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

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Pair of intrepid musicians climb N. Cascades summits to play

Rose Freeman and Anastasia Allison pack their instruments up mountains for high-altitude recitals.

Expect river levels to keep rising, though sun is on the way

Some could crest above minor and moderate flood levels.

Oregon senator punished over alleged inappropriate touching

Democratic Sen. Sara Gelser didn’t identify anyone by name.

Most Read