Rock Legend John Fogerty to Speak at USC Thornton School of Music’s 2014 Commencement Ceremony

April 24, 2014

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Music icon John Fogerty will be the featured speaker at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music’s 2014 Commencement ceremony.

The university’s 131st Commencement takes place Friday, May 16. USC Thornton’s satellite ceremony begins at 10:45 a.m. on the south lawn of Ramo Hall, directly following the university’s main ceremony.

“We are thrilled to welcome John Fogerty to Thornton to speak to our 2014 graduates,” said Robert Cutietta, dean of USC Thornton. “As a singer, he has an artistic voice that is instantly recognizable to millions of music fans. As a songwriter, he has written some of the greatest songs in rock and roll.”

Over his remarkable five-decade career as a singer, songwriter and guitarist, Fogerty has sold more than 100 million records, earning 18 Gold Albums and 10 Platinum Albums. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, won a GRAMMY Award for “Best Rock Album” for Blue Moon Swamp in 1998, and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005. He was also a recipient of the BMI Icon Award. Fogerty and his chart-topping 1985 single “Centerfield” were honored during the 2010 National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies — the first time the National Baseball Hall of Fame has immortalized a musician or song as part of the annual ceremonies. He is also one of the few musicians honored on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists and 100 Greatest Singers lists.

“I am hugely honored that they asked me to give the commencement speech for the USC Thornton School of Music,” said Fogerty. “When I was young, the idea of a popular music program  —  at USC no less — was unthinkable. It is so inspiring to see how the students and the university have embraced this important and influential part of our cultural lives. This day is so special for my family and me. My son Shane will be graduating with this class. It really doesn’t get any better!”

As the leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fogerty forged a distinctive sound combining blues, country, pop, rockabilly, R&B, swamp boogie and Southern fried rock ‘n’ roll — all united by his uniquely evocative lyrical perspective. He was responsible for writing the band’s best-selling singles, including “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” among others. Creedence Clearwater Revival became one of the most successful bands ever, producing seven full-length albums — six of which have been certified Platinum or Multi-Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Fogerty’s solo career proved to be equally impressive. Among the many highlights is 1985’sCenterfield. With a trio of timeless hit singles — including “The Old Man Down the Road,” “Rock And Roll Girls” and the irresistible title track — the album was certified 2x Platinum. Fogerty’s latest release, Wrote a Song For Everyone, marks his ninth studio solo album and is a celebration of his revered songbook. The album holds the distinction of receiving a rare 5 star rating from Rolling Stone, the only album released in 2013 to receive such a score.

Today, Fogerty continues to play for sold-out audiences worldwide. His incredibly high-powered performances have been hailed by critics and fans for his fiery guitar prowess and phenomenal vocals. He will be going on a worldwide tour this summer. To learn more, go

For more information on USC’s Commencement, please visit

About the USC Thornton School of Music

For more than 125 years, the USC Thornton School of Music has prepared students to excel as performers, composers, industry leaders, and educators on stages and in studios around the world. Founded in 1884 and today the oldest continually operating cultural institution in Los Angeles, USC Thornton is internationally recognized as one of the finest conservatories and music schools in the U.S.

By blending the rigors of a traditional conservatory-style education with the benefits of a leading research university, USC Thornton offers a curriculum designed to prepare students for successful careers in the 21st century.

USC Thornton brings together a stellar faculty chosen from a broad spectrum of the music profession and gifted students representing 40 countries. The school features legendary musicians and educators on its faculty, including internationally renowned performers, musicologists, and winners of prestigious awards.

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, USC Thornton offers students every advantage of studying, performing, and networking in the world’s most vibrant music industry center. Every week, students engage with leading professionals in all aspects of the music, recording, and entertainment industries, and collaborate with such pillar organizations as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy. Thornton students are also a constant presence in local classrooms, helping to shape the next generation of musicians.