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

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Their grown children died, but state law won’t let them sue

Families are seeking a change in the state’s limiting wrongful-death law.

Shock from WSU suicide ripples through Snohomish County

Roughly 1 in 10 seniors, sophomores and 8th-graders said they had attempted to take their own lives.

Marysville hit-and-run leaves man with broken bones

The state patrol has appealed for help solving an increasing number of hit-and-runs in the state.

$1,000 reward for info on who killed an eagle near Snohomish

After being shot, the raptor was treated at the Sarvey Wildlife Center but died overnight.

Woman confronts man leaving house with stolen item

“He swung at her with a crowbar, missing her.”

Police seek suspect in Wells Fargo bank robbery

He was described as white, in his 30s, heavyset, with blonde hair and a maroon sweatshirt.

Possible bobcat sighting keeps Snohomish students inside

The creature was spotted on the campus of Valley View Middle School around noon.

Stabbing in Everett follows dispute between brothers-in-law

The victim, 54, was hospitalized. The suspect, 29, had not been apprehended Thursday.

Most Read