By: AnnMarie Scaramuzzino
Rock and Roll lost a legendary songwriter over the weekend with the passing of JJ Cale.
Cale, who was 74, is perhaps best known for penning the hits “After Midnight” and “Cocaine,” which were later famously covered by guitar guru, Eric Clapton, as well as the Lynyrd Skynyrd song, “Call Me the Breeze.”
The Tulsa, Oklahoma native was one of the earliest contributors to the “Tulsa Sound” in the late 1950s, which was a musical style that combined genres such as blues, country, rockabilly and rock and roll. After relocating to Los Angeles in the 60s, Cale first landed a gig as a studio engineer. He later transitioned to the other side of the mic, and his 1972 song “Crazy Mama” peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard charts.
Cale would eventually go on to record more than 15 albums, and his 2006 collaboration with Clapton entitled The Road to Escondido scored him his first Grammy Award in the category of Best Contemporary Blues Album. Cale’s last official studio recordings were also with Clapton, as he contributed to Slowhand’s 2013 LP, Old Sock, providing guitar and vocals on the song “Angel.”
A post on Cale’s Facebook page on Saturday (July 27) reported that he had passed away the evening before at a hospital in La Jolla, California after suffering a heart attack. Fans who are interested in contributing to the memory of Cale are asked to make a donation to a local animal shelter, as JJ was a “great lover of animals.”
Rest in Peace JJ, and thank you for all that you’ve done for the world of Rock and Roll.
More on the life and career of JJ Cale can be found at his official website, or at Rosebudus.com/cale.