Grammy Award Winner, OKC Native JJ Cale Dies Of Heart Attack

Saturday, July 27th 2013, 9:41 am
By: News 9

JJ Cale, a Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and musician born in Oklahoma City, has passed away Friday evening.

According to JJ Cale's Facebook page, Cale suffered a heart attack and passed away at 8 p.m. Friday at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, California. He was 74.

Born John Weldon Cale in Oklahoma City on December 5, 1938, Cale was best known for his songs "After Midnight" and "Cocaine," and as a leader of the original Tulsa Sound.

Cale won a Grammy for his 2006 collaboration with Eric Clapton, "The Road to Escondido." His musical legacy comes as performer and musician, sound engineer and producer. He pioneered the mix of blues, country, rockabilly and jazz that came to be known as the Tulsa Sound.

"Basically, I'm just a guitar player that figured out I wasn't ever gonna be able to buy dinner with my guitar playing so I got into songwriting, which is a little more profitable business," Cale said in an interview quoted in his bio page on

His life changed when Eric Clapton released a version of Cale's "After Midnight" in 1970 and then went on to record "Cocaine." Other artists that have release Cale's songs include Lynyrd Skynyrd with "Call Me The Breeze," Santana, The Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, The Band and Chet Atkins. Artists including Neil Young, Mark Knopfler and Bryan Ferry call Cale a major influence on their music.

His song "After Midnight" was nominated to be the official state rock song in Oklahoma.

Learn more about Cale's work

According to the statement on Cale's Facebook Page, there are no immediate plans for memorial services.

Fans are encouraged to remember Cale with donations to their favorite local animal shelter, as Cale was a great lover of animals.