love Affair – Sire SIR-4036 UK ( Pic.sleeve )
  • 1981 – Love’s Melody / Changing – Sire SIR-4046 UK ( Pic.sleeve )
  • 1981 – Another Night / Back To The War – Sire SIR-4049 UK ( Pic.sleeve )
  • 1982 – I Don’t Wanna Be The One / Hollywood – PRT Records – 7P 250 UK (Pic. sleeve)

Studio Vinyl EP’s

  • 1963 – Ain’t Gona Kiss Ya – Pye NEP-24177 UK
  • 1963 – Sweets For My Sweet – Pye NEP-24183 UK ( Some copies in white/maroon label )
  • 1964 – Hungry For Love – Pye NEP-24184 UK
  • 1964 – The Searchers Play The System – Pye NEP-24201 UK
  • 1964 – When You Walk In The Room – Pye NEP-24204 UK
  • 1965 – Bumble Bee – Pye NEP-24218 UK
  • 1965 – Searchers’65 – Pye NEP-24222 UK
  • 1965 – Four By Four – Pye NEP-24228 UK
  • 1966 – Take Me For What I’m Worth – Pye NEP-24263 UK
  • 1971 – The Searchers – Mini Monster Pye – PMM 101 UK
  • 1978 – The Searchers – Pye – BD 113 UK
  • 1980 – Flashback When You Walk in the Room -PRT – FBEP 105 UK

Studio Vinyl Albums

  • 1963 – Meet The Searchers
  • 1963 – Sugar and Spice
  • 1964 – Hear Hear! (U.S.)
  • 1964 – It’s The Searchers
  • 1964 – Sounds Like The Searchers
  • 1964 – This is Us (U.S.)
  • 1965 – Take Me for What I’m Worth
  • 1972 – Second Take (RCA Victor SF 8289)
  • 1979 – The Searchers (Sire SRK-6082 – UK)
  • 1981 – Play For Today – (UK version Sire SRK-6086)
  • 1981 – Love’s Melodies (USA version)
  • 1989 – Hungry Hearts

  • 1967 – Searchers -Smash Hits (C) Marble Arch MALS 640
  • 1967 – Searchers – Smash Hits Vol 2 ( C) Marble Arch MALS 673 in both mono/stereo
  • 1968 – Sugar & Spice (C) Marble Arch MALS 704
  • 1970 – It’s the Searchers (C) Marble Arch MALS 798
  • 1972 – Needles and Pins (Re-recordings) Hallmark HMA 203 & RCA International
  • 1987 – Play the System (compilation)

  •  ???? – The Searchers Hit Collection -double LP (C) Pye XBT 85904
  •  ???? – Golden Hour of the Searchers (C) Pye GH 541
  •  ???? – Golden Hour of the Searchers Vol 2 (C) Pye GH 564
  •  ???? – The File Series – The Searchers – double LP (C) Pye FILD 002
  •  ???? – When you Walk in the Room (C) Pye NSPL 18617
  •  ???? – Play for Today Sire SEK 3523
  •  ???? – Spotlight on The Searchers – double LP (C) PRT SPOT 1014
  •  ???? – Love Lies Bleeding – 10″ LP (C) PRT DOW 11
  •  ???? – Searchers Greatest Hits (C) Showcase SHLP 135
  •  ???? – Flashbacks – Sweets for My Sweet (C) PRT FBLP 8084
  •  ???? – Silver Searchers (25th anniversary double album) (C) PRT NRT 2
  •  ???? – The Searchers Hits Collection (C) PRT PYL 4002
  •  ???? – The Searchers Play the System –
  •  ???? – Rarities, Oddities & Flipsides PRT PYL 6019
  •  ???? – The Searchers Collection (C) Castle CCSLP 208
  •  ???? – The Searchers Ultimate Collection (C) Castle CTVLP 003
  • Year – The Searchers Hit Collection -double LP (C) Pye XBT 85904
  • 2002 – Iron Door Sessions

The Searchers in stereo[edit]

Other than the Beatles and The Shadows, The Searchers were one of the few British groups of its era (1963–1967) to have most of their albums issued in stereo. Most of the big UK bands like The Dave Clark Five, Gerry & the Pacemakers, and Freddie & the Dreamers had few albums issued in the UK and most of them were issued only in mono, however Gerry’s two albums were issued in stereo. Some exceptions were The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Fourmost, The Kinks – who had their second and third albums only issued in mono, and the Hollies – who after their debut album, the next two albums were issued in mono only, thereafter in mono and stereo, plus Manfred Mann had stereo releases after their first album. Producer Tony Hatch had mixed Searchers’ tracks in stereo to sound exactly like mono. The US Kapp label issued all Searchers’ albums in mono and stereo. Later UK Castle and Sanctuary CD album reissues used stereo and mono masters in a haphazard manner. A later PRT re-issue of the sixties Pye albums on Compact Disc included mono and true stereo versions of the five Pye albums, while a few tracks on the first album were absent in the stereo version as no stereo masters could be located in the archive for those.

The Searchers timeline[edit]

1957–1959

  • Ron Woodbridge: vocals
  • John McNally: rhythm guitar
  • Brian Dolan: lead guitar
  • Tony West: bass
  • Joe Kennedy: drums

1960–February 1962

  • Johnny Sandon: lead vocals
  • John McNally: rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Mike Pender: lead guitar, vocals
  • Tony Jackson: bass, vocals
  • Chris Curtis: drums, vocals

February 1962–July 1964

  • Tony Jackson: lead vocals, bass
  • John McNally: rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Mike Pender: lead guitar, lead vocals
  • Chris Curtis: drums, lead vocals

August 1964–April 1966

  • Frank Allen: bass, lead vocals
  • John McNally: guitar, vocals
  • Mike Pender: lead vocals, guitar
  • Chris Curtis: drums, lead vocals

May 1966–December 1969

  • Frank Allen: lead vocals, bass
  • John McNally: lead guitar, vocals
  • Mike Pender: lead vocals, lead & rhythm guitar
  • John Blunt: drums

January 1970–December 1985

  • Frank Allen: bass, lead vocals
  • John McNally: lead guitar, vocals
  • Mike Pender: lead & rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Billy Adamson: drums

January 1986–November 1998

  • Spencer James: rhythm guitar, guitar synthesizer, lead vocals
  • John McNally: lead guitar, vocals
  • Frank Allen: bass, vocals
  • Billy Adamson: drums

November 1998–February 2010

  • Spencer James: rhythm guitar, guitar synthesizer, lead vocals
  • John McNally: lead guitar, vocals
  • Frank Allen: bass, vocals
  • Eddie Roth: drums, vocals

February 2010–present

  • Spencer James: rhythm guitar, guitar synthesizer, lead vocals
  • John McNally: lead guitar, vocals
  • Frank Allen: bass, vocals
  • Scott Ottaway: drums, vocals

References[edit]

  1. Jump up ^ “The Searchers’ History”. Rickresource.com. Retrieved 2011-10-11. 
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b “The Searchers official site”. The-searchers.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-10-11. 
  3. Jump up ^ “Fabgear, ‘Tommy Quickly and The Remo Four’, ”The British Beat Boom””. Web.archive.org. 2009-10-28. Archived from the original on 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2011-10-11. 
  4. Jump up ^ Lazell, Barry ed., with Dafydd Rees and Luke Crampton, Rock Movers & Shakers, Billboard Publications, New York, 1989 p. 445
  5. Jump up ^ Whitburn, Joel, The Billboard Book of Top 40 Albums, Billboard Books, NY 1991 p. 235
  6. Jump up ^ “”I Don’t Want To Be The One” single”. Stmedia.org. Retrieved 2011-10-11. 
  7. ^ Jump up to: a b “Search Party”, Sounds, 14 December 1985, p. 4
  8. Jump up ^ “Passings: Billy Adamson, Drummer For the Searchers”. vintagevinylnews.co. Retrieved 15 November 2013.

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD PREQUEL

What do you call the spinoff of a spinoff? A spinoff-squared? A double spinoff? A re-spinoff? A spin-way-off?

How about “Fear The Walking Dead: Flight 462”?

 According to Joe Satran of The Huffington Post, “Fear The Walking Dead” will have it’s own spinoff.

It will be a prequel of the show.

“The 16 episodes of “Fear The Walking Dead: Flight 462” — each less than one minute long — will tell the story of a group of passengers who have the bad luck to board a commercial flight just as the “Walkers” begin to emerge. At the outset of the show, it becomes clear that one of the passengers is infected with the disease that leads to the mayhem of “The Walking Dead” — so it seems safe to say that it’ll be something like “Snakes on a Plane,” but with zombies. Fun.

At least one character introduced in “Fear The Walking Dead: Flight 462,” will make an appearance on the second season of “Fear The Walking Dead.”

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival

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This article is about the band. For their debut album, see Creedence Clearwater Revival (album).
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence Clearwater Revival 1968.jpg

Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1968. From left to right: Tom Fogerty, Doug Clifford, Stu Cook and John Fogerty.
Background information
Origin El Cerrito, California, U.S.
Genres
Years active 1967–1972
Labels Fantasy
Associated acts
Website www.creedence-online.net
Past members

Creedence Clearwater Revival (often shortened to “Creedence” or “CCR”) was a US rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The band consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty, rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford. Their musical style encompassed the roots rock,[1] swamp rock,[2] and blues rock[3] genres. Despite their San Francisco Bay Area origins, they portrayed a Southern rock style, with lyrics about bayous, catfish, the Mississippi River, and other popular elements of Southern US iconography, as well as political and socially-conscious lyrics about topics including the Vietnam War.[4]

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s music is still a staple of US radio airplay;[5] the band has sold 26 million albums in the United States alone.[6] Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.[7] Rolling Stone ranked the band 82nd on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.[8] Their musical influence can be heard in many genres, including southern rock, grunge, roots rock, and blues.

History[edit]

The Blue Velvets/The Golliwogs: 1959–1967[edit]

John Fogerty, Doug Clifford, and Stu Cook (all born in 1945) met at Portola Junior High School in El Cerrito, California. Calling themselves The Blue Velvets, the trio began playing instrumentals and “juke box standards”,[9] as well as backing Fogerty’s older brother Tom at live gigs and in the recording studio. Tom soon joined the band, and in 1964 they signed with Fantasy Records, an independent jazz label in San Francisco that had released Cast Your Fate to the Wind, a national hit for jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi. The record’s success was the subject of a National Educational Television special, which prompted budding songwriter John Fogerty to contact the label.[10]

Band roles changed during this period. Stu Cook switched from piano to bass guitar and Tom Fogerty from lead vocals to rhythm guitar; John became the band’s lead vocalist and primary songwriter. In Tom Fogerty’s words: “I could sing, but John had a sound!”[11]

Early success: 1967–1968[edit]

In 1966, the group suffered a setback when John Fogerty and Doug Clifford were drafted into military service. Fogerty enlisted in the Army Reserve and Clifford in the United States Coast Guard Reserve.

In 1967, Saul Zaentz bought Fantasy Records and offered the band a chance to record a full-length album on the condition that they change their name. Having never liked “the Golliwogs,” in part because of the racial charge of the name, the four readily agreed. Zaentz and the band agreed to come up with ten suggestions each, but he enthusiastically agreed to their first: Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), which they took in January, 1968.[12] According to interviews with band members twenty years later, the name’s three elements come from the following sources:

  • Tom Fogerty’s friend Credence Newball, whose name they changed to form the word Creedence (as in creed);
  • a television commercial for Olympia beer (“clear water”); and
  • the four members’ renewed commitment to their band.

Rejected contenders for the band’s name included Muddy Rabbit, Gossamer Wump, and Creedence Nuball and the Ruby, but the last was the start that led to their finalized name. “Finally, John put together the three names and we surrendered to the inevitable,” Stu laugh[ed], “A name weirder than Buffalo Springfield or Jefferson Airplane.” [13]

By 1968, John Fogerty and Doug Clifford had been discharged from military service, and all four members had quit their jobs to begin an intense schedule of rehearsing and playing full-time at clubs.[citation needed] AM radio programmers around the U.S.A. took note when the song “Susie Q” from their self-titled debut album received substantial airplay in the San Francisco Bay Area and on Chicago’s WLS.[citation needed] A remake of a 1956 song by rockabilly singer Dale Hawkins,[12] “Susie Q” was the band’s second single—its first to reach the Top 40 (No. 11). It would be CCR’s only Top 40 hit not written by John Fogerty. Two other singles from the debut were released: a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins‘s “I Put a Spell on You” (No. 58) and “Porterville” (released on the Scorpio label with writing credited to “T. Spicebush Swallowtail”), written during Fogerty’s time in the Army Reserve.

Peak success: 1969–1970[edit]

After their breakthrough, CCR began touring and started work on their second album, Bayou Country (1969), at RCA Studios in Los Angeles. A No. 7 platinum hit, the record was their first in a string of hit albums and singles that continued uninterrupted for three years. The single “Proud Mary“, backed with “Born on the Bayou”, reached No. 2 on the national Billboard chart. The former would eventually become the group’s most-covered song, with some 100 cover versions by other artists to date, including a hit version in 1971 by Ike & Tina Turner. John Fogerty cites this song as being the result of high spirits on gaining his discharge from the Army Reserve.[12] The album also featured a remake of the rock & roll classic “Good Golly Miss Molly[12] and the band’s nine-minute live-show closer, “Keep On Chooglin'”.

Weeks later, in March 1969, “Bad Moon Rising” backed with “Lodi” was released and peaked at No. 2. In the United Kingdom, “Bad Moon Rising” spent three weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart during September and October 1969, becoming the band’s only number one single in the UK.[citation needed] The band’s third album, Green River, followed in August 1969 and went gold along with the single “Green River”, which again reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts. The B-side of “Green River”, “Commotion”, peaked at No. 30 and the band’s emphasis on remakes of their old favorites continued with “Night Time Is the Right Time“.

CCR continued to tour incessantly with performances at the Atlanta Pop Festival and Woodstock. Their set was not included in the Woodstock film or soundtrack because John Fogerty felt the band’s performance was subpar. (Several tracks from the event were eventually included in the 1994 commemorative box set.) Stu Cook, however, held an opposing view, saying “The performances are classic CCR and I’m still amazed by the number of people who don’t even know we were one of the headliners at Woodstock ’69.”[14] John Fogerty later complained the previous band, the Grateful Dead, put the audience to sleep, stoned and asleep; as John scanned the audience he saw a “Dante scene, just bodies from hell, all intertwined and asleep, covered with mud.”[13]

“Creedence Clearwater Revival, which disbanded in 1972, were progressive and anachronistic at the same time. An unapologetic throwback to the golden era of rock and roll, they broke ranks with their peers on the progressive, psychedelic San Francisco scene. Their approach was basic and uncompromising, holding true to the band members’ working-class origins. The term ‘roots rock’ had not yet been invented when Creedence came along, but in a real way they defined it, drawing inspiration from the likes of Little Richard, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and the artisans of soul at Motown and Stax. In so doing, Creedence Clearwater Revival became the standard bearers and foremost celebrants of homegrown American music.”

After Woodstock, CCR was busy honing material for a fourth album, Willy and the Poor Boys, released in November 1969. “Down on the Corner” and “Fortunate Son” climbed to No. 3 and No. 14, respectively, by year’s end. The album was CCR in its standard form, featuring Fogerty originals and two reworked Lead Belly covers, “Cotton Fields” and “Midnight Special“. Both of the latter songs had also been performed by actor Harry Dean Stanton in the movie Cool Hand Luke, suggesting a subtle non-conformist theme to an apparently tradition-oriented album.

The year 1969 had been a remarkable chart year for the band: three Top Ten albums, four hit singles (charting at No. 2, No. 2, No. 2, and No. 3) with three additional charting B-sides. On November 16, 1969, they performed “Fortunate Son” and “Down on the Corner” on The Ed Sullivan Show.[15]

CCR released another two-sided hit, “Travelin’ Band“/”Who’ll Stop the Rain” in January 1970. Except for Elvis Presley and The Beatles, Creedence had more success with two sided hit singles than any band up to that point in time. John Fogerty has said that the flip side was inspired by the band’s experience at Woodstock.[citation needed] The speedy “Travelin’ Band”, with a strong Little Richard sound, however, bore enough similarities to “Good Golly, Miss Molly” to warrant a lawsuit by the song’s publisher;[citation needed] it was eventually settled out of court.[16] The song ultimately topped out at No. 2. The band also recorded its January 31, 1970, live performance at the Oakland Coliseum Arena, which would later be marketed as a live album and television special. In February, CCR was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, although only John Fogerty was interviewed in the accompanying article.[17]

In April 1970, CCR was set to begin its first European tour. To support the upcoming live dates, Fogerty wrote “Up Around the Bend” and “Run Through the Jungle“; the single reached No. 4 that spring. The band returned to Wally Heider‘s San Francisco studio in June to record Cosmo’s Factory. The title was an in-joke about their various rehearsal facilities and factory work ethic over the years.[citation needed] (Drummer Doug Clifford’s longtime nickname is “Cosmo”, due to his keen interest in nature and all things cosmic.)[citation needed] The album contained the earlier Top 10 hits “Travelin’ Band” and “Up Around the Bend” plus highly popular album tracks such as the opener “Ramble Tamble”.

Cosmo’s Factory was released in July 1970, along with the band’s fifth and final No. 2 national hit, “Lookin’ Out My Back Door“/”Long As I Can See the Light“. Although they topped some international charts and local radio countdowns, CCR never had a No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit. Their five No. 2 singles were exceeded only by Elvis Presley and Madonna with six each and tied with The Carpenters. CCR also has the odd distinction of having the most No. 2 singles on the Billboard charts without ever having had a No. 1.[18] Curiously, on WLS, the band had three No. 1, four No. 3, two No. 4, but no No. 2 singles.[19]

Other cuts on the “Cosmo’s Factory” album included an eleven-minute jam of the 1968 Marvin GayeI Heard It Through The Grapevine” (a minor hit when an edited version was released as a single in 1976), and a nearly note-for-note homage to Roy Orbison‘s “Ooby Dooby”. The album was CCR’s best seller and went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album charts and No. 11 on Billboard’s Soul Albums chart.

Decline and breakup: 1970–1972[edit]

CCR in 1972, after Tom Fogerty’s departure; John Fogerty, Stu Cook, Doug Clifford

The Cosmo’s Factory sessions had seen the stirrings of tensions within the foursome as the incessant touring and heavy recording schedules took their toll.[citation needed] John Fogerty had taken complete control of the group in matters of both business and artistic output, to the chagrin of Tom Fogerty, Cook, and Clifford. Fogerty resisted, feeling that a “democratic” process would threaten their success.[citation needed] Other issues included Fogerty’s decision at a 1970 Nebraska gig that the band would no longer give encores at its live shows.[citation needed]

Pendulum, released in December 1970, was another top seller, spawning a Top 10 hit with “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?“. John Fogerty included Hammond B3 Organ on many of the Pendulum tracks, notably “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”, in recognition of the deep respect and influence of Booker T and The MG’s, with whom the members of the band had jammed. The single’s flip side, “Hey Tonight”, was also a hit.

Tom Fogerty decided he had had enough of his younger brother and resigned from CCR in late 1970 during the recording of Pendulum; his departure was made public the following February. At first, the remaining members considered replacing Tom but ultimately continued as a trio. Tom Fogerty later stated on an Australian television broadcast that no new member could endure being in CCR.[citation needed]

In spring 1971, John Fogerty did an about-face and informed Cook and Clifford that CCR would continue only by adopting a “democratic” approach: each member would now write and perform his own material. Fogerty also would contribute only rhythm guitar to his bandmates’ songs. Cook and Clifford, who had wanted more input in CCR’s artistic and business decisions, resisted this arrangement. Fogerty insisted they accept the new arrangement, or he would quit the band. Despite the dissension, the trio put its new work ethic to the test in the studio, releasing the Top 10 single “Sweet Hitch-Hiker” in July 1971, backed with Stu Cook’s “Door to Door”. The band toured both the U.S. and Europe that summer and autumn, with Cook’s song a part of the live set. In spite of their continuing commercial success, however, relations among the three had become increasingly strained.

The band’s final album, Mardi Gras, was released in April 1972, featuring songs written by Fogerty, Cook, and Clifford and a cover of “Hello Mary Lou” (a song Gene Pitney had originally written for Ricky Nelson). The album was a critical failure, with Rolling Stone reviewer Jon Landau deeming it “the worst album I have ever heard from a major rock band.”[20] The sales of Mardi Gras were weaker than previous albums, ultimately peaking at No. 12. Fogerty’s “Someday Never Comes“, backed with Clifford’s “Tearin’ Up the Country”, also cracked the U.S. Top 40.

By this point, Fogerty was not only at direct odds with his bandmates, but had also come to see the group’s relationship with Fantasy Records as onerous, feeling that label owner Saul Zaentz had reneged on his promise to give the band a better contract. Cook—who held a degree in business—claimed that because of poor judgment on Fogerty’s part, CCR had to abide by the worst record deal of any major US recording artist. Despite the relatively poor reception of Mardi Gras and deteriorated relationships among the remaining band members, CCR embarked upon a two-month, 20-date U.S. tour. However, on October 16, 1972—less than six months after the tour ended—Fantasy Records and the band officially announced the disbanding of CCR.[21] The band never formally reunited after the break-up, although Cook and Clifford eventually started the band Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

John Fogerty later commented on the demise of CCR in a 1997 Swedish magazine:

I was alone when I made that [Creedence] music. I was alone when I made the arrangements, I was alone when I added background vocals, guitars and some other stuff. I was alone when I produced and mixed the albums. The other guys showed up only for rehearsals and the days we made the actual recordings. For me Creedence was like sitting on a time bomb. We’d had decent successes with our cover of ‘Susie Q’ and with the first album. When we went into the studio to cut ‘Proud Mary,’ it was the first time we were in a real Hollywood studio, RCA’s Los Angeles studio, and the problems started immediately. The other guys in the band insisted on writing songs for the new album, they had opinions on the arrangements, they wanted to sing. They went as far as adding background vocals to ‘Proud Mary,’ and it sounded awful. They used tambourines, and it sounded no better.

That’s when I understood I had a choice to make. At that point in time we were just a one hit wonder, and ‘Susie Q’ hadn’t really been that big a hit. Either this [the new album] would be a success, something really big, or we might as well start working at the car wash again. There was a big row. We went to an Italian restaurant and I remember that I very clearly told the others that I for one didn’t want to go back to the car wash again. Now we had to make the best possible album and it wasn’t important who did what, as long as the result was the very best we could achieve. And of course I was the one who should do it. I don’t think the others really understood what I meant, but at least I could manage the situation the way I wanted. The result was eight million-selling double-sided singles in a row and six albums, all of which went platinum. And Melody Maker had us as the best band in the world. That was after the Beatles split, but still. … And I was the one who had created all this. Despite that, I don’t think they understood what I was talking about. … They were obsessed with the idea of more control and more influence. So finally the bomb exploded and we never worked together again.[22]

Post-breakup[edit]

John Fogerty[edit]

John Fogerty performing in 2011

In 1973, Fogerty began his solo career with The Blue Ridge Rangers, his one-man band collection of country and gospel songs. Under his old CCR contract, however, Fogerty owed Fantasy eight more records. In the end, he refused to work for the label. The impasse was resolved only when Asylum RecordsDavid Geffen bought Fogerty’s contract for $1,000,000. His next major hit was Centerfield, a chart-topping success in 1985. On tour in 1986, however, Fogerty suffered complaints over his steadfast refusal to perform CCR songs and suffered with recurring vocal problems which he blamed on having to testify in court. Fogerty’s explanation for not playing CCR material songs was that he would have had to pay performance royalties to copyright holder Saul Zaentz, and that it was “too painful” to revisit the music of his past.

With the Centerfield album, Fogerty also found himself entangled in new, tit-for-tat lawsuits with Zaentz over the song “The Old Man Down the Road” which was, according to Zaentz, a blatant re-write of Fogerty’s own 1970 CCR hit “Run Through the Jungle“. Since Fogerty had traded his rights to CCR’s songs in 1980 to cancel his remaining contractual obligations, Fantasy now owned the rights to “Run Through the Jungle” and sued Fogerty essentially for plagiarizing himself. While a jury ruled in Fogerty’s favor, he did settle a defamation suit filed by Zaentz over the songs “Mr. Greed” and “Zanz Kant Danz”. Fogerty was forced to edit the recording, changing the “Zanz” reference to “Vanz.”

On February 19, 1987, at the Palomino Club in Los Angeles, Fogerty broke his self-imposed 1972 ban on performing CCR hits, on an admonition from Bob Dylan and George Harrison (who both joined him onstage) that “if you don’t, the whole world’s gonna think ‘Proud Mary‘ is Tina Turner‘s song.” At a 1987 Independence Day benefit concert for the Vietnam War, Fogerty finally ran through the list of CCR hits, beginning with “Born on the Bayou” and ending with “Proud Mary”. He retreated from music again in the late 1980s but returned in 1997 with the Grammy-winning Blue Moon Swamp. Fogerty still tours frequently and performs CCR classics alongside solo material.

Tom Fogerty[edit]

Tom Fogerty released several solo albums, though none reached the success of CCR. Fogerty’s 1974 solo album Zephyr National was the last to feature the four original CCR band members. Several tracks sound very much in the CCR style, particularly the aptly titled “Joyful Resurrection” on which all four members played, even though John Fogerty recorded his part separately.

Tom Fogerty died of an AIDS complication in September 1990, which he contracted via a tainted blood transfusion he received while undergoing back surgery. Tom and John never reconciled before Tom’s death, and in the eulogy he delivered at Tom’s funeral, John said, “We wanted to grow up and be musicians. I guess we achieved half of that, becoming rock ‘n roll stars. We didn’t necessarily grow up.”[23]

Stu Cook, Doug Clifford[edit]

CCR’s rhythm section formed Creedence Clearwater Revisited in 1995

Junior high school friends Doug Clifford and Stu Cook continued to work together following the demise of CCR both as session players and members of the Don Harrison Band. They also founded Factory Productions, a mobile recording service in the Bay Area. Clifford released a solo record, Cosmo, in 1972. Cook produced artist Roky Erickson‘s The Evil One and was bassist with the popular country act Southern Pacific in the 1980s.

Doug Clifford also produced Groovers Paradise for former Sir Douglas Quintet and Texas Tornados frontman Doug Sahm. Both Clifford and Stu Cook played on the album which was released on Warner Bros. in 1974. Clifford continued to perform and record with Doug Sahm through the 1980s.

Following a relatively lengthy period of musical inactivity, Cook and Clifford formed Creedence Clearwater Revisited in 1995 with several well-known musicians. Revisited continues to tour globally performing the original band’s classics. John Fogerty’s 1997 injunction forced Creedence Clearwater Revisited to temporarily change its name to “Cosmo’s Factory,” but the courts later ruled in Cook’s and Clifford’s favor.

Fantasy Records[edit]

After CCR, Fantasy Records released several greatest-hits packages such as 1975’s Pre-Creedence, a compilation album of The Golliwogs’ early recordings. Fantasy also released the highly successful Chronicle, Vol. 1, a collection of Creedence’s twenty hit singles, in 1976. Several years later, the label released a live recording entitled The Royal Albert Hall Concert. Contrary to its title, the 1970 performance was recorded in Oakland, California, not at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England. Subsequent issues of the original 1981 album have been retitled simply The Concert.

The success of CCR made Fantasy and Saul Zaentz a great deal of money. Indeed, Fantasy built a new headquarters building in 1971 at 2600 Tenth Street in Berkeley, California.[24] Zaentz also used his wealth to produce a number of successful films including Best Picture Oscar winners One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, and The English Patient. In 2004, he sold Fantasy to Concord Records. As a goodwill gesture, Concord honored the unfulfilled contractual promises Fantasy made nearly forty years earlier, finally paying the band a higher royalty rate on their sales.

One decision made by John Fogerty rankled his bandmates and would leave all without most of their hard-earned money and facing legal and financial problems for years. Without the other three band members’ knowledge, Fogerty agreed to a tax shelter scheme proposed by Saul Zaentz and his lawyers in which most of the bandmembers’ assets were transferred to Castle Bank & Trust of Nassau, Bahamas. Zaentz and his associates withdrew their assets before the bank eventually dissolved — along with the savings of the four CCR band members. A series of lawsuits began in 1978 and eventually ended with a California court awarding $8.6 million to the band members in April 1983. Despite this legal victory, very little money was recovered.[citation needed]

John Fogerty, seeing that Zaentz was no longer involved with the company, also signed a new contract with Concord/Fantasy. In 2005, the label released The Long Road Home, a collection of Creedence and Fogerty solo classics. After Revival came out on the Fantasy label in October 2007 but before his following album Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again was issued in 2009, Fogerty switched from Fantasy to Verve Forecast Records.

Reunions[edit]

The original CCR lineup rarely reunited after their breakup. All four members jammed together at Tom Fogerty’s wedding on October 19, 1980. John Fogerty, Cook, and Clifford played at their 20th El Cerrito High School reunion in 1983, but as their original incarnation, The Blue Velvets. In the 1980s and 1990s, new rounds of lawsuits between the band members, as well as against their former management, deepened their animosities. By the time CCR was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, John Fogerty refused to perform with Cook and Clifford. The pair were barred from the stage, while Fogerty played with an all-star band that included Bruce Springsteen and Robbie Robertson. Tom Fogerty’s widow Tricia had expected a Creedence reunion, and even brought the urn containing her husband’s ashes to the ceremony.

In a July 2011 interview with the Calgary Herald, John Fogerty admitted that he would at least be willing to consider reuniting with Cook and Clifford:

Years ago, I looked at people and I was so full of some sort of emotion and I’d say, ‘Absolutely not!’ … But I have to admit, people have asked me more recently, and even though I have no idea how such a series of events would come to pass, I can tell that there isn’t the bombast in my voice, in the denial, in the refusal. It’s more like, ‘Well, I dunno.’ Never say never is I guess is what people tell you. In this life, all kinds of strange things come to pass. Realizing that it doesn’t really kick up a big firestorm of emotion, it kind of suggests that at least if someone started talking I’d sit still long enough to listen.[25]

When asked again in October 2011 about the prospect of a reunion, Fogerty said: “I’m saying it’s possible, yeah. I think the call [laughs] would maybe have to come from outside the realm. Somebody would have to get me to look at things in a fresh way.”[26]

However, Cook and Clifford both stated in the February 2012 edition of Uncut Magazine that they are not interested in a CCR reunion. “Leopards don’t change their spots. This is just an image-polishing exercise by John. My phone certainly hasn’t rung,” Cook said. Added Clifford: “It might have been a nice idea 20 years ago, but it’s too late.”[25]

In May 2013, Fogerty once again said he would be open to a reunion, but he does not see Cook and Clifford being willing to change their stance. He told Charlie Rose on CBS This Morning: “From time to time, I’ll say something and it’ll get in print that maybe that will happen, and then immediately I’ll hear back stuff that doesn’t sound like it’s possible. … I think it’s a possibility in the future, you know. It’s not something I’m actively seeking, but I’m not totally against the idea either.” [27]

Legal rights[edit]

CCR’s catalogue of songs has frequently been used or referenced in popular culture, partly because John Fogerty “long ago signed away legal control of his old recordings to Creedence’s record label, Fantasy Records.”[28][29] Fogerty objected to what he regarded as a misuse of his music in an NPR interview:

Folks will remember Forrest Gump and that was a great movie, but they don’t remember all the really poor movies that Fantasy Records stuck Creedence music into: car commercials, tire commercials. I’m remembering a paint thinner ad at one point, the song “Who’ll Stop the Rain“. Oh, boy. That’s clever, isn’t it?[30]

Of particular interest was the use of his protest song “Fortunate Son” in a blue jean commercial.[28] In this case, the advertiser eventually stopped using the song, as Fogerty related in a later interview:

Yes, the people that owned Fantasy Records also owned all my early songs, and they would do all kinds of stuff I really hated in a commercial way with my songs. … Then one day somebody from the L.A. Times actually bothered to call me up and ask me how I felt, and I finally had a chance to talk about it. And I said I’m very much against my song being used to sell pants. … So my position got stated very well in the newspaper, and lo and behold, Wrangler to their credit said, ‘Wow, even though we made our agreement with the publisher, the owner of the song, we can see now that John Fogerty really hates the idea’, so they stopped doing it.[31]

Members[edit]

  • John Fogerty – lead vocals, lead guitar, harmonica, keyboard, saxophone (1967–1972)
  • Tom Fogerty – rhythm guitar, keyboard, piano, backing vocals (1967–1971)
  • Stu Cook – bass, keyboard, backing vocals (1967–1972)
  • Doug Clifford – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1967–1972)

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

See also
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the band. For their debut album, see Creedence Clearwater Revival (album).
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence Clearwater Revival 1968.jpg

Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1968. From left to right: Tom Fogerty, Doug Clifford, Stu Cook and John Fogerty.
Background information
Origin El Cerrito, California, U.S.
Genres
Years active 1967–1972
Labels Fantasy
Associated acts
Website www.creedence-online.net
Past members

Creedence Clearwater Revival (often shortened to “Creedence” or “CCR”) was a US rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The band consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty, rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford. Their musical style encompassed the roots rock,[1] swamp rock,[2] and blues rock[3] genres. Despite their San Francisco Bay Area origins, they portrayed a Southern rock style, with lyrics about bayous, catfish, the Mississippi River, and other popular elements of Southern US iconography, as well as political and socially-conscious lyrics about topics including the Vietnam War.[4]

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s music is still a staple of US radio airplay;[5] the band has sold 26 million albums in the United States alone.[6] Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.[7] Rolling Stone ranked the band 82nd on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.[8] Their musical influence can be heard in many genres, including southern rock, grunge, roots rock, and blues.

History[edit]

The Blue Velvets/The Golliwogs: 1959–1967[edit]

John Fogerty, Doug Clifford, and Stu Cook (all born in 1945) met at Portola Junior High School in El Cerrito, California. Calling themselves The Blue Velvets, the trio began playing instrumentals and “juke box standards”,[9] as well as backing Fogerty’s older brother Tom at live gigs and in the recording studio. Tom soon joined the band, and in 1964 they signed with Fantasy Records, an independent jazz label in San Francisco that had released Cast Your Fate to the Wind, a national hit for jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi. The record’s success was the subject of a National Educational Television special, which prompted budding songwriter John Fogerty to contact the label.[10]

Band roles changed during this period. Stu Cook switched from piano to bass guitar and Tom Fogerty from lead vocals to rhythm guitar; John became the band’s lead vocalist and primary songwriter. In Tom Fogerty’s words: “I could sing, but John had a sound!”[11]

Early success: 1967–1968[edit]

In 1966, the group suffered a setback when John Fogerty and Doug Clifford were drafted into military service. Fogerty enlisted in the Army Reserve and Clifford in the United States Coast Guard Reserve.

In 1967, Saul Zaentz bought Fantasy Records and offered the band a chance to record a full-length album on the condition that they change their name. Having never liked “the Golliwogs,” in part because of the racial charge of the name, the four readily agreed. Zaentz and the band agreed to come up with ten suggestions each, but he enthusiastically agreed to their first: Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), which they took in January, 1968.[12] According to interviews with band members twenty years later, the name’s three elements come from the following sources:

  • Tom Fogerty’s friend Credence Newball, whose name they changed to form the word Creedence (as in creed);
  • a television commercial for Olympia beer (“clear water”); and
  • the four members’ renewed commitment to their band.

Rejected contenders for the band’s name included Muddy Rabbit, Gossamer Wump, and Creedence Nuball and the Ruby, but the last was the start that led to their finalized name. “Finally, John put together the three names and we surrendered to the inevitable,” Stu laugh[ed], “A name weirder than Buffalo Springfield or Jefferson Airplane.” [13]

By 1968, John Fogerty and Doug Clifford had been discharged from military service, and all four members had quit their jobs to begin an intense schedule of rehearsing and playing full-time at clubs.[citation needed] AM radio programmers around the U.S.A. took note when the song “Susie Q” from their self-titled debut album received substantial airplay in the San Francisco Bay Area and on Chicago’s WLS.[citation needed] A remake of a 1956 song by rockabilly singer Dale Hawkins,[12] “Susie Q” was the band’s second single—its first to reach the Top 40 (No. 11). It would be CCR’s only Top 40 hit not written by John Fogerty. Two other singles from the debut were released: a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins‘s “I Put a Spell on You” (No. 58) and “Porterville” (released on the Scorpio label with writing credited to “T. Spicebush Swallowtail”), written during Fogerty’s time in the Army Reserve.

Peak success: 1969–1970[edit]

After their breakthrough, CCR began touring and started work on their second album, Bayou Country (1969), at RCA Studios in Los Angeles. A No. 7 platinum hit, the record was their first in a string of hit albums and singles that continued uninterrupted for three years. The single “Proud Mary“, backed with “Born on the Bayou”, reached No. 2 on the national Billboard chart. The former would eventually become the group’s most-covered song, with some 100 cover versions by other artists to date, including a hit version in 1971 by Ike & Tina Turner. John Fogerty cites this song as being the result of high spirits on gaining his discharge from the Army Reserve.[12] The album also featured a remake of the rock & roll classic “Good Golly Miss Molly[12] and the band’s nine-minute live-show closer, “Keep On Chooglin'”.

Weeks later, in March 1969, “Bad Moon Rising” backed with “Lodi” was released and peaked at No. 2. In the United Kingdom, “Bad Moon Rising” spent three weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart during September and October 1969, becoming the band’s only number one single in the UK.[citation needed] The band’s third album, Green River, followed in August 1969 and went gold along with the single “Green River”, which again reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts. The B-side of “Green River”, “Commotion”, peaked at No. 30 and the band’s emphasis on remakes of their old favorites continued with “Night Time Is the Right Time“.

CCR continued to tour incessantly with performances at the Atlanta Pop Festival and Woodstock. Their set was not included in the Woodstock film or soundtrack because John Fogerty felt the band’s performance was subpar. (Several tracks from the event were eventually included in the 1994 commemorative box set.) Stu Cook, however, held an opposing view, saying “The performances are classic CCR and I’m still amazed by the number of people who don’t even know we were one of the headliners at Woodstock ’69.”[14] John Fogerty later complained the previous band, the Grateful Dead, put the audience to sleep, stoned and asleep; as John scanned the audience he saw a “Dante scene, just bodies from hell, all intertwined and asleep, covered with mud.”[13]

“Creedence Clearwater Revival, which disbanded in 1972, were progressive and anachronistic at the same time. An unapologetic throwback to the golden era of rock and roll, they broke ranks with their peers on the progressive, psychedelic San Francisco scene. Their approach was basic and uncompromising, holding true to the band members’ working-class origins. The term ‘roots rock’ had not yet been invented when Creedence came along, but in a real way they defined it, drawing inspiration from the likes of Little Richard, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and the artisans of soul at Motown and Stax. In so doing, Creedence Clearwater Revival became the standard bearers and foremost celebrants of homegrown American music.”

After Woodstock, CCR was busy honing material for a fourth album, Willy and the Poor Boys, released in November 1969. “Down on the Corner” and “Fortunate Son” climbed to No. 3 and No. 14, respectively, by year’s end. The album was CCR in its standard form, featuring Fogerty originals and two reworked Lead Belly covers, “Cotton Fields” and “Midnight Special“. Both of the latter songs had also been performed by actor Harry Dean Stanton in the movie Cool Hand Luke, suggesting a subtle non-conformist theme to an apparently tradition-oriented album.

The year 1969 had been a remarkable chart year for the band: three Top Ten albums, four hit singles (charting at No. 2, No. 2, No. 2, and No. 3) with three additional charting B-sides. On November 16, 1969, they performed “Fortunate Son” and “Down on the Corner” on The Ed Sullivan Show.[15]

CCR released another two-sided hit, “Travelin’ Band“/”Who’ll Stop the Rain” in January 1970. Except for Elvis Presley and The Beatles, Creedence had more success with two sided hit singles than any band up to that point in time. John Fogerty has said that the flip side was inspired by the band’s experience at Woodstock.[citation needed] The speedy “Travelin’ Band”, with a strong Little Richard sound, however, bore enough similarities to “Good Golly, Miss Molly” to warrant a lawsuit by the song’s publisher;[citation needed] it was eventually settled out of court.[16] The song ultimately topped out at No. 2. The band also recorded its January 31, 1970, live performance at the Oakland Coliseum Arena, which would later be marketed as a live album and television special. In February, CCR was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, although only John Fogerty was interviewed in the accompanying article.[17]

In April 1970, CCR was set to begin its first European tour. To support the upcoming live dates, Fogerty wrote “Up Around the Bend” and “Run Through the Jungle“; the single reached No. 4 that spring. The band returned to Wally Heider‘s San Francisco studio in June to record Cosmo’s Factory. The title was an in-joke about their various rehearsal facilities and factory work ethic over the years.[citation needed] (Drummer Doug Clifford’s longtime nickname is “Cosmo”, due to his keen interest in nature and all things cosmic.)[citation needed] The album contained the earlier Top 10 hits “Travelin’ Band” and “Up Around the Bend” plus highly popular album tracks such as the opener “Ramble Tamble”.

Cosmo’s Factory was released in July 1970, along with the band’s fifth and final No. 2 national hit, “Lookin’ Out My Back Door“/”Long As I Can See the Light“. Although they topped some international charts and local radio countdowns, CCR never had a No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit. Their five No. 2 singles were exceeded only by Elvis Presley and Madonna with six each and tied with The Carpenters. CCR also has the odd distinction of having the most No. 2 singles on the Billboard charts without ever having had a No. 1.[18] Curiously, on WLS, the band had three No. 1, four No. 3, two No. 4, but no No. 2 singles.[19]

Other cuts on the “Cosmo’s Factory” album included an eleven-minute jam of the 1968 Marvin GayeI Heard It Through The Grapevine” (a minor hit when an edited version was released as a single in 1976), and a nearly note-for-note homage to Roy Orbison‘s “Ooby Dooby”. The album was CCR’s best seller and went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album charts and No. 11 on Billboard’s Soul Albums chart.

Decline and breakup: 1970–1972[edit]

CCR in 1972, after Tom Fogerty’s departure; John Fogerty, Stu Cook, Doug Clifford

The Cosmo’s Factory sessions had seen the stirrings of tensions within the foursome as the incessant touring and heavy recording schedules took their toll.[citation needed] John Fogerty had taken complete control of the group in matters of both business and artistic output, to the chagrin of Tom Fogerty, Cook, and Clifford. Fogerty resisted, feeling that a “democratic” process would threaten their success.[citation needed] Other issues included Fogerty’s decision at a 1970 Nebraska gig that the band would no longer give encores at its live shows.[citation needed]

Pendulum, released in December 1970, was another top seller, spawning a Top 10 hit with “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?“. John Fogerty included Hammond B3 Organ on many of the Pendulum tracks, notably “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”, in recognition of the deep respect and influence of Booker T and The MG’s, with whom the members of the band had jammed. The single’s flip side, “Hey Tonight”, was also a hit.

Tom Fogerty decided he had had enough of his younger brother and resigned from CCR in late 1970 during the recording of Pendulum; his departure was made public the following February. At first, the remaining members considered replacing Tom but ultimately continued as a trio. Tom Fogerty later stated on an Australian television broadcast that no new member could endure being in CCR.[citation needed]

In spring 1971, John Fogerty did an about-face and informed Cook and Clifford that CCR would continue only by adopting a “democratic” approach: each member would now write and perform his own material. Fogerty also would contribute only rhythm guitar to his bandmates’ songs. Cook and Clifford, who had wanted more input in CCR’s artistic and business decisions, resisted this arrangement. Fogerty insisted they accept the new arrangement, or he would quit the band. Despite the dissension, the trio put its new work ethic to the test in the studio, releasing the Top 10 single “Sweet Hitch-Hiker” in July 1971, backed with Stu Cook’s “Door to Door”. The band toured both the U.S. and Europe that summer and autumn, with Cook’s song a part of the live set. In spite of their continuing commercial success, however, relations among the three had become increasingly strained.

The band’s final album, Mardi Gras, was released in April 1972, featuring songs written by Fogerty, Cook, and Clifford and a cover of “Hello Mary Lou” (a song Gene Pitney had originally written for Ricky Nelson). The album was a critical failure, with Rolling Stone reviewer Jon Landau deeming it “the worst album I have ever heard from a major rock band.”[20] The sales of Mardi Gras were weaker than previous albums, ultimately peaking at No. 12. Fogerty’s “Someday Never Comes“, backed with Clifford’s “Tearin’ Up the Country”, also cracked the U.S. Top 40.

By this point, Fogerty was not only at direct odds with his bandmates, but had also come to see the group’s relationship with Fantasy Records as onerous, feeling that label owner Saul Zaentz had reneged on his promise to give the band a better contract. Cook—who held a degree in business—claimed that because of poor judgment on Fogerty’s part, CCR had to abide by the worst record deal of any major US recording artist. Despite the relatively poor reception of Mardi Gras and deteriorated relationships among the remaining band members, CCR embarked upon a two-month, 20-date U.S. tour. However, on October 16, 1972—less than six months after the tour ended—Fantasy Records and the band officially announced the disbanding of CCR.[21] The band never formally reunited after the break-up, although Cook and Clifford eventually started the band Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

John Fogerty later commented on the demise of CCR in a 1997 Swedish magazine:

I was alone when I made that [Creedence] music. I was alone when I made the arrangements, I was alone when I added background vocals, guitars and some other stuff. I was alone when I produced and mixed the albums. The other guys showed up only for rehearsals and the days we made the actual recordings. For me Creedence was like sitting on a time bomb. We’d had decent successes with our cover of ‘Susie Q’ and with the first album. When we went into the studio to cut ‘Proud Mary,’ it was the first time we were in a real Hollywood studio, RCA’s Los Angeles studio, and the problems started immediately. The other guys in the band insisted on writing songs for the new album, they had opinions on the arrangements, they wanted to sing. They went as far as adding background vocals to ‘Proud Mary,’ and it sounded awful. They used tambourines, and it sounded no better.

That’s when I understood I had a choice to make. At that point in time we were just a one hit wonder, and ‘Susie Q’ hadn’t really been that big a hit. Either this [the new album] would be a success, something really big, or we might as well start working at the car wash again. There was a big row. We went to an Italian restaurant and I remember that I very clearly told the others that I for one didn’t want to go back to the car wash again. Now we had to make the best possible album and it wasn’t important who did what, as long as the result was the very best we could achieve. And of course I was the one who should do it. I don’t think the others really understood what I meant, but at least I could manage the situation the way I wanted. The result was eight million-selling double-sided singles in a row and six albums, all of which went platinum. And Melody Maker had us as the best band in the world. That was after the Beatles split, but still. … And I was the one who had created all this. Despite that, I don’t think they understood what I was talking about. … They were obsessed with the idea of more control and more influence. So finally the bomb exploded and we never worked together again.[22]

Post-breakup[edit]

John Fogerty[edit]

John Fogerty performing in 2011

In 1973, Fogerty began his solo career with The Blue Ridge Rangers, his one-man band collection of country and gospel songs. Under his old CCR contract, however, Fogerty owed Fantasy eight more records. In the end, he refused to work for the label. The impasse was resolved only when Asylum RecordsDavid Geffen bought Fogerty’s contract for $1,000,000. His next major hit was Centerfield, a chart-topping success in 1985. On tour in 1986, however, Fogerty suffered complaints over his steadfast refusal to perform CCR songs and suffered with recurring vocal problems which he blamed on having to testify in court. Fogerty’s explanation for not playing CCR material songs was that he would have had to pay performance royalties to copyright holder Saul Zaentz, and that it was “too painful” to revisit the music of his past.

With the Centerfield album, Fogerty also found himself entangled in new, tit-for-tat lawsuits with Zaentz over the song “The Old Man Down the Road” which was, according to Zaentz, a blatant re-write of Fogerty’s own 1970 CCR hit “Run Through the Jungle“. Since Fogerty had traded his rights to CCR’s songs in 1980 to cancel his remaining contractual obligations, Fantasy now owned the rights to “Run Through the Jungle” and sued Fogerty essentially for plagiarizing himself. While a jury ruled in Fogerty’s favor, he did settle a defamation suit filed by Zaentz over the songs “Mr. Greed” and “Zanz Kant Danz”. Fogerty was forced to edit the recording, changing the “Zanz” reference to “Vanz.”

On February 19, 1987, at the Palomino Club in Los Angeles, Fogerty broke his self-imposed 1972 ban on performing CCR hits, on an admonition from Bob Dylan and George Harrison (who both joined him onstage) that “if you don’t, the whole world’s gonna think ‘Proud Mary‘ is Tina Turner‘s song.” At a 1987 Independence Day benefit concert for the Vietnam War, Fogerty finally ran through the list of CCR hits, beginning with “Born on the Bayou” and ending with “Proud Mary”. He retreated from music again in the late 1980s but returned in 1997 with the Grammy-winning Blue Moon Swamp. Fogerty still tours frequently and performs CCR classics alongside solo material.

Tom Fogerty[edit]

Tom Fogerty released several solo albums, though none reached the success of CCR. Fogerty’s 1974 solo album Zephyr National was the last to feature the four original CCR band members. Several tracks sound very much in the CCR style, particularly the aptly titled “Joyful Resurrection” on which all four members played, even though John Fogerty recorded his part separately.

Tom Fogerty died of an AIDS complication in September 1990, which he contracted via a tainted blood transfusion he received while undergoing back surgery. Tom and John never reconciled before Tom’s death, and in the eulogy he delivered at Tom’s funeral, John said, “We wanted to grow up and be musicians. I guess we achieved half of that, becoming rock ‘n roll stars. We didn’t necessarily grow up.”[23]

Stu Cook, Doug Clifford[edit]

CCR’s rhythm section formed Creedence Clearwater Revisited in 1995

Junior high school friends Doug Clifford and Stu Cook continued to work together following the demise of CCR both as session players and members of the Don Harrison Band. They also founded Factory Productions, a mobile recording service in the Bay Area. Clifford released a solo record, Cosmo, in 1972. Cook produced artist Roky Erickson‘s The Evil One and was bassist with the popular country act Southern Pacific in the 1980s.

Doug Clifford also produced Groovers Paradise for former Sir Douglas Quintet and Texas Tornados frontman Doug Sahm. Both Clifford and Stu Cook played on the album which was released on Warner Bros. in 1974. Clifford continued to perform and record with Doug Sahm through the 1980s.

Following a relatively lengthy period of musical inactivity, Cook and Clifford formed Creedence Clearwater Revisited in 1995 with several well-known musicians. Revisited continues to tour globally performing the original band’s classics. John Fogerty’s 1997 injunction forced Creedence Clearwater Revisited to temporarily change its name to “Cosmo’s Factory,” but the courts later ruled in Cook’s and Clifford’s favor.

Fantasy Records[edit]

After CCR, Fantasy Records released several greatest-hits packages such as 1975’s Pre-Creedence, a compilation album of The Golliwogs’ early recordings. Fantasy also released the highly successful Chronicle, Vol. 1, a collection of Creedence’s twenty hit singles, in 1976. Several years later, the label released a live recording entitled The Royal Albert Hall Concert. Contrary to its title, the 1970 performance was recorded in Oakland, California, not at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England. Subsequent issues of the original 1981 album have been retitled simply The Concert.

The success of CCR made Fantasy and Saul Zaentz a great deal of money. Indeed, Fantasy built a new headquarters building in 1971 at 2600 Tenth Street in Berkeley, California.[24] Zaentz also used his wealth to produce a number of successful films including Best Picture Oscar winners One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, and The English Patient. In 2004, he sold Fantasy to Concord Records. As a goodwill gesture, Concord honored the unfulfilled contractual promises Fantasy made nearly forty years earlier, finally paying the band a higher royalty rate on their sales.

One decision made by John Fogerty rankled his bandmates and would leave all without most of their hard-earned money and facing legal and financial problems for years. Without the other three band members’ knowledge, Fogerty agreed to a tax shelter scheme proposed by Saul Zaentz and his lawyers in which most of the bandmembers’ assets were transferred to Castle Bank & Trust of Nassau, Bahamas. Zaentz and his associates withdrew their assets before the bank eventually dissolved — along with the savings of the four CCR band members. A series of lawsuits began in 1978 and eventually ended with a California court awarding $8.6 million to the band members in April 1983. Despite this legal victory, very little money was recovered.[citation needed]

John Fogerty, seeing that Zaentz was no longer involved with the company, also signed a new contract with Concord/Fantasy. In 2005, the label released The Long Road Home, a collection of Creedence and Fogerty solo classics. After Revival came out on the Fantasy label in October 2007 but before his following album Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again was issued in 2009, Fogerty switched from Fantasy to Verve Forecast Records.

Reunions[edit]

The original CCR lineup rarely reunited after their breakup. All four members jammed together at Tom Fogerty’s wedding on October 19, 1980. John Fogerty, Cook, and Clifford played at their 20th El Cerrito High School reunion in 1983, but as their original incarnation, The Blue Velvets. In the 1980s and 1990s, new rounds of lawsuits between the band members, as well as against their former management, deepened their animosities. By the time CCR was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, John Fogerty refused to perform with Cook and Clifford. The pair were barred from the stage, while Fogerty played with an all-star band that included Bruce Springsteen and Robbie Robertson. Tom Fogerty’s widow Tricia had expected a Creedence reunion, and even brought the urn containing her husband’s ashes to the ceremony.

In a July 2011 interview with the Calgary Herald, John Fogerty admitted that he would at least be willing to consider reuniting with Cook and Clifford:

Years ago, I looked at people and I was so full of some sort of emotion and I’d say, ‘Absolutely not!’ … But I have to admit, people have asked me more recently, and even though I have no idea how such a series of events would come to pass, I can tell that there isn’t the bombast in my voice, in the denial, in the refusal. It’s more like, ‘Well, I dunno.’ Never say never is I guess is what people tell you. In this life, all kinds of strange things come to pass. Realizing that it doesn’t really kick up a big firestorm of emotion, it kind of suggests that at least if someone started talking I’d sit still long enough to listen.[25]

When asked again in October 2011 about the prospect of a reunion, Fogerty said: “I’m saying it’s possible, yeah. I think the call [laughs] would maybe have to come from outside the realm. Somebody would have to get me to look at things in a fresh way.”[26]

However, Cook and Clifford both stated in the February 2012 edition of Uncut Magazine that they are not interested in a CCR reunion. “Leopards don’t change their spots. This is just an image-polishing exercise by John. My phone certainly hasn’t rung,” Cook said. Added Clifford: “It might have been a nice idea 20 years ago, but it’s too late.”[25]

In May 2013, Fogerty once again said he would be open to a reunion, but he does not see Cook and Clifford being willing to change their stance. He told Charlie Rose on CBS This Morning: “From time to time, I’ll say something and it’ll get in print that maybe that will happen, and then immediately I’ll hear back stuff that doesn’t sound like it’s possible. … I think it’s a possibility in the future, you know. It’s not something I’m actively seeking, but I’m not totally against the idea either.” [27]

Legal rights[edit]

CCR’s catalogue of songs has frequently been used or referenced in popular culture, partly because John Fogerty “long ago signed away legal control of his old recordings to Creedence’s record label, Fantasy Records.”[28][29] Fogerty objected to what he regarded as a misuse of his music in an NPR interview:

Folks will remember Forrest Gump and that was a great movie, but they don’t remember all the really poor movies that Fantasy Records stuck Creedence music into: car commercials, tire commercials. I’m remembering a paint thinner ad at one point, the song “Who’ll Stop the Rain“. Oh, boy. That’s clever, isn’t it?[30]

Of particular interest was the use of his protest song “Fortunate Son” in a blue jean commercial.[28] In this case, the advertiser eventually stopped using the song, as Fogerty related in a later interview:

Yes, the people that owned Fantasy Records also owned all my early songs, and they would do all kinds of stuff I really hated in a commercial way with my songs. … Then one day somebody from the L.A. Times actually bothered to call me up and ask me how I felt, and I finally had a chance to talk about it. And I said I’m very much against my song being used to sell pants. … So my position got stated very well in the newspaper, and lo and behold, Wrangler to their credit said, ‘Wow, even though we made our agreement with the publisher, the owner of the song, we can see now that John Fogerty really hates the idea’, so they stopped doing it.[31]

Members[edit]

  • John Fogerty – lead vocals, lead guitar, harmonica, keyboard, saxophone (1967–1972)
  • Tom Fogerty – rhythm guitar, keyboard, piano, backing vocals (1967–1971)
  • Stu Cook – bass, keyboard, backing vocals (1967–1972)
  • Doug Clifford – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1967–1972)

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

See also

The Wyatt Family

The Wyatt Family

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the family of English architects, see Wyatt family.
The Wyatt Family
The Wyatt Family.jpg

Original members of The Wyatt Family (from left to right): Erick Rowan, Bray Wyatt, and Luke Harper.
Statistics
Members Braun Strowman
Bray Wyatt (leader)
Luke Harper
Name(s) The Wyatt Family
Combined
weight
877 lb (398 kg) (Wyatt, Harper and Rowan)
945 lb (429 kg) (Wyatt, Harper and Strowman)
Former
member(s)
Erick Rowan
Daniel Wyatt [1]
Debut November 7, 2012
Years active 2012–2014
2015–present
Promotions WWE
NXT

The Wyatt Family is a professional wrestling stable performing in WWE. The stable originally appeared as a trio composed of Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. The trio debuted on the main roster in July 2013, as a villainous group terrorizing other WWE Superstars, including Kane, The Shield, John Cena, Chris Jericho, and Daniel Bryan (who ultimately became a member, albeit for a short period of time).

During their time at WWE’s developmental branch NXT, Harper and Rowan won the NXT Tag Team Championship. The Wyatt Family began to go their separate ways in late 2014, after Wyatt announced he was setting Harper and Rowan “free”. Harper and Rowan would later reunite in May 2015, but after Rowan suffered an injury, Harper would reunite with Wyatt in July. In August 2015, Braun Strowman would join Wyatt and Harper.

Concept[edit]

Their gimmick is based on a backwoods cult; Wyatt’s character has drawn comparisons to Charles Manson and wrestler Waylon Mercy, as well as Max Cady from Cape Fear.[2][3]

History[edit]

Formation and beginnings[edit]

The character of Bray Wyatt debuted in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in April 2012 and initially associated himself with Eli Cottonwood.[4][5] When WWE rebranded their developmental territory into NXT Wrestling, Wyatt debuted on the July 11 episode of the new NXT, defeating Aiden English in a singles match.[6] Wyatt is portrayed as an evil cult leader who believes himself to be more monster than human.[2][7][8] The character drew comparisons to Max Cady of the 1991 film Cape Fear and Waylon Mercy.[2][9]

In July, Wyatt suffered a torn pectoral muscle and required surgery.[10] Despite the injury, Wyatt continued to appear on NXT by founding a faction known as The Wyatt Family in November, with Luke Harper as his first kayfabe “son” and Erick Rowan as his second.[11][12][13] Harper and Rowan entered the NXT Tag Team Championship tournament to crown the inaugural champions, and they defeated Percy Watson and Yoshi Tatsu in the first round on the January 23, 2013, episode of NXT.[14] Following a win over Bo Dallas and Michael McGillicutty in the semi-finals with Wyatt’s interference,[15] Harper and Rowan were defeated in the finals of the tournament by Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey.[16]

Leader Bray Wyatt, often watched the rest of his Family’s matches from a rocking chair.

Wyatt had his first match back from injury on the February 21 episode of NXT, defeating Yoshi Tatsu.[17] The Wyatt Family later assaulted Grey (who had suffered a legitimate injury) while Wyatt prevented Dallas from winning a NXT Championship number one contender match due to Dallas refusal to join the Wyatt Family.[18][19] Dallas went on to hand Wyatt his first loss on the March 13 episode of NXT.[20] On the May 2 episode of NXT, while Wyatt was defeated by six-time world champion Chris Jericho, Harper and Rowan won a triple threat elimination tag team match by last pinning tag team champion Neville to earn a shot at the titles.[21] On the May 8 NXT (taped on May 2), Harper and Rowan defeated Neville and Bo Dallas, filling in for the injured Grey, to win the NXT Tag Team Championship.[22][23]

The Wyatt Family went on to feud with Corey Graves and Kassius Ohno, with Wyatt defeating Graves on the May 22 NXT,[24] and the next week Wyatt eliminated both Graves and Ohno during an 18-man battle royal to determine the number one contender to the NXT Championship, although he was later eliminated by Adrian Neville.[25] On the June 19 NXT, The Wyatt Family defeated the team of Graves, Neville and Ohno.[26] On the next NXT, The Wyatt Family, together with Garrett Dylan and Scott Dawson, attacked Graves, Neville and Ohno; when William Regal tried to make the save, he was also overwhelmed. This led to The Wyatt Family facing Graves, Neville and Regal in a six-man tag match the next week, where Wyatt pinned Regal for the win.[27] On the July 17 NXT (taped on June 20), Harper and Rowan lost the NXT Tag Team Championship to Neville and Graves.[28][29]

Attack on Kane; recruiting Daniel Bryan[edit]

The group’s signature entrance through darkness.

From the May 27, 2013 episode of Raw, WWE aired vignettes promoting the upcoming debut of The Wyatt Family.[30] The vignettes showed The Wyatt Family’s backwoods origins and Rowan wearing a sheep mask.[31][32] On the July 8 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family made their debut by assaulting Kane.[33] The Wyatt Family continued their attacks on wrestlers like R-Truth, Justin Gabriel and 3MB (Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal), while sending cryptic messages to Kane telling him to “follow the buzzards”.[34][35] Following another assault,[36] Kane challenged Wyatt to a Ring of Fire match at SummerSlam, which he accepted.[37] On August 18, at SummerSlam, Wyatt defeated Kane, following interference from Harper and Rowan. After the match, Harper and Rowan again attacked Kane and ended the segment by carrying him away.[38] At Battleground, Wyatt’s momentum continued with a win over Kofi Kingston.[39] On the October 11 SmackDown, Harper and Rowan suffered their first loss against Cody Rhodes and Goldust.[40]

The Wyatt Family’s next feud began when they attacked Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, in late October;[41] the feud saw Harper lose his first singles match to Punk.[42] At Survivor Series, Harper and Rowan lost a tag team match against Bryan and Punk.[43] The Wyatt Family then defeated Bryan in a three on one handicap match, at TLC,[44] with Wyatt attempting to recruit Bryan in the previous weeks.[45] On the final Raw of 2013, Bryan defeated Harper, and then Rowan, in a gauntlet match that would lead to Bryan facing Wyatt, whereupon Harper and Rowan interfered, for a disqualification and began beating Bryan down. A frustrated Bryan finally gave up and gave in to join The Wyatt Family, rechristening himself “Daniel Wyatt.”[46] However, after Bryan joined them, The Wyatt Family could not find success.[1][47] This caused Bray Wyatt to punish Daniel Bryan. This led to Bryan attacking all the other members of the Wyatt Family on the January 13 Raw, to signal him breaking free of the group.[48] At the Royal Rumble, Wyatt defeated Daniel Bryan in a singles match,[49] while both Harper and Rowan entered the Royal Rumble match and managed two and zero eliminations respectively, before they were eliminated.[50]

Collision with The Shield; John Cena feud[edit]

On the January 27 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family attacked Cena, Bryan and Sheamus during an Elimination Chamber qualifying match against The Shield, thus awarding Cena’s team a disqualification win and the Chamber match slots.[51] The Shield were seeking revenge, so a six-man tag match was set up between The Shield and The Wyatt Family, at the Elimination Chamber event,[52] which The Wyatt Family won. On the March 3 episode of Raw, The Shield were given a rematch against The Wyatt Family, but lost again when The Shield’s poor teamwork led to Seth Rollins, leaving the ring during the match. On the April 8 episode of Main Event, The Shield finally defeated The Wyatt Family in another six-man tag team match.

The Wyatt Family getting ready to compete, in April 2014

At the Royal Rumble event, The Wyatt Family cost John Cena his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Randy Orton. At Elimination Chamber, The Wyatt Family’s interference caused Cena to be eliminated from the Elimination Chamber match. After Elimination Chamber, Wyatt turned his attention fully to feud with Cena, with Wyatt wanting to prove that Cena’s heroic act was a facade characteristic of “this era of lies”, while also trying to turn Cena into a “monster”.[53][54] Wyatt went on to accept Cena’s challenge for a WrestleMania match,[55] with Cena successfully resisting the urge to become a “monster” and overcoming interference from Harper and Rowan to defeat Wyatt at WrestleMania XXX, thus marking Wyatt’s first loss on WWE’s main roster.[56] The feud continued after WrestleMania based on the story that Wyatt was capturing Cena’s fanbase, which was exemplified by Wyatt leading a children’s choir to the ring on the April 28 episode of Raw, with the children later putting on sheep masks.[57] At Extreme Rules, Wyatt defeated Cena in a Steel Cage match, after repeated interference from the rest of The Wyatt Family, as well as a child who had distracted Cena.[58] Cena’s feud with Wyatt continued with a Last Man Standing match being set up for Payback, which Cena won.[59]

Championship pursuits; Chris Jericho feud[edit]

On the June 2 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan took on then-WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos, in a tag team match; Bray Wyatt did not appear during the match, but his rocking chair still sat beside the ring. Harper and Rowan went on to win the match, which made them number one contenders for the Tag Team Championship.[60] Later that night, due to a distraction by Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt went on to win his match against Dean Ambrose, to qualify for the first Money in the Bank ladder match contested for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship. At the 2014 Money in the Bank event, all three members of The Wyatt Family failed to win championships in their respective matches.[61][62] The Wyatt Family also lost at Battleground, as The Usos successfully defended their WWE Tag Team Championship, against Harper and Rowan.[63] On the June 30 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family interrupted Chris Jericho‘s return and began to beat him down.[64][65] During Battleground, Jericho defeated Bray Wyatt in a singles match. Wyatt continued his feud with Jericho into SummerSlam.[66] On the August 1 episode of SmackDown, Jericho defeated Rowan to ban him from being at ringside for Wyatt’s match at SummerSlam.[67] On the August 4 episode of Raw, Wyatt attacked Jericho in Harper’s match against Jericho, causing Harper to be also banned from Wyatt’s SummerSlam match.[68] At SummerSlam, Wyatt defeated Jericho in a rematch.[69] and on the September 8 episode of Raw, Wyatt defeated Jericho once again in a Steel Cage match to end their feud. On the August 25 episode of Raw, Wyatt faced John Cena. Harper and Rowan caused a disqualification, leading to a six-man tag pitting The Wyatt Family against Cena, Show and Henry, in which Cena submitted Harper to win.[70] The Wyatt’s last televised match together as a trio, aired on the September 19 episode of SmackDown, when all three Wyatt Family members defeated Big Show and Los Matadores.[71] They were then taken off television.[72]

Harper and Rowan’s liberation[edit]

On September 29, 2014, vignettes of Harper and Rowan being “set free”, began to air.[73][74] All three members of the Wyatt Family returned to television on their own and apart from each other: Wyatt returned at Hell in a Cell on October 26, attacking Dean Ambrose.[75] Rowan returned on the October 31 episode of SmackDown,[76] while Harper returned on the November 10 episode of Raw, aligning himself with The Authority.[77] On the November 17 episode of Raw, Rowan joined Team Cena for Survivor Series, opposing Luke Harper.[78]

The next few weeks saw Ambrose and Wyatt taunting and attacking each other in both backstage and in-ring segments, with Wyatt claiming that he could “fix” Ambrose, the way he “fixed” Harper and Rowan, leading to a match at Survivor Series.[79][80] Ambrose lost the match by disqualification after utilizing weapons, namely a table, a ladder and steel chairs.[81] At Survivor Series, Harper was one of the last men eliminated in Team Authority’s loss against Rowan and Team Cena.[81] As punishment for his affiliation with the Authority, Harper was forced to put his Intercontinental Championship on the line against Dean Ambrose, on the November 24 episode of Raw and successfully retained the title after getting himself disqualified, after the match while Ambrose was looking for weapons to attack Harper with, Wyatt ambushed Ambrose from behind.[82]

On the December 8 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan faced each other in singles competition, with Harper ultimately getting himself disqualified.[83] On the January 5, 2015 episode of Raw, The Authority punished Rowan by putting him in a singles match against Harper, with Harper picking up the win after a discus clothesline and the help of J&J Security (Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury), who were the special guest referees for the match.[84] On the January 22 episode of SmackDown, Rowan and Harper once again competed against each other, this time in a 2015 Royal Rumble qualifying match, with Harper winning, thus not allowing Rowan to participate in the 2015 Royal Rumble match.[85] Despite this, Rowan appeared during the Rumble match, ambushing the #6 entrant Curtis Axel, to attack Harper, subsequently sparking a brief Wyatt Family reunion, along with Bray Wyatt, before all three men began to brawl.[86]

Harper and Rowan’s reunion[edit]

On the May 7, 2015 episode of SmackDown, after Harper defeated Fandango, Rowan would come out, seemingly to confront Harper, but would instead attack Fandango, turning heel in the process.[87] On the May 11 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan would officially reunite, when Harper accompanied Rowan to his match against Fandango, which Rowan won after 30 seconds, and the two proceeded to double team Fandango after the match. On the May 18 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan teamed up to take on Fandango and Zack Ryder, which Rowan and Harper won after a superkick and full nelson slam combination.[88] On the May 21 episode of Main Event, Harper and Rowan defeated Fandango and Ryder in a rematch.[89] On the June 4 episode of SmackDown, Harper and Rowan cut a promo about being ostracized and stated they were a family.[90][91]

On the June 5 episode of Superstars, Harper and Rowan faced Los Matadores, in a tag team match, in which Harper and Rowan won with a Flapjack/Cutter combination, reminiscent of legendary tag team The Dudley Boyz‘s 3D finisher.[92] On the June 8 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan faced Los Matadores in a rematch, where they once again defeated them with a Flapjack/Cutter combination, which the announcers revealed was called The Way.[93] The Dudley Boyz would later respond to this.[94] On the June 19 episode of Superstars, Harper and Rowan defeated Los Matadores and The Ascension, in a triple threat tag team match.[95] During a match at a house show, Erick Rowan was injured, with reports saying he’ll be out of action for 4–6 months.[96] On the June 23 episode of Main Event, Harper returned to singles competition when he defeated Cesaro, but not before cutting a promo where he said losing his tag team partner has made him more dangerous.[97][98]

Return of the Family[edit]

At Battleground on July 19, 2015, Harper interfered during Wyatt’s match against Roman Reigns, helping him defeat Reigns and signaling the return of the stable.[99] During a post-Battleground interview, Wyatt stated: “To the world, say your prayers, lock your doors, the family has returned.”[100] On the July 20 episode of Raw, Wyatt accompanied Harper in his match against Reigns. A brawl ensued during the match, after Wyatt interfered, and Reign’s former Shield cohort Dean Ambrose got involved.[101][102] On the July 23 episode of SmackDown, Wyatt and Harper distracted Ambrose in his match against Sheamus, which caused Ambrose to lose.[103] On the August 6 edition of SmackDown, Reigns challenged Wyatt to a tag team match at SummerSlam, with Reigns and Ambrose facing Wyatt and Harper, which Wyatt accepted.[104] Wyatt and Harper would ultimately lose the match. On the August 24 episode of Raw, Wyatt and Harper fought Reigns and Ambrose in a SummerSlam rematch. During the match, Braun Strowman made his WWE debut, joining the Wyatt Family and helping Harper and Wyatt attack Reigns and Ambrose.[105] This led to a 6-man tag team match at Night of Champions between the Wyatts and Reigns, Ambrose, and a partner of their choosing. In the following weeks, the Wyatts would assault Randy Orton and Jimmy Uso for teaming with Reigns and Ambrose. At Night of Champions, Chris Jericho was revealed to be the mystery partner and the three lost due to poor teamwork between the team. On the September 21 episode of Raw, the Wyatts got into a brawl with Reigns, Ambrose, and a returning Randy Orton. The next week, Reigns and Wyatt wrestled a match with it ending in a double countout. During the eventual brawl, Wyatt tossed a WWE technical worker at Reigns and sent him through the barricade. Reigns then speared Wyatt through the announce table to end the show.

In wrestling[edit]

  • Nicknames
    • “The Eater of Worlds”[127] (Wyatt)
    • “The Man of 1,000 Truths”[128] (Wyatt)
    • “The New Face of Fear”[129] (Wyatt)
    • Bray Wyatt’s Prodigal Son[130][131] (Harper)
    • The New Face of Desolation[132][133] (Harper)
    • “The Backwoods Brawlers”[134] (Harper and Rowan)
    • “The Reapers”[135] (Harper and Rowan)
    • Sister Abigail’s Black Sheep[136][132] (Strowman)
    • The New Face of Destruction[137][138] (Strowman)

Braun Strowman

imagesBraun Strowman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
images
Braun Strowman
Birth name Adam Scherr
Born (1983-09-06) September 6, 1983 (age 32)[1]
Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, United States[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Braun Stowman[1]
Braun Strowman[1]
Billed height 6 ft 8 in (203 cm)[2]
Billed weight 385 lb (175 kg)[2]
Trained by WWE Performance Center
Debut December 19, 2014[3]
Competition record
Strongman
Competitor for  United States
Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championships
1st 2012
Central GA Strongest Man
1st 2011
Europa Battle of Champions
3rd 2010
Monster of the Midland
1st 2010
NAS US Amateur National Championships
1st 2011
Summerfest Strongman
1st 2011
West Carry Fall Festival of Power
1st 2011

Adam Scherr (born September 6, 1983) is an American professional wrestler and strongman. He is currently signed to WWE under the ring name Braun Strowman, where he is a member of the villainous Wyatt Family.

Strongman career[edit]

Scherr earned his American Strongman Corporation (ASC) Professional Card by winning the NAS US Amateur National Championships on November 5, 2011.[4] He won the 2012 Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championships on March 4, 2012, which took place during the Arnold Sports Festival alongside the 2012 Arnold Strongman Classic.[5] This victory earned Scherr an invite to the 2013 Arnold Strongman Classic.[5] He competed in the SCL North American Championships on July 8, 2012, finishing in 5th place overall. He also competed in the Giants Live Poland event on July 21, 2012, finishing in 7th place overall.[6]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

WWE[edit]

WWE Performance Center and NXT (2013–2015)[edit]

On May 12, 2013, it was reported that Scherr had signed with the professional wrestling promotion WWE. He was later assigned to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, where he adopted the ring name Braun Stowman. He made his wrestling debut at a NXT live event in Jacksonville, Florida on December 19, 2014, defeating Chad Gable.[3] On June 2, 2015, Strowman appeared at a Main Event taping in a dark match, where he defeated an unknown wrestler.

The Wyatt Family (2015–present)[edit]

Main article: The Wyatt Family

On the August 24, 2015 episode of Raw, Scherr, under the tweaked ring name Braun Strowman,[7] he made his main roster debut by attacking Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose while establishing himself as the newest member of the villainous Wyatt Family alongside Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper.[8][9] Strowman had his first televised match on the August 31 episode of Raw, defeating Ambrose via disqualification.[10] Strowman wrestled in his first pay-per-view match on September 20 at Night of Champions, where he, Wyatt, and Harper defeated Reigns, Ambrose, and Chris Jericho in a six-man tag team match, with Strowman submitting Jericho with a standing triangle choke.[11]

In wrestling[edit]

  • Nicknames
    • (Sister Abigail’s) Black Sheep[7]
    • The New Face of Destruction[12][13]

WWE’S THE BIG SHOW

Big Show

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the professional wrestler. For uses of the name Big Show, see The Big Show.
Big Show
Big Show April 2014.jpg

Big Show in 2014.
Birth name Paul Donald Wight Jr.[1]
Born (1972-02-08) February 8, 1972 (age 43)[2]
Aiken, South Carolina, United States[3]
Resides Tampa, Florida, United States[2]
Spouse(s) Melissa Piavis (m. 1997–2002)
Bess Katramados (m. 2002)
Children 3
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Big Show[2][4]
The Giant[2]
The Big Nasty Bastard[2]
Paul Wight[5]
Billed height 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)[6]
Billed weight 450 lb (200 kg)[6]
Billed from Tampa, Florida
Trained by WCW Power Plant
Glenn Ruth[7]
Larry Sharpe[7]
Debut 1995

Paul Donald Wight Jr. (born February 8, 1972) is an American professional wrestler and actor, better known by his ring name Big Show. He is signed to WWE, where he has performed since 1999, and was previously in World Championship Wrestling where he was known as The Giant.

Over the course of his career, Wight has been world champion seven times. He won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship twice, the WWF/E Championship twice, the ECW World Championship once, and the World Heavyweight Championship twice. He is the only wrestler to have held all four titles.[8] Wight has also won the WWE Intercontinental Championship once, the WWE United States Championship once, and the WWE Hardcore Championship three times.

Wight has also been a successful tag team wrestler, having been an 11-time world tag team champion. He won the WWE’s World Tag Team Championship five times (twice with The Undertaker, and once each with Kane, Chris Jericho, and The Miz), the WWE Tag Team Championship three times (once each with Jericho, Miz, and Kane), and the WCW World Tag Team Championship three times (once each with Lex Luger, Sting, and Scott Hall).

Big Show is the 24th Triple Crown and 13th Grand Slam winner in WWE history.[9][10] Between WWE and WCW, Wight has held 23 total championships. He was also the winner of WCW’s annual World War 3 60-man battle royal in 1996 and the 30-man André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31.

He has headlined many pay-per-view shows for WCW and the WWF/E since the mid-1990s, including the 2000 edition of WWE’s premier annual event, WrestleMania.[11] Along with Chris Jericho as Jeri-Show, he is a 2009 Tag Team of the Year Slammy Award winner.

Outside of professional wrestling, Wight has appeared in feature films and television series such as The Waterboy, Star Trek: Enterprise, and USA Network‘s comedy-drama Royal Pains and the action-drama Burn Notice. In 2010, he had his first lead role in the comedy film Knucklehead, which was produced by WWE Studios.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Wight was born in Aiken, South Carolina. After school, Wight worked various jobs including bouncing, bounty hunting, and answering phones. Through doing the latter for a karaoke company, he met Danny Bonaduce in a live microphone amateur contest on his morning radio show. Bonaduce introduced Wight to his friend Hulk Hogan. They had an informal basketball game, as part of a WCW promotion for an upcoming show at the Rosemont Horizon. Hogan liked how Wight worked the crowd, and recommended him to WCW Vice President Eric Bischoff. Wight went to the Horizon show, and was invited into the locker room, where he met Ric Flair, Arn Anderson (his boyhood hero), and a naked Paul Orndorff. He later met Bischoff there and came to a deal.[12]

Wight had earlier attempted to inquire about joining the WWF, also at the Horizon, during an autograph session. Promoter and scout Bob Collins turned him away after he admitted he had no experience. He paid Larry Sharpe‘s Monster Factory $5000, but due to Sharpe’s gout at the time, he was only very minimally trained (Johnny Polo taught him the collar-and-elbow lockup). While there, he made an audition tape and gave it to Mike Chioda, whom he had met in a Philadelphia bar. Chioda forwarded it to Pat Patterson, who did not bother watching it because he assumed Wight was another wrestler, Kurrgan. Only when he saw The Giant debut in WCW did Patterson realized his mistake, to Vince McMahon‘s displeasure.[12]

World Championship Wrestling (1995–1999)[edit]

In 1995, Wight signed with World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where he was billed as the son of Andre the Giant (although this was later changed) and accordingly used the ring name “The Giant” as a member of Kevin Sullivan‘s Dungeon of Doom stable. Wight made his professional debut at Halloween Havoc, defeating Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship via disqualification (thanks in part of Jimmy Hart interfering during the match), with the prematch stipulation being that the title could change hands on a disqualification; under normal circumstances, it cannot. A week later, however, The Giant was stripped of the title due to the controversial finish of the match.

The Giant attempted to reclaim the title at World War 3, but was foiled by Hogan, who helped Randy Savage win the vacant title.[13][14] The Giant teamed with Ric Flair to defeat Hogan and Savage at Clash of the Champions XXXII,[15] but was decisively beaten by Hogan in a cage match at SuperBrawl VI.[16][17] After a short feud with Loch Ness,[18][19] The Giant won the World Heavyweight Championship a second time by defeating Flair. After Hogan formed the New World Order (nWo), he defeated The Giant for the Championship at Hog Wild following interference from Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.[20][21] The Giant joined the nWo twenty-three days later, citing Ted DiBiase‘s money as his primary motivation, feuding with Lex Luger and the Four Horsemen. The Giant was thrown out of the nWo on December 30 for asking Hogan for a World Heavyweight Championship title match. He fought against the nWo along with Sting and Luger, winning the WCW World Tag Team Championship twice.

In 1997, The Giant began a feud with nWo member Nash, who constantly dodged Giant, failing to appear for their scheduled match at Starrcade. In 1998, at Souled Out, the two finally met in the ring, with Nash accidentally injuring Wight’s neck when he botched a Jackknife Powerbomb.[22][23] When Nash left the nWo and formed his own stable, the nWo Wolfpac, The Giant rejoined the original nWo to oppose Nash and his allies. While back with the nWo, The Giant won two more Tag Team Championships, once with Sting as an unwilling partner (as the match was signed before The Giant returned to the nWo) and once with Scott Hall. In the interim between those two reigns, he lost his half of the Tag Team Championship to Sting in a singles match where only the winner would remain champion and could choose a new partner.

On the October 11, 1998 episode of Nitro, Goldberg defeated The Giant in a no-disqualification match. In a show of strength, Goldberg executed a delayed vertical suplex before hitting the Jackhammer on The Giant.[24][25][26] After the nWo Hollywood and nWo Wolfpac stables merged again in January 1999, Hogan declared that there was only room for one “giant” in the group, forcing Giant and Nash to wrestle for that spot. Nash defeated Giant following a run-in by Scott Hall and Eric Bischoff. The Giant was then attacked by the entire nWo. On the “Building An Army” episode of the Monday Night War feature from the WWE Network, Wight stated that he was making 1/6th or 1/7th of what the main eventers were making and his salary was not increased after he requested it be by Eric Bischoff; as a result, Wight allowed his WCW contract to expire on February 8, 1999, his 27th birthday.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment[edit]

The Corporation (1999–2000)[edit]

Main article: The Corporation

Show entering the arena on the SmackDown entrance way in 1999.

Wight signed a ten-year contract with the World Wrestling Federation on February 9, 1999, debuting as a villainous member of Vince McMahon‘s stable, The Corporation, at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: In Your House. During the McMahon versus Steve Austin cage match, Wight tore through the canvas from underneath the ring and attacked Austin. However, Wight cost McMahon the match when he threw Austin into the side of the cage and the cage broke, spilling Austin outside to the floor and granting him the victory. Wight subsequently served as McMahon’s enforcer.

Wight performed as “Big Nasty” Paul Wight for several weeks before being renamed “The Big Show” Paul Wight. He then gradually dropped his real name, eventually being referred to simply as (The) Big Show. McMahon wanted to ensure Corporation member The Rock would retain his title at WrestleMania, so he had Wight wrestle Mankind at WrestleMania XV for the right to referee the main event. Wight incapacitated Mankind, but got disqualified in the process, meaning that he could not be referee. Mankind won the right to be the official but was taken to a hospital following the match with Wight (although he eventually returned during the Championship match). After a furious McMahon slapped Wight, he punched McMahon. Wight concluded his feud with Foley in a Boiler Room Brawl before turning face and joining Mankind, Test, and Ken Shamrock in a stable known as The Union who fought against the Corporation, and later against The Corporate Ministry. On the May 10 episode of Raw Is War, Show was pitted against The Undertaker‘s manager Paul Bearer. On the June 7 episode of Raw Is War, Big Show faced The Undertaker for the WWF Championship. Undertaker attempted a clothesline from the top turnbuckle, however Wight caught him and delivered a chokeslam, which sent Undertaker crashing through the ring mat; the referee was forced to stop the match so The Undertaker retained his title. Following the match Bradshaw, Faarooq, and Mideon all ran down to attack Big Show and were all subsequently chokeslammed as well. Big Show and The Undertaker later formed an unlikely alliance turning him heel again, wrestling against X-Pac and Kane. As a team, Show and The Undertaker won the WWF Tag Team Championship twice.

After The Undertaker was sidelined with injuries, Big Show began a feud with the Big Boss Man turning face again. After it was announced that Big Show’s father was terminally ill with cancer, the Boss Man had one of his crooked police colleagues inform Show that his father had died, and then mocked Show’s tearful reaction. Several weeks later, when it was announced Big Show’s father had actually died (in reality, Wight’s father had died years before), the Boss Man interrupted the ten-bell toll by reciting an offensive poem. Later, Boss Man invaded the funeral and used a chain to couple the coffin to the Blues Brothers Bluesmobile, towing the coffin away with a grief-stricken Big Show clinging on to it. Big Show then took on Big Boss Man, Prince Albert, Mideon and Viscera at Survivor Series in a 4-on-1 elimination match. He eventually won the match after Big Boss Man left the match and was counted out. Later that night, Wight took the injured Steve Austin’s place in the Triple Threat match for the WWF Championship. In that match, which also featured The Rock, he pinned Triple H to become WWF Champion. At Armageddon 1999, Show defeated Boss Man to retain his WWF Championship, despite interference by Prince Albert.[27]

On the January 3, 2000 episode of Raw Is War, Triple H defeated Show for the WWF Championship. Trying to regain the title, Wight participated in the Royal Rumble match where he antagonized The Rock, thus turning heel in the process. The Rock eliminated him to win the Royal Rumble. Wight was convinced that he had won, and eventually produced a video tape that showed The Rock’s feet striking the ground first. He was then given a match with The Rock at No Way Out, with the WrestleMania title shot on the line. Wight defeated The Rock when Shane McMahon interfered, knocking The Rock out with a chair shot. Rock was desperate to reclaim his title shot, and eventually agreed to a match with Wight on the March 13 episode of Raw Is War – if he won, the WrestleMania title match would become a Triple Threat match, and if he lost, he would retire from the WWF. Shane McMahon, now actively supporting Wight’s bid to become champion, appointed himself as the special guest referee. However, The Rock triumphed when Vince McMahon assaulted Shane and donned the referee shirt, personally making the three count following a Rock Bottom.

On the March 20 episode of Raw Is War, Triple H defended the title against The Rock and Wight on the condition that the match would not take place at WrestleMania, pinning Wight. Linda McMahon stated this match would not occur at WrestleMania as Triple H would defend the title there in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match, with Mick Foley as the fourth man. Wight was the first man eliminated from the match at WrestleMania 2000 after the other three competitors worked together against him.

Championship reigns (2000–2004)[edit]

Show competing for the Raw brand in 2002.

After WrestleMania, Big Show turned face and took on a comical gimmick where he began mimicking other wrestlers, lampooning Rikishi as Showkishi, The Berzerker as Shonan the Barbarian, and Val Venis as The Big Showbowski. He defeated Kurt Angle at Backlash dressed like his friend and role model Hulk Hogan as the Showster, complete with skullcap/wig and yellow tights. Show began feuding with Shane McMahon after Shane voiced his disapproval of Big Show’s antics. At Judgment Day 2000, Shane defeated Wight in a Falls Count Anywhere match following interference from Big Boss Man, Bull Buchanan, Test, and Albert.[28] Wight returned two months later, apparently intending to gain revenge on Shane. Instead, he attacked The Undertaker thus turning heel and siding with Shane once more, forming a short-lived stable known as “The Conspiracy” with Shane, Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, and Edge and Christian. After The Undertaker threw Show off a stage through a table, he was removed from WWF television for the remainder of the year. Big Show was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling, a WWF developmental territory, to lose weight and improve his cardiovascular fitness.[29]

Show returned at the 2001 Royal Rumble, but was eliminated by The Rock.[30] Angered by his quick elimination, Wight proceeded to chokeslam The Rock through the announcer’s table before leaving the arena. He then began competing for the WWF Hardcore Championship, which he lost to Kane in a Triple Threat match that also included Raven at WrestleMania X-Seven.[31]

Throughout The Invasion, Big Show reverted to being a face and remained loyal to the WWF. He faced Shane McMahon, the on-screen owner of WCW, in a Last Man Standing match at Backlash and was defeated following interference from Test. Following an unscripted backstage interview, Big Show burst into tears and fled from the arena.[32] Show was also part of the victorious Team WWF at Survivor Series, though he was the first man eliminated.[33]

Shortly after WrestleMania X8, Big Show turned heel when he chokeslammed Stone Cold during a tag team match against X-Pac and Scott Hall, joining the nWo in the process. At Judgment Day, Big Show and Ric Flair were defeated by Austin in a Handicap match. The stable disbanded after Kevin Nash was injured. After the nWo disbanded, Show achieved little success on Raw after losing matches against Jeff Hardy, Booker T, and the Dudley Boyz.

In late 2002, Big Show was traded to SmackDown!, immediately challenging Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. During this time, Big Show adopted a new attire, donning black jeans and taking on a new hairstyle and facial hair. Big Show became a two-time WWE Champion defeating Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series, ending Lesnar’s undefeated streak with help from Paul Heyman. He lost the title to Kurt Angle a month later at Armageddon. At the Royal Rumble, Big Show lost a Royal Rumble qualifying match to Lesnar. He then began feuding with The Undertaker, after Big Show threw him off the stage, injuring his neck, leading to Big Show and his partner A-Train losing to The Undertaker at WrestleMania XIX. He renewed his feud with Lesnar, wrestling him four times for the WWE title (including a Stretcher match at Judgment Day), but was unsuccessful in his attempt to regain the title. On the June 12, 2003 episode of SmackDown!, Lesnar superplexed Big Show off the ropes and the ring imploded, two ring posts moved and three rows of ropes came down. The referee called for EMTs, medics, trainers, and even more referees. This kept the title in Lesnar’s hands and both went to the hospital. On the June 26, 2003 episode of SmackDown!, Big Show, Shelton Benjamin, and Charlie Haas defeated Mr. America (a disguised Hulk Hogan), Brock Lesnar, and Kurt Angle in a six-man tag team match when Show pinned Mr. America. This was Hulk Hogan’s last appearance as Mr. America. For several months afterwards, WWE hyped up Big Show as the man who retired Hogan. At No Mercy, Big Show defeated Eddie Guerrero for the United States Championship and then formed an alliance with the then WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. He was eliminated by Chris Benoit at the Royal Rumble in 2004.

Big Show abandoned a departing Lesnar immediately before WrestleMania XX. At the pay-per-view, Big Show lost the United States Championship to John Cena. On the April 15, 2004 episode of SmackDown!, Big Show promised to quit if he failed to defeat Eddie Guerrero that night.[34] He lost to Guerrero after Guerrero performed a Frog Splash, and, believing that Torrie Wilson had laughed at him for losing, upended her car and threatened to throw her off a ledge.[34] Then General Manager of SmackDown! Kurt Angle ascended the ledge to try to talk some reason into Big Show, but he chokeslammed Angle off the ledge, kayfabe concussing him and breaking his leg, as well as causing the back of Angle’s head to bleed.[34] After the show, Big Show was neither seen nor heard from on WWE television for months.

Brand switches and various feuds (2004–2005)[edit]

Show at Tribute to the Troops in 2004.

In mid-2004, Big Show was reinstated by new General Manager Theodore Long, as he interfered during a Lumberjack match between Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle. Big Show had a choice to face either Guerrero or Angle at No Mercy, choosing to fight Angle, turning him face. Big Show defeated Angle at the event.[35] In the weeks before the match, He claimed to have “lost his dignity” when Angle tranquilized him in the middle of the ring using a dart gun and shaved his head. At No Way Out he fought John “Bradshaw” Layfield (JBL) for the WWE Championship in the first ever Barbed Wire Cage match. He choke slammed JBL through the ring and busted the lock on the door. But JBL had crawled from under the canvas and won. Show beat down JBL and The Cabinet interfered and beat Show down, Dave Batista interfered and beat down The Cabinet, and John Cena beat on JBL as he crawled away.

On April 3, 2005 at WrestleMania 21, Big Show faced Sumo Grand Champion Akebono in a worked sumo match;[36] the match was added to the show to attract a strong pay-per-view audience in Japan, where Akebono is considered a sporting legend. In the weeks preceding the match, Big Show pushed over a jeep driven to the ring by Luther Reigns to show that he was capable of moving the marginally heavier Akebono. Big Show lost to Akebono at WrestleMania 21.[36] Big Show subsequently feuded with Carlito Caribbean Cool and his bodyguard, Matt Morgan.[37]

On June 27, Big Show was drafted back to Raw in the 2005 WWE Draft Lottery;[38] preventing him from participating in a scheduled Six-Man Elimination match for the SmackDown! Championship. He successfully pinned Gene Snitsky in a Tag Team match, which turned into a singles match when both men’s partners brawled backstage. After squashing his scheduled opponents for several weeks, Wight returned to his rivalry with Snitsky. On August 22, he foiled Snitsky’s harassment of backstage interviewer Maria.[39] On August 29, Snitsky hit Big Show with the ring bell immediately after Big Show had won a match.[40] As a result, Big Show and Snitsky were placed in a match at Unforgiven, in which Big Show defeated Snitsky.[41] On September 26, Big Show defeated Snitsky again in a Street Fight.[42]

Teaming and feuding with Kane (2005–2006)[edit]

Main article: Big Show and Kane

On October 17, Big Show defeated Edge and was thus entered in an online opinion poll, with the winner of the poll facing John Cena and Kurt Angle in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship at Taboo Tuesday 2005.[43] The poll was won by Shawn Michaels, meaning that the other two options would wrestle for the World Tag Team Championships.[44] Big Show teamed with Kane to defeat Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch for the Tag Team Championships.[45]

In the weeks preceding Survivor Series 2005, Big Show became involved in the rivalry between the Raw and SmackDown! brands. Big Show and Kane invaded the November 11 episode of SmackDown! and, along with Edge, attacked Batista (inadvertently injuring him in the process).[46] On the November 14 episode of Raw, Big Show and Kane defeated SmackDown! wrestlers and reigning WWE Tag Team Champions MNM in an inter-brand, non-title match.[47] On November 21, Big Show and Kane “injured” Batista by delivering a double chokeslam onto the windshield of a car.[48] At Survivor Series, Show, Kane, Carlito, Chris Masters, and team captain Shawn Michaels represented Raw in a match with Team SmackDown!: JBL, Rey Mysterio, Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton, and Batista.[49] Team SmackDown! won the match, with Orton being the sole survivor.[49] On the November 29 episode of SmackDown!, Big Show wrestled Rey Mysterio in an inter-brand promotional match, however, Kane interfered, resulting in the match being declared a no-contest.[50] Following the match, Big Show and Kane attacked Mysterio until The Undertaker chased them from the ring.[50] Big Show and Kane returned to SmackDown! on December 2, defeating Mysterio and JBL after JBL abandoned the match, claiming the referee had poked him in the eye.[51] Following the match, Big Show and Kane’s attempt to assault Mysterio was once again foiled, this time when Batista ran in to see them off.[51] As a result, on the December 16 episode of SmackDown!, Big Show and Kane were booked to face Batista and Mysterio, the Smackdown Tag Team Champions, at Armageddon 2005.[52] They won the match, which pitted the Tag Team Champions from each brand against one another.[53]

On the December 12 episode of Raw, Big Show took part in a qualifying match for a shot at the WWE Championship in an Elimination Chamber match at New Year’s Revolution 2006.[54] Big Show lost to his opponent, Shawn Michaels, by disqualification after Triple H hit Michaels with a steel chair, intentionally costing Big Show the match and the title shot.[54] In retaliation, Wight cost Triple H his qualifying match with Kane later that evening.[54] On the December 26 episode of Raw, during the contract-signing for the announced match between Big Show and Triple H at New Year’s Revolution, Triple H struck Big Show in the hand that Big Show apparently favors when using the chokeslam with his sledgehammer.[55] The following week, Big Show attacked Triple H while wearing a cast on his hand, using the padding provided by the cast to punch a hole in a chair held by Triple H, destroying a monitor from the announcers’ table that Triple H intended to throw at him, and chasing Triple H away from the ring.[56] At New Year’s Revolution, Triple H defeated Wight after striking him in the head with his sledgehammer.[57]

Subsequently, Big Show was one of eight participants in the 2006 Road to WrestleMania Tournament, the winner of which would receive a shot at the WWE Championship.[58] On the February 13 episode of Raw, Big Show faced Triple H in the tournament semi-finals in a match that ended in a double count-out.[59] As a result, Big Show and Triple H faced Rob Van Dam (the winner of the opposing semi-finals) in a Triple Threat match to determine the winner of the tournament on the February 20 episode of Raw.[60] The match was won by Triple H after he pinned RVD.[60]

In the weeks following the tournament, Big Show and Kane feuded with Chris Masters and Carlito, leading to a World Tag Team Championship title match being scheduled for WrestleMania 22.[61][62] Wight and Kane defeated Carlito and Masters, marking Big Show’s first victory at WrestleMania after suffering six defeats.[63] On the following evening, Big Show and Kane lost the World Tag Team Championship to Spirit Squad members Kenny and Mikey following copious interference from the other members of the Spirit Squad.[64][65] They faced Spirit Squad members Johnny and Nicky in a rematch one week later, but lost via disqualification after Kane “snapped” and left the ring to attack the other members of the Spirit Squad.[66] The ensuing feud between Kane and Big Show culminated in a match at Backlash 2006 that ended in a ruling of no-contest.[67]

ECW World Champion and departure (2006–2007)[edit]

Big Show as the ECW World Champion.

At WWE vs. ECW Head to Head on June 7, Big Show was drafted to the newly debuted ECW brand; he removed his Raw shirt to reveal an ECW shirt during a twenty-man battle royal including members of the Raw and SmackDown rosters against members of the ECW roster.[68] Big Show won the match for ECW by eliminating Randy Orton.[68] Big Show then appeared at One Night Stand, attacking Tajiri, Super Crazy, and The Full Blooded Italians after their tag team match turning him heel again.[69]

On the July 4 episode of ECW on Sci Fi, Big Show beat Van Dam to win the ECW World Heavyweight Championship on an ECW show in Philadelphia with the assistance of ECW’s General Manager Paul Heyman, who declined to make the three-count for Van Dam after Van Dam hit his finisher the Five Star Frog Splash on the Big Show.[70][71] Heyman then instructed Big Show to chokeslam Van Dam onto a steel chair, before making the three-count.[70] The fans almost rioted when Big Show became the ECW World Champion, throwing drinks and empty cups into the ring, as Heyman and Big Show celebrated.[72] The victory made him the first ever professional wrestler to hold the WWE Championship, WCW World Heavyweight Championship, and ECW World Heavyweight Championship.[73] He is also the first non ECW Original to hold the ECW title. Over the next several weeks, Wight defeated many other wrestlers from other brands, such as Ric Flair and Kane to retain his championship but lost to Batista and The Undertaker by disqualification.[73][74][75] He lost to the Undertaker, however, at The Great American Bash in the first ever Punjabi Prison match;[76] he was a substitute for The Great Khali, who was removed by SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long and replaced with Big Show as punishment for an attack on The Undertaker shortly before the match.[76] He also had a brief feud with Sabu, whom he defeated at SummerSlam.[74][75][77]

At Cyber Sunday, Show faced John Cena and King Booker in a Champion of Champions match.[78] The fans voted for King Booker’s World Heavyweight Championship to be on the line.[78] Booker won the match following interference from Kevin Federline, who was just beginning a feud with Cena at the time.[78] At Survivor Series, Cena wrestled Big Show in a traditional 10-man Survivor Series tag team match, with Cena and Bobby Lashley leaving as the sole survivors of the match after Cena pinned Big Show to claim the victory due to a double team with Lashley.[79] Big Show then began a feud with Lashley, who left SmackDown! to join the ECW brand to participate in the Extreme Elimination Chamber match at December to Dismember for the ECW Championship.[80] After busting Big Show open by breaking one of the plexiglass pods with his face, Lashley speared and pinned him to claim the ECW Championship. On December 6, 2006 following an unsuccessful rematch, WWE.com announced that Big Show was taking time off from the ring to heal injuries he had sustained on ECW.[81] After December to Dismember, Big Show told the WWE and he said “I’m a raw boned bastard that breaks things and moves the immovable objects. When I’m injured, I can’t do those things”, Big Show told the official WWE website. “I’m much more valuable healthy both mentally and physically, and this hiatus will help me to get there”. After a two-month inactivity, WWE announced that Wight’s WWE contract had expired on February 8, 2007.

PMG Clash of Legends (2007)[edit]

After a two-month departure from WWE, Wight replaced Jerry Lawler when the WWE withdrew him from a match with former nWo partner Hulk Hogan at the PMG Clash of Legends on April 27, 2007. Wight was introduced as Paul “The Great” Wight. He stated that “Big Show” was his slave name and that he didn’t want to be owned anymore.[82] Hogan won the match after he picked him up and bodyslammed Wight and pinned him following the leg drop

Return to WWE[edit]

Various feuds and Unified WWE Tag Team Champion (2008–2010)[edit]

See also: Jeri-Show and ShoMiz

Big Show arguing with referee Scott Armstrong.

A noticeably slimmer Wight returned to WWE under his last used ring name Big Show, at No Way Out on February 17, stating that he had lost 108 pounds, when he took time off from injuries since December 2006. Wight then appeared to be a heel again by attempting to attack Rey Mysterio after his World Heavyweight Championship match with then champion Edge but got into a physical confrontation with boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. after Mayweather came from the crowd to challenge Big Show. The confrontation ended with Mayweather breaking Wight’s nose with a punching combination.[83] Big Show was then assigned to the SmackDown brand.[84]

However, as the feud progressed, the crowd had been siding with Big Show more, so the roles had been changed and Mayweather ended up using heel tactics whereas Big Show turned face. Show lost to Mayweather at WrestleMania XXIV via knockout after a shot to the jaw with brass knuckles.[85] On March 31, Big Show engaged in a feud with The Great Khali, concluding at Backlash, where Big Show defeated Khali pinning him after executing a chokeslam.[86]

At One Night Stand, Show defeated CM Punk, John Morrison, Chavo Guerrero, and Tommy Dreamer in a Singapore Cane match. During the bout, he received a black eye and deep gash along the eyebrow, which required stitches after John Morrison swung a Singapore cane to his knee, which caused Show to fall with the steps. As he fell, the steps accidentally moved to the right, which hit Show in the eye. The win gave him contention[87] to face Kane and Mark Henry at Night of Champions for the ECW Championship, which Henry won by pinfall.[88]

Big Show sided with Vickie Guerrero in her ongoing feud with The Undertaker by attacking him at Unforgiven turning heel again the process and later interfering in many of Undertaker’s matches on SmackDown, most notably against Triple H, Jeff Hardy, Chavo Guerrero, and The Great Khali. He went on to defeat Undertaker by knockout at No Mercy. However, Show lost to him in a fan voted Last Man Standing match at Cyber Sunday and a Casket Match at Survivor Series. Show then lost a Steel Cage match against The Undertaker on SmackDown, ending the feud. At No Way Out, Show wrestled in the Elimination Chamber for the WWE Championship, but lost after being the third person eliminated by Triple H.[89] In March, it was revealed by John Cena that the Big Show was having secret relations with Vickie Guerrero. At WrestleMania XXV, Show was involved in a Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship featuring champion Edge and John Cena. Once again, he was unsuccessful as Cena won.[90]

On April 13, Big Show was drafted to the Raw brand as a part of the 2009 WWE Draft.[91] At Backlash, Big Show interfered in a Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship between Cena and Edge when he threw Cena into a spotlight, thus resulting in Edge winning the title and Cena being seriously injured.[92] He continued to feud with John Cena, losing to him at Judgment Day by pinfall and at Extreme Rules by submission by Cena’s submission known as the STF,[93][94] before defeating Cena on the June 22 episode of Raw to end the feud.[95]

Big Show and Chris Jericho as the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions, forming an alliance known as JeriShow.

In the weeks prior to Night of Champions, Big Show constantly attacked U.S. Champion Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne among others. He then feuded with Kingston over the U.S. Title and earned himself a spot in the six-pack challenge at Night of Champions. At the event, Big Show was announced as Chris Jericho‘s new tag team partner due to Edge needing time off to tend to an injury, thus taking Show out of the six-pack challenge for the U.S. Title. Together, Jeri-Show were able to successfully defend the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship against The Legacy.[96] Jeri-Show successfully defended the title against Cryme Tyme at SummerSlam, MVP and Mark Henry at Breaking Point and Rey Mysterio and Batista at Hell in a Cell.[97][98][99] At Bragging Rights, Big Show represented Team Raw, but he betrayed and attacked his team-mates, which led to Team SmackDown winning, so that he could receive an opportunity at the World Heavyweight Championship.[100] Big Show received his title shot at Survivor Series in a triple threat match against The Undertaker and Jericho, but the Undertaker successfully retained his title.[101]

The 140 day reign of Jeri-Show as Unified Tag Team Champions came to an end at the TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view at the hands of D-Generation X (DX).[102] As a member of the SmackDown roster, Jericho could only appear on Raw as a champion and so DX intentionally disqualified themselves in a rematch to force Jericho off the show.[103] Eventually the teams had a match with a definitive finish, though DX still won, signalling the end of Jeri-Show.[104]

On the February 8 episode of Raw, Show regained the title from DX with his new tag team partner The Miz in a Triple Threat Tag Team Elimination match, which also included the Straight Edge Society (CM Punk and Luke Gallows).[105] On February 16, he and Miz successfully defended the title against Yoshi Tatsu and Goldust on the final episode of ECW.[106] On the March 1 episode of Raw, Show and Miz defeated DX in their rematch.[107] At WrestleMania XXVI, Show and Miz defeated John Morrison and R-Truth to retain the title again.[108] At Extreme Rules ShoMiz was in a tag team gauntlet match where the team that beat them would get a title match the next night on Raw. ShoMiz beat the first two teams in the gauntlet match, John Morrison and R-Truth, then MVP and Mark Henry. They then lost to The Hart Dynasty, who earned the title shot.[109] On the April 26, 2010 episode of Raw, Show and Miz lost the Unified Tag Team Titles to The Hart Dynasty.

Reunion with Kane (2010–2011)[edit]

After the title loss, he hit The Miz with a knockout punch and hugged Teddy Long, and turned face in the process for the first time since 2008.[110] Later on in the night as part of the 2010 WWE Draft, Big Show was drafted back to the SmackDown brand.[111]

He returned to the brand on the April 30 episode of SmackDown, and was subsequently named the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, later on in the night he interrupted World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger as he was giving his “State of Championship Address” and knocked him out with his signature punch. On the May 7 episode of SmackDown, Big Show sat ringside during the Swagger/Kane main event. After Swagger was disqualified, Show chokeslammed him through the announce table.[112] He also crashed Swagger’s achievement celebration and cost him his match with Kofi Kingston in the next week. Big Show defeated Jack Swagger via disqualification at Over The Limit.[113] On the May 27 episode of Smackdown, General Manager Thedore Long announced that qualifying matches were going to take place that night for the World Heavyweight Championship match at WWE Fatal 4-Way. Long then announced due to Jack Swagger losing his match with Big Show via disqualification at Over the Limit, Big Show qualified automatically, but was unsuccessful in this attempt.[114] At WWE Fatal 4-Way he faced Rey Mysterio, CM Punk and Swagger for the World Heavyweight Title, but Mysterio won the title. The following night, Swagger debuted his new finishing move The Ankle Lock applied the submission move on Big Show, thus injuring his ankle and continuing their feud. Two weeks later on Smackdown, Big Show saved Rey Mysterio, whose ankle was injured by the same move, from Swagger. Later that night, Big Show fought Swagger to a double count-out. Soon he began a feud with CM Punk and his Straight Edge Society, confronting him the Friday night before the Money in the Bank event, and unmasking him to reveal his bald head. After failing to win the ladder match for the Money in the Bank contract,[115] he fought the mysterious masked member of the SES, also unmasking him as Joey Mercury. Show’s feud with the Straight Edge Society continued after he defeated them in a 3 on 1 Handicap match at SummerSlam[116] and CM Punk at Night of Champions.[117] Big Show was announced as Team SmackDown’s captain for Bragging Rights on the October 8 episode of SmackDown. At the event, Big Show was counted out with Sheamus during the match but his team ultimately won with Edge and Rey Mysterio left on the team.[118] He was on Rey Mysterio’s team for Survivor Series where he was a survivor along with Mysterio.[119] The following episode of SmackDown, he was unsuccessful in qualifying for King of the Ring as he was defeated by Alberto Del Rio by count-out thanks to interference by his personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez.

Show at Tribute to Troops in 2010.

On the January 7, 2011 episode of SmackDown, Big Show participated in a Fatal 4-Way match to determine the #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. He lost due to interference by former Nexus leader Wade Barrett. The next week, Show faced Barrett, and won via DQ, when former Nexus members Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel attacked him. Moments later Ezekiel Jackson appeared to help him, but instead attacked Big Show. The next week, Barrett, Slater, Gabriel and Jackson informed that they had formed the Corre. In the following weeks, the Corre continued to assault Show, due to the size and power of Ezekiel Jackson. At Elimination Chamber, Show participated in the Elimination Chamber match, eliminating Wade Barrett before eliminated by Kane.[120] Big Show feuded with The Corre in the following weeks.

On the March 4 episode of SmackDown, Big Show faced Kane in a confrontation until the Corre interfered on Kane’s behalf.[121] However, a miscommunication led to Kane turning on the Corre. Big Show and Kane thus reunited to take on the Corre. At WrestleMania XXVII, Big Show and Kane teamed with Santino Marella and Kofi Kingston to beat The Corre.[122] On the April 22 episode of SmackDown, the duo defeated Corre members Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater to win the WWE Tag Team Championship, their second championship win as a team.[123] Big Show was drafted to Raw as a part of the 2011 WWE Draft. He and Kane then started feuding with the New Nexus. After defending the titles against Wade Barrett and Ezekiel Jackson at Extreme Rules[124] and CM Punk and Mason Ryan at Over the Limit,[125] Kane and Big Show lost their titles to Michael McGilligutty and David Otunga on the following day on Raw.[126] After losing the titles, Show was run over by Alberto Del Rio’s car, driven by his ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez, and was sidelined with an injury for almost a month. He returned during a match between Kane and Del Rio, attacking both Del Rio and Rodriguez.[127]

Show then began feuding with Mark Henry after he attacked and injured him on the June 17 episode of SmackDown, as Big Show’s frustrations and anger towards Del Rio was redirected unintentionally to Mark Henry. Henry retaliated by attacking Big Show during his match at Capitol Punishment and hitting him with the World Strongest Slam through the announce table, thus costing Show his match against Del Rio.[128] Henry did the same thing on Kane through the announce table the next day on Raw after their arm wrestling match, and again on the June 27 episode. Henry then broke the cage door during the steel cage match between Big Show and Alberto Del Rio, allowing Del Rio to escape. He then attacked Show with the cage door, breaking the cage viciously. On July 17, 2011 at Money in the Bank, Henry defeated Big Show. After the match, Henry fractured Show’s fibula, keeping him out of action for almost three months.[129]

Championship pursuits and various feuds (2011–2013)[edit]

On the October 7 episode of SmackDown, Show returned and became number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship after he attacked Mark Henry and chokeslammed him through the announcer table.[130] At Vengeance Big Show fought Henry to a no contest after the ring collapsed following a superplex from Henry, similar to his match with Brock Lesnar in 2003. This time less damage was done, and the damage mainly occurred around the lower right hand ring post. Show ended up being taken out on a motorized cart with a flatbed. Show faced Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship once again at Survivor Series winning via disqualification when Henry hit Show with a low blow, afterwards he leg dropped a steel chair on Henry’s leg, much like what Henry did to Show months before.[131]

Show after winning the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania XXVIII.

On December 18 at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Big Show finally defeated Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Chairs Match. Afterwards, Henry knocked Big Show out with a DDT onto a steel chair and Daniel Bryan immediately cashed his Money in the Bank contract on Big Show to win the title. This gave Show the shortest-ever World Heavyweight Championship reign, 45 seconds.[132] Show challenged Bryan for his world title on the January 6, 2012 episode of SmackDown, but Bryan retained his title by disqualification when he goaded Mark Henry into attacking him.[133] The following week on SmackDown, Show received a rematch for the title contested under no disqualification, no count-out rules. Bryan again retained his title as the rematch ended in a no contest after Show accidentally crashed into AJ (Bryan’s storyline girlfriend) at ringside, injuring her.[134] At the 2012 Royal Rumble event, Show faced Bryan and Henry in a triple threat steel cage match for the world title, but Bryan escaped the steel cage to retain his title.[135] At the Elimination Chamber event, Show failed again to capture the World Heavyweight Championship after he was eliminated second by Cody Rhodes.[136]

In the following weeks, Show began a feud with Rhodes after Rhodes highlighted Show’s embarrassing moments in previous WrestleManias, often costing Show to lose matches in the process.[137] At WrestleMania XXVIII, Big Show defeated Rhodes to win the Intercontinental Championship. With this, Big Show became the twenty-fourth wrestler to win the Triple Crown Championship and the thirteenth Grand Slam Champion in the WWE.[138] Show then began highlighting embarrassing moments in Rhodes’ career.[139][140] After a four-week reign, Show lost the title back to Rhodes at Extreme Rules in a Tables match.[141] Show received his rematch on the May 7 episode of Raw SuperShow, where he defeated Rhodes via countout after he walked out on the match.[142]

After a series of confrontations with General Manager John Laurinaitis, he was fired by Laurinaitis for making fun of his voice on the May 14 episode of Raw.[143] Big Show returned on May 20 at Over the Limit, seemingly to help John Cena in his match against John Laurinaitis; instead, he knocked Cena out with a WMD and allowed Laurinaitis to win the match by pinfall, and turning heel in the process for the second time since 2010.[144] The following night on Raw, Big Show explained that his actions were of necessity to keep his job in the WWE, therefore resulting in Laurinaitis re-signing him to an “ironclad contract with a big fat bonus”, also stating that nobody showed him any sympathy when he got fired.[145] Over the next few weeks, he attacked Cena, Brodus Clay, Alex Riley, R-Truth, Santino Marella, Zack Ryder, and Kofi Kingston because of the terms of his contract. On the June 21 episode of Raw, he accidentally knocked out Vince McMahon after McMahon announced Laurinatis would be fired if Show lost to Cena at No Way Out in a steel cage. Show went on to lose that match and as per stipulation, Laurinaitis was fired.[146] At Money in the Bank, Show faced Cena, Kane, Chris Jericho, and The Miz in the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, but was unsuccessful as the match was won by Cena.[147] On July 23 at Raw 1000, Big Show attacked Cena during his WWE Championship match against CM Punk causing a disqualification.[148][149] He continued the attack on Cena until The Rock made the save.[150] The following week on Raw, a WWE Championship number one contenders match between Show and Cena ended in a no contest due to interference from Punk. Following this, both Show and Cena were entered in the championship match at SummerSlam by Raw General Manager AJ Lee[151] At the event, however, Show would be unsuccessful in winning the championship as Punk would go on to retain the title.[152]

Show returned on the September 24 episode of Raw, attacking Brodus Clay and Tensai during their match.[153] Four days later on SmackDown, Big Show defeated Randy Orton to become the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship.[154] Show received his title opportunity on October 28 at Hell in a Cell, where he defeated Sheamus to win the World Heavyweight Championship for the second time.[155] On November 18 at Survivor Series, Show lost a title rematch to Sheamus via disqualification, and retaining the World Heavyweight Championship as a result. After the match, Sheamus attacked Show and repeatedly hit him with a steel chair.[156] This led to a Chairs match on December 16 at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, where Big Show defeated Sheamus to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.[157] On the December 24 episode of Raw, Show was defeated by Sheamus in a non-title lumberjack match.[158] On the December 28 episode of SmackDown, Show defended his title against Alberto Del Rio, however, the match ended in a no contest after Sheamus interfered and attacked Show.[159] Three days later on Raw, Show defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Del Rio’s ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez and defeated him via disqualification after Del Rio attacked Show from behind.[160] On January 8, 2013, at the tapings of the January 11 episode of SmackDown, Show lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Del Rio in a Last Man Standing match, ending his reign at 72 days.[161] Show received his rematch for the title in another Last Man Standing match on January 27 at the Royal Rumble, but was again defeated by Del Rio when Rodriguez used duct tape to stop Show from getting up.[162] After Show repeatedly attacked Del Rio and Rodriguez, Del Rio defeated Show via submission on February 17 at Elimination Chamber to again retain his title.[163]

On the March 1 episode of SmackDown, Big Show knocked out Roman Reigns of The Shield with the KO Punch after Reigns was shoved into him during an attack on Randy Orton and Sheamus.[164] After the March 4 episode of Raw went off-air, Show was attacked by the Shield.[165][166] Four days later on SmackDown, Show again assisted Sheamus and Orton in warding off The Shield, though he hit Sheamus with a KO Punch and was hit with an RKO by Orton in return.[166] On the March 11 episode of Raw, Show defeated Shield member Seth Rollins via disqualification after the rest of The Shield interfered.[167] Orton and Sheamus were then allowed to pick a third partner to face the Shield in a six-man tag team match at WrestleMania 29 and originally chose Ryback.[168] However, on the March 18 episode of Raw, Ryback was booked in another match at the event, leaving the spot open. Later that night, Big Show saved the two from an attack by The Shield and was immediately recruited as their partner.[169][170] On April 7 at WrestleMania 29, Show, Orton and Sheamus were defeated by The Shield, after which, Show knocked out both of his teammates.[171] The following night on Raw, Orton and Sheamus faced off in a match to earn a match with Big Show, however, the match ended in a no contest after Show interfered.[172] Show was then defeated by Orton and Sheamus in two handicap matches, first on the April 12 episode of SmackDown via count-out, and second on the April 15 episode of Raw via pinfall.[173][174] On the April 19 episode of SmackDown, Show teamed up with old rival Mark Henry to defeat Orton and Sheamus in a tag team match, with Show pinning Orton for the win.[175] The feud between Big Show and Orton led to an Extreme Rules Match on May 19 at Extreme Rules, which Show lost.[176]

Storyline with The Authority (2013–2015)[edit]

After a three-month hiatus, Big Show returned to WWE on August 11 at a house show in Oakland, California.[177][178] Show made his televised return on the following night on the August 12 episode of Raw, and helping Mark Henry and Rob Van Dam from an attack by The Shield, and turning face in the process for the first time since 2012.[179] Four days later on SmackDown, Show, Henry, and Van Dam defeated the Shield in a six-man tag team match.[180]

On the following episode of Raw, as a result of speaking out against COO Triple H, Show was placed into a three-on-one handicap tornado tag team match against The Shield, which Show lost.[181] Additional punishment followed with Show being forced to sit ringside and watch his friends being attacked by the Shield and Randy Orton at the risk of being fired.[182] Following this, The Authority (Triple H and Stephanie McMahon) claimed Show was broke,[183] and in order to save his job, forced him to knock out his friends including Daniel Bryan, Dusty Rhodes, and The Miz.[184][185][186] When Show attempted to revolt on the September 30 episode of Raw, he was almost arrested for threatening to knock out Triple H but Stephanie McMahon would come to his aid and insult him afterwards.[187] At Battleground, Big Show interfered in the WWE title match between Bryan and Orton and knocked out both of them sending a message to Triple H and the Shield as well. During November 2013, Show started a feud with WWE Champion Orton, who was part of the Authority, but failed to win the title at Survivor Series.

At TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Show teamed with Rey Mysterio to unsuccessfully challenge Cody Rhodes and Goldust for the WWE Tag Team Championship in a four-way match, also involving RybAxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel), and The Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger). On the January 6 episode of Raw, Show confronted Brock Lesnar after Lesnar attacked Mark Henry. There was a short physical confrontation between the two, starting a feud which was settled at Royal Rumble where Show lost to Lesnar after being brutally assaulted with numerous steel chairs before the match started. Big Show participated in the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX, being the last person eliminated by winner Cesaro. On July 26, 2014, Big Show made his return at a live event, defeating Cesaro.[188]

Big Show with the 2015 Andre the Giant Memorial trophy.

He made his television return on the August 8 episode of SmackDown, teaming with Mark Henry to defeat RybAxel. On the September 26 episode of Smackdown, Show started a feud with Rusev when he defeated Rusev by disqualification.[189] At Hell in a Cell, he was defeated by Rusev via submission. The following night on Raw, Henry turned on Show and attacked him, during their match with the WWE Tag Team Champions Gold and Stardust.[190] On the November 3 episode of Raw, he defeated Henry via disqualification when he was slammed onto the steel steps by Henry.[191] At Survivor Series, as part of Team Cena, Big Show turned on and attacked Cena, causing his elimination. He then shook hands with Triple H, and left, intentionally getting himself counted out, and turning heel in the process for the first time since 2013. The following night on the November 24 episode of Raw, Big Show explained his actions, stating he has a family to care for and the Authority had created issues for him in the past, thus he had to make that tough decision. He was then confronted by Erick Rowan who referred to him as a bully, igniting a feud for turning his back on the team. Big Show faced Rowan in a first ever Steel Stairs match at Tables, Ladders, and Chairs, which he won. Later in the event, Show would interfere in the closing match to attack John Cena during his match with fellow Authority member Seth Rollins, but Show and Rollins were attacked by Roman Reigns, leading to Cena winning the match.[192] This started a feud between Show and Reigns, which resulted in Reigns defeating Show multiple times by count-out and disqualification. On January 25, 2015, at the Royal Rumble, Big Show entered the Rumble match at #29, eliminating five superstars before being eliminated by Reigns who would win the match. At Fastlane, The Authority (Big Show, Seth Rollins and Kane) defeated Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback when Kane pinned Ziggler. Big Show won the 2nd Annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31.[193] Show would later reignite his feud with Roman Reigns after attacking him during his triple threat match against Ryback and Randy Orton on the April 6th episode of Raw and chokeslamming him on a taxi cab on the April 12th episode of Raw.[194] However, Show would lose to Reigns in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules.[195]

Pursuit of the Intercontinental Championship (2015–present)[edit]

After a brief hiatus, Big Show returned on the June 1 episode of Raw, he would knock out The Miz and confront Ryback, beginning a feud with for the Intercontinental Championship. By this time, Show quietly distanced himself from The Authority, but remained loyal to the group. At Money in the Bank, Show was unsuccessful in winning the title when Miz interfered and attacked Show for a disqualification victory. It was later announced that Show would face Ryback and Miz at Battleground in a triple threat match for the title, but due to Ryback’s recent knee injury, the match was cancelled. On August 6, it was announced that the original planned triple threat title match between Show, Ryback and Miz was rescheduled for SummerSlam. At the pay-per-view, Show lost after Ryback pinned Miz.

Other media[edit]

Wight posing with a fan in 1999.

Big Show has been featured in infomercials for Stacker 2 with former NASCAR drivers Kenny Wallace and Scott Wimmer, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Elliott Sadler, retired crew chief turned Fox Sports broadcaster Jeff Hammond, and 2002, 2005, and 2011 Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart. In addition, Wight made a cameo appearance on the “Thong Song” remix music video by Sisqó and Foxy Brown. Wight was featured on the game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, winning $15,000 for his chosen charity, United Service Organizations. He is the only contestant to appear on two versions of the game show in two different countries.

On March 31, 2012, Big Show won the first ever Slime Wrestling World Championship at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, defeating The Miz after throwing him into a tub of slime. Big Show also appeared in a Vine with Cameron Dallas, which generated over 12 million loops.[196]

Filmography[edit]

  • Reggie’s Prayer (1996) as “Mr. Portola”
  • Jingle All the Way (1996) as “Huge Santa”
  • McCinsey’s Island (1998) as “Little Snow Flake”
  • The Waterboy (1998) as “Captain Insano”
  • Little Hercules in 3-D (2006) as “Marduk”
  • MacGruber (2010) as “Brick Hughes”
  • Knucklehead (2010) as “Walter Krunk”
  • Vendetta (2015) as Victor Abbott

Television appearances[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Like André the Giant, Wight used to have acromegaly, a disease of the endocrine system.[198] By the age of twelve, Wight was 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) tall, weighed 220 lb (100 kg), and had chest hair. In 1991, as a member of the Wichita State University basketball team at age nineteen, Wight was listed at 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m).[199] He underwent successful surgery in the early 1990s on his pituitary gland, which halted the progress of this condition. His shoe size is 18,[200] his ring size is 22, and his chest is 64 inches (160 cm) in circumference. In 2005, Wight leased a bus and hired a bus driver because of the practical problems his size presents to air travel and car rental.[201][202]

Wight played basketball and American football in high school at Wyman King Academy in Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina. He was a standout center for the basketball team and a tight end for the football team. He quit football after his freshman year, because of disputes with the coach. He continued to support the team by joining the cheerleading squad as a sophomore, partly from spite. He later called it “the greatest experience of my life… everybody else was riding a bus with sweaty equipment and I’m in a van with seven cheerleaders who are all learning about life”. The van (a Ford Econoline) was driven by “a mom who was deaf in her right ear and chain-smoked”.[12]

While at Wichita State University, Wight played basketball. Prior to attending Wichita State University, Wight attended Northern Oklahoma Junior College in Tonkawa, OK, competing on the basketball team. At Northern Oklahoma, his averages of 14 points and 6.5 rebounds earned him all-conference honors and helped the team win the Western Division of the Oklahoma Bi-State Conference.[203] Wight also attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville from 1992 to 1993, was a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Cougars basketball team, and is a member of the Xi Beta Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. During his one year at SIUE, Wight scored a total of thirty-nine points for the Cougars in limited action.[204]

Wight married his first wife, Melissa Ann Piavis, on February 14, 1997. They separated in 2000 and their divorce was finalized on February 6, 2002. Together, they have a daughter. On February 11, 2002, he married his second wife, Bess Katramados. Together they have two children.[3]

In December 1998, Wight was arrested and detained for allegedly exposing himself to a hotel clerk in Memphis, Tennessee. Wight denied the incident, and was later released due to a lack of evidence.[205]

In March 1999, Wight was charged with assault by Robert Sawyer, who alleged that Wight had broken his jaw during the summer of 1998 in the course of an altercation at Marriott Hotels & Resorts in Uniondale, New York. Wight claimed that Sawyer had verbally abused, threatened, and shoved him, and that he had responded by punching Sawyer. After three days, Judge Thomas Feinman delivered a verdict of not guilty.[206][207][208]

In wrestling[edit]

Big Show performing his knockout punch on Randy Orton.

Big Show performing an open-handed chop to Alberto Del Rio in the corner.

  • Nicknames
    • “The Big Nasty” (1999)
    • “The World’s Largest Athlete”[6]
    • “Big Banter”[6]
    • “The (Greatest) Giant (of All Time)”[6]
    • “The Showster”[2]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Big Show is a two-time World Heavyweight Champion.

Big Show is a former Intercontinental Champion.

Big Show is an eight-time Tag Team Champion in WWE – factoring in both WWE Tag Team Championship (around right shoulder) and World Tag Team Championship (left shoulder) reigns.