John Weldon Cale was born on 5 December 1938, in Oklahoma City.
Raised in Tulsa, he served in the US Air Force, then, in the early 60s, played with The Starlighters, who originated ‘the Tulsa Sound’.
He relocated to Los Angeles in 1964 and worked as a studio engineer for Liberty. He played LA’s Whisky A Go Go as JJ Cale, then moved to Nashville, with Eric Clapton covering his After Midnight in 1970.
Cale then hit with Crazy Mama and his debut, Naturally, was issued in 1972.
Really, Okie, Troubadour, 5, Shades and Grasshopper followed, among his 14 album catalogue to 2009, and Clapton popularised Cale’s Cocaine in 1974, as well as I’ll Make Love To You Anytime (1978) and Travelin’ Light (2001).
Cale and Clapton collaborated on The Road To Escondido, which won a Grammy in 2008. 2010’s Clapton also featured Cale’s Roll On, and 2013’s Old Sock his Angels.
Cale moved to California and took a five-year sabbatical in the 1980s.
His songs were covered by the likes of Johnny Cash (Call Me The Breeze), Santana (Sensitive Kind) and Captain Beefheart (Same Old Blues).
Cale died of a heart attack in La Jolla, California, on 26 July 2013, aged 74.