Grammy Award-winning musician J.J. Cale, known for being one of the creators of the Tulsa Sound, passed away on Friday, July 26 at the age of 74. As told by his manager Mike Kappus, the legendary musician died at the Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, California where he had been rushed following a heart attack.
Cale leaves a legacy of songs that became hits for other renowned artist as Eric Clapton ("After Midnight" and "Cocaine") and Lynyrd Skynyrd ("Call Me the Breeze"). Other rockers that have cited him as an influence in their music and successful careers include Neil Young, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Carlos Santana, Bryan Perry, Mark Knopfler and The Allman Brothers Band.
Although his personal popularity never rose to the level of those artists who admired him, having "avoided the spotlight at all costs," as Kappus described him, he will forever be remembered as the genius that helped shape the success of others. One of those artists is of course Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Clapton, whose remarkable career is marked by Cale's work, including a Best Contemporary Blues Album win in the Grammys back in 2006 for the album "The Road to Escondido".
Cale, who had said "it doesn't bother me" that his name may not be as recognizable as his songs, acknowledged Clapton for making hits out of them, saying, "I'd probably be selling shoes today if it wasn't for Eric." Clapton saluted Cale upon his death, writing on his Facebook page, "We've lost a great artist and a great person."