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JJ Cale


On 05/12/1938: JJ Cale was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His full birth name was John Weldon Cale. He grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He learnt to play the guitar and studied sound engineering when he built a home studio whilst still living with his parents. After he graduated he was drafted into military service. He would study at Air Force Air Training Command in Rantoul, Illinois.
In the early 1960s, Cale moved to Los Angeles and became a studio engineer.
In 1966, he recorded a demo single of the song "After Midnight" with Liberty Records. He gave copies of the single to his Tulsa musician friends, now living in Los Angeles. Cale had a regular slot at the Whisky a Go Go. Elmer Valentine recommended he perform under the name JJ Cale to avoid confusion with John Cale of the Velvet Underground. Cale didn't have much success as a recording artist and was not earning enough as an engineer. So Cale sold his guitar and returned to Tulsa. There he joined a band with Don White.
In 1970, Eric Clapton recorded a cover of "After Midnight" on his debut album. Cale took advantage of the publicity by recording his first album "Naturally".
In 1972, the debut album "Naturally" was released. In the same year, Cale had his biggest US singled with "Crazy Mama" which reached number 22. Cale was offered to appear on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. He declined as was not allowed to bring his band and he would have to lip-sync the lyrics.
In 1980, Cale moved to California. He became a recluse, living in a trailer without a phone.
In 1983, Cale released the album "#8". It was poorly received and he asked to be released from his record contract with PolyGram.
In 2008, Cale and Eric Clapton received a Grammy for their joint album "The Road to Escondido".
On 26/07/2013 Cale died after suffering a heart attack.
In 2014, Eric Clapton & Friends released a tribute album to Cale called "The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale".