JJ Cale December 5, 1938 – July 26, 2013

JJ CaleJJ Cale, 70s guitarist, singer, songwriter and music icon passed away in a Californian hospital on Friday July 26, 2013.

Born John Weldon Cale, in Oklahoma, he adopted the name JJ Cale to avoid being confused with the Velvet Underground’s John Cale.

JJ is credited with developing the Tulsa Sound—a style of music that combines blues, country and rockabilly.

It’s often said that JJ’s fame arose from Eric Clapton recording his song After Midnight in 1977. In reality, JJ had already released four very good albums by this time. There is little doubt, however, JJ will be recalled for some of the fine tunes he penned for other people, including: After Midnight, Call Me the Breeze (Lynyrd Skynyrd), and Cocaine (also Eric Clapton).

Other artists to record his songs included: Waylon Jennings, Tom Petty, Herbie Mann, Kansas, Carlos Santana and Captain Beefheart.

JJ himself once said he considered himself a songwriter more than a recording artist.

JJ’s biggest hit single, Crazy Mama, peaked at #22 on the US charts in 1972. JJ later recounted the story of being offered an appearance on American Bandstand; he turned it down when producers told him he couldn’t perform with his band and would be required to lip-sync the words.

JJ Cale – Crazy Mama 1972

JJ Cale – Cocaine

JJ Cale – After Midnight and Call Me The Breeze – featuring Eric Clapton


2 Responses to JJ Cale December 5, 1938 – July 26, 2013

  1. Miki says:

    :-(( very sad news but seemed to be doing what he loved, right to the end

    • Greg.K. says:

      I think he’d been in poor health for years – I remember hearing ages ago that he had arthritis which made it difficult for him to play for long periods and I know that for the past ten years or so he often sat down to play.
      I’ve always liked JJ Cale’s laidback style of playing… time to get a few of the old CDs out.

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