Blues Rock artist and songwriter JJ Cale has passed away. The Oklahoma native suffered a heart attack at the age of 74 at a La Jolla hospital yesterday. The man was an important fixture in the music industry, especially in the 70s, though lesser known than many of his contemporaries. He humbly once said, “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.” So, he wrote songs made famous by Eric Clapton, The Band, Johnny Cash, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Santana, Tom Petty, Widespread Panic and more – the biggest example probably being “After Midnight” by Eric Clapton. In fact, he and Clapton later collaborated on the 2006 Grammy Award-winning album The Road to Escondido (which was dedicated to famous session musician Billy Preston, and which featured Derek Trucks, Taj Mahal, John Mayer and other greats).
Here he is performing “After Midnight” in 1971.