JJ Cale Dies At Age 74, Remembered For ‘After Midnight,’ ‘Cocaine,’ Tulsa Sound

JJ Cale has died at age 74. According to a very minimalist note on his website, the honored singer-songwriter passed away Friday night at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, California after a heart attack.

The site said that donations wouldn’t be needed. However, because Cale was an animal lover, they suggested that you donate to a local animal shelter if you wanted to do something in his memory.

JJ Cale is of course the Grammy Award winning legend who originated the so-called Tulsa sound with its mix of blues, rockabilly, and jazz.

Everyone knows some of the Oklahoma native’s songs even if they didn’t know the low-key man behind them.

Some of his best-known work was covered by Eric Clapton, including After Midnight and Cocaine. His song Call Me The Breeze became a big hit for Lynyrd Skynyrd.

And Cale kept making music and performing almost to the end.

At age 70, Cale made this wry comment quoted on his website: “I remember when I made my first album [1972’s Naturally]. I was 32 or 33-years-old and I thought I was way too old then. When I see myself doing this at 70, I go, ‘What am I doing, I should be layin’ down in a hammock.'”

Here’s a video of Eric Clapton and JJ Cale performing After Midnight at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2004 — with no hammocks in sight:

There was an outpouring of memories on Twitter. I can post only a tiny sample.

With JJ Cale’s death, we have lost a songwriter who was truly one of a kind.

[JJ Cale photo by Louis Rameriz via Wikimedia]