We are deeply saddened by news that J.J. Cale has died at the age of 74. A post on his Facebook reads in part: “We’ve lost a great artist and a great person tonight. JJ Cale passed away at 8:00 pm on Friday, July 26th at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, CA. He had suffered a heart attack. There are no immediate plans for services.”
An originator of the so-called Tulsa Sound, Cale’s career spanned over 50 years, beginning in 1958. A multi-instrumentalist and song writer, Cale also worked as an engineer. He is renowned for his songwriting, writing a number of hit songs recorded by other artists including “After Midnight,” “Cocaine,” “Call Me The Breeze,” “Sensitive Kind,” “Crazy Mama,” “Cajun Moon,” and “Same Old Blues.” Cale was also an innovator, being among the first to use a drum machine on a recording (Naturally) in 1971.
In 2004, Cale appeared at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, paving the way for he and Clapton to make an album together. In 2008 he won a Grammy Award, which he shared with Eric Clapton for their album, The Road To Escondido. At one point, Cale had actually considered giving up music, but then Eric Clapton recorded “After Midnight,” and things changed. In all, he recorded a live album, 2001’s Live, and 14 studio albums. His collaborations include The Road To Escondido (with Eric Clapton) in 2006, which he also produced with Clapton.
Cale’s Facebook page also states “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.”