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

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

John Miller, congressman, author activist, has died

He was known for his dedication to the marine industry, energy and human rights.

Church takes a quiet, contemplative approach to worship

Alternative services at First Congregational Church of Maltby offer “a good deal of silence.”

Search on for mildly autistic boy in Lynnwood

Six-year-old was last seen in his home around 2:30 p.m. Monday.

Funds up for council vote would aid conservation district

District stands to receive an extra $1 million each year, if the County Council gives its approval.

Snohomish County hosts its annual Focus on Farming conference

The event features a trade show as well as talks on agriculture, jam-making and more.

Supportive housing for man accused in attacking his mother

Mental state impaired man’s ability to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions, judge rules.

Lynnwood mayor challenged by councilman in general election

Three City Council members also are facing challengers on the Nov. 7 ballot.

‘Horrific’ child-porn case: Former Arlington man sentenced

Raymond Devore, arrested in 2015, had a cache of disturbing photos and video on his cellphone.

Most Read