JJ Cale | Artist
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John Weldon "J.J." Cale was an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter born 1938 in Oklahoma City. Though he avoided the limelight, his influence as a musical artist has been widely acknowledged by figures such as Mark Knopfler, Neil Young and Eric Clapton. He is considered to be one of the originators of the Tulsa Sound which drew on blues, rockabilly, country and jazz styles. Cale moved from Tulsa to Los Angeles in late 1964, where he worked as a studio engineer as well as playing at bars and clubs. His first success came when singer Mel McDaniel scored a regional hit with Cale's composition "Lazy Me". He then managed to land a regular gig at the Whisky a Go Go club in March 1965, where club co-owner Elmer Valentine billed him as J.J. Cale to avoid confusion with John Cale of the Velvet Underground. In 1966 he cut a demo single "After Midnight" with Liberty Records, but it went nowhere. In LA Cale joined other (then) unknown musicians including Leon Russell and Jesse Ed Davis, to form the short-lived psychedelic band The Leathercoated Minds, who released one album A Trip Down The Sunset Strip in 1967. By 1970, with his career at an all time low, Cale's fortunes were to take a sudden upturn when the song "After Midnight" became a hit for Eric Clapton. Cale had no knowledge of Clapton's recording until it became a radio hit in 1970. Cale took advantage of this publicity and cut a record of his own. His first album Naturally, released in October 1971, established his style, a blend of blues, folk and jazz, marked by relaxed grooves and Cale's fluid guitar and iconic vocals. The album launched the hit singles "Call me the Breeze", "Crazy Mama" and Cale's take on his own song "After Midnight". Cale went on to release 13 consistently excellent studio albums, with standouts being the first five: Naturally, Really, Okie, Troubadour and 5, plus the 2004 release To Tulsa and Back. Towards the end of his career Cale and Clapton became friends and collaborators, releasing the 2006 Grammy Award winning album The Road to Escondido. Cale died on July 26 2013 at the age of 74, after suffering a heart attack. Eric Clapton described J.J. Cale as "one of the most important artists in the history of rock."
Artist Website: jjcale.com
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