Songwriter JJ Cale dies at 74

LA JOLLA, Calif. — Grammy-winning musician JJ Cale, whose best known songs became hits for Eric Clapton with “After Midnight” and Lynyrd Skynyrd with “Call Me the Breeze,” has died. He was 74.

The performer and producer’s manager Mike Kappus has told The Associated Press that the architect of the Tulsa Sound died Friday night of a heart attack at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, Calif.

Born John Weldon Cale in Oklahoma City, he cut a wide path through 1970s rock ‘n’ roll, influencing some of the most famous musicians at the time with songs that were laid back and mellow, yet imbued with a driving groove.

Neil Young, Mark Knopfler and Bryan Ferry are among his many fans in the music world.

A former member of the Grand Ole Opry touring company, Cale never rose to the level of success of his admirers, but his fingerprints could be heard all over the genre in the 1970s, and his music remains influential.

His album with Eric Clapton “The Road to Escondido” won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2007.

In 2006, Cale told the AP in an interview “I’d probably be selling shoes today if it wasn’t for Eric.”

Clapton also recorded Cale’s “Cocaine,” ”Travelin’ Light” and “I’ll Make Love To You Anytime.”

Artists including Santana, Johnny Cash and The Allman Brothers have all covered Cale’s songs.

Cale was asked on his website if it bothers him that “contemporaries and critics list him amongst legends, and fans might love his songs yet not even know his name?”

“No, it doesn’t bother me,” he said with a laugh. “What’s really nice is when you get a check in the mail.”

More in Local News

Families begin relocating from public housing complex

Baker Heights is in need of repairs deemed to costly to make, and will be demolished and replaced.

Trail work by juvenile offenders builds resumes, confidence

Kayak Point trails were built out this year by groups from Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Distress beacon leads rescuers to Pacific Crest Trail hikers

Two men in their 20s had encountered snow and waited two nights for a helicopter rescue.

Rules of the road for ‘extra-fast pedestrians’ — skateboarders

State traffic law defines them as pedestrians, and yet they are often in the middle of the street.

Volunteers clean up homeless camp infested with garbage

The organization’s founder used to live and do drugs in the same woods.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

City of Everett to give $400K to a nonprofit housing project

The city expects to enter a contract with HopeWorks, an affiliate of Housing Hope.

The way he walked led to police to Everett murder suspect

Then, witnesses said they had heard the man and an alleged accomplice talking about a robbery.

Senators’ report says Sound Transit fooled voters

They recommend lawmakers lower car tab fees and require directors be elected rather than appointed.

Most Read