Celebrated singer-songwriter J.J. Cale, well known for his “laid-back” sound, died at 8:00 pm on Friday, July 26 at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, California from a heart attack, according to his official website. He was 74.
While not a household name, his songs became famous through Eric Clapton‘s covers. Two of Clapton’s biggest solo hits — “Cocaine” and “After Midnight” — were J.J. Cale songs. In addition, Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded Cale’s “Call Me The Breeze.” Waylon Jennings, Herbie Mann, Widespread Panic and Tom Petty were among the other artists to perform Cale’s songs.
Also an accomplished musician, Cale played electric guitar on Neil Young‘s 1978 album Comes A Time (Young stuck to acoustic on that record), and recorded a number of solo albums; he had a hit in 1971 with his song “Crazy Mama.” Never one to seek the spotlight, his most high profile project in recent years was a duo album with Clatpon, 2006’s The Road to Escondido. Since then, he’s released one more solo album, 2009’s Roll On, and guested on Clapton’s latest, Old Sock, which came out earlier this year.
According to Cale’s website, “There are no immediate plans for services. Donations are not needed but he was a great lover of animals so, if you like, you can remember him with a donation to your favorite local animal shelter.”