In Memoriam | JJ Cale 1938 – 2013

By Team JamBase Jul 27, 2013 7:15 am PDT

This morning comes the incredibly sad news that music legend JJ Cale has suffered a fatal heart attack. The 74-year-old Oklahoma native passed away last night at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, CA according to his official website.

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:

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