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.
JJ Cale was one of a kind.
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) July 27, 2013
Damn, JJ Cale has died. One of my favorite musicians of all time, and a true one-off.
— Alastair Reynolds (@AquilaRift) July 27, 2013
RIP JJ Cale, a Tulsa legend… pic.twitter.com/xK2ilCCIJs
— Cain's Ballroom (@CainsBallroom) July 27, 2013
JJ Cale, rocker, writer, big in the "Tulsa Sound", passed away. His one and only Tweet was fantastic pic.twitter.com/nVljqdVRgY
— Omar Villafranca (@OmarVillafranca) July 27, 2013
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]