Saturday, July 27, 2013

Singer/songwriter J.J. Cale dead at 74

Singer/songwriter J.J. Cale has died at the age of 74.

“We've lost a great artist and a great person tonight,” was the message posted on his Facebook page. “JJ Cale passed away at 8:00 pm on Friday July 26 at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, CA. He had suffered a heart attack. There are no immediate plans for services. His history is well documented at , and in the documentary, ‘To Tulsa And Back’. Donations are not needed but he was a great lover of animals so, if you like, you can remember him with donations to your favorite local animal shelter.”

Cale was one of the originators of the Tulsa Sound, a loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz influences.

Some of his most recognized songs were hits for others, including “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton and “Call Me The Breeze” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Cale was born on December 5, 1938, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and graduated from Tulsa Central High School in 1956.

Cale released his first single, “Shock Hop/Sneaky” (as Johnny Cale) in 1958; more singles followed, including 1996’s “After Midnight.”

Along with a number of other young Tulsa musicians, Cale moved to Los Angeles in the early 1960s, where he first worked as a studio engineer. Finding little success as a recording artist, he later returned to Tulsa and was considering giving up the music business until Clapton recorded "After Midnight" in 1970.

Cale's biggest US hit single, "Crazy Mama", peaked at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1972.

Cale recorded more than 15 albums, including “The Road To Escondido” with Clapton, which earned him a Grammy Award in 2007 for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Clapton recently released Cale’s “Angel” on his 2013 album, “Old Sock,” which featured a guest appearance by the singer/songwriter on guitar.

J. J. Cale J. J. Cale