In Memoriam | JJ Cale 1938 – 2013
Cale wrote a bevy of songs that are best known to many for cover versions such as Eric Clapton’s renditions of “After Midnight” and “Cocaine,” Widespread Panic’s takes on “Traveling Light” and “Ride Me High” as well as Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Call Me The Breeze.” In fact, it was Clapton’s 1970 cover of “After Midnight” that changed everything for Cale. “I had already given up on the business part of the record business and had moved back to Tulsa and had gotten me a job playing with some friends of mine,” remembered Cale in a bio on his website. “When Eric cut that song it opened up a bunch of doors and I drove over to Nashville and that’s when Naturally was done.” JJ recently contributed to a version of his own “Angel” that Clapton recorded for his Old Sock LP.
Cale’s biggest hit was “Crazy Mama,” which hit #22 in 1972. He is credited as one of the originators of the “Tulsa Sound,” a mix of rockabilly, country, rock and blues. JJ was an innovator and will be missed by friends, family and his legion of fans. There are currently no plans for memorial services.
Watch JJ Cale perform “After Midnight” and “Call Me The Breeze” with Clapton:
Tributes to Cale have been pouring in to Twitter:
Rip JJ Cale. You're one of my heroes— Jackie Greene (@jackie_greene) July 27, 2013
Sad news to wake up to today. RIP, JJ. http://t.co/yikIS4Q3Nz— Steve Gorman SPORTS! (@sgormansports) July 27, 2013
In Memoriam | JJ Cale 1938 -2013 http://t.co/K20Dm9CDG8— sunbecker (@sunbecker) July 27, 2013
Very sad to hear about JJ Cale. I shall be playing his records today in tribute to the great man. RIP JJ, your music will live forever.— Davy Knowles (@davyknowles) July 27, 2013
JJ Cale was one of a kind.— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) July 27, 2013
Here's to J.J. Cale. Well done bud.— Matthew Houck (@Phosphorescent) July 27, 2013
Really sad to hear that JJ Cale has moved on to the other side. MIght have to do a tribute set up in Alaska next… http://t.co/mLJV1UifD2— Great American Taxi (@gr8americantaxi) July 27, 2013
RIP JJ— The Head & The Heart (@headandtheheart) July 27, 2013