Sunday, July 28, 2013

Innovator of "Tulsa" Rock, J.J. Cale, dies at 74

Music lost a trail blazer last night as Tulsa, Oklahoman J.J. Cale, a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and musician, passed away from a heart attack at the age of 74.

Oklahoma City-born Cale, was one of the originators of the 'Tulsa Sound', a laid back easy-rock style that included hints of blues, rockabilly, country, folk, and jazz.

Cale was perhaps best-known for writing songs that other artists made famous, including "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" by Eric Clapton, "Clyde" by Waylon Jennings, "Call Me the Breeze" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and "Magnolia" and "Cajun Moon" by Poco.

 I had the honour of seeing Cale perform live in a small club in Toronto, Ontario, back in 2004 - ironically, just 2 days  after  I had seen Poco play a show in which they performed both of their classic Cale cover tunes.

While song-writers don't always get a fair share of the limelight, Cale was so respected by his peers, that he was often asked to perform with them as special guests. Cale shared the stage with Eric Clapton at one of Eric's recent "Crossroads Blues Festivals".

Some of Cale's other hits included Crazy Mama, Rock and Roll Records, Lies, and Travelin' Light. Gone, but certainly not forgotten. His legacy and influence lives on in current younger artists.

photo credit: Wikipedia - Cale performs in 2006.

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