J. J. Cale

J.J. Cale (born John Weldon Cale on December 5, 1938, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and musician best known for writing two songs that Eric Clapton made famous, "After Midnight" and "Cocaine", as well as the Lynyrd Skynyrd hits "Call Me the Breeze" and " I Got the Same Old Blues". Some sources incorrectly give his real name as "Jean Jacques Cale". In fact, a Sunset Strip nightclub owner employing Cale in the mid-1960s came up with the "J.J." moniker to avoid confusion with the Velvet Underground's John Cale. In the 2006 documentary, To Tulsa and Back: On Tour with J.J. Cale, Rocky Frisco tells the same version of the story mentioning the other John Cale but without further detail.

Cale is one of the originators of the Tulsa Sound, a very loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz influences. Cale's personal style has often been described as "laid back", and is characterized by shuffle rhythms, simple chord changes, understated vocals, and clever, incisive lyrics. Cale is also a very distinctive and idiosyncratic guitarist, incorporating both Travis-like fingerpicking and gentle, meandering electric solos. His recordings also reflect his stripped-down, laid-back ethos; his album versions are usually quite succinct and often recorded entirely by Cale alone, using drum machines for rhythm accompaniment. Live, however, as evidenced on his 2001 Live album and 2006 To Tulsa And Back film, he and his band regularly stretch the songs out and improvise heavily.

Artists including Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, Tom Petty, and Bryan Ferry, have noted Cale's influence on their music; several artists in addition to Clapton have made hits of Cale songs, and many more have covered them. His most covered songs include "Call Me the Breeze", "Sensitive Kind", "After Midnight", and "Cocaine".

J.J. Cale in Munich, 1975

Cale is also well known for his longstanding aversion to stardom, extensive touring, and even continual recording. He has happily remained a relatively obscure cult artist for the last 35 years.

The release of his album, To Tulsa and Back in 2004, his appearance at Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, and the 2006 release of the film documentary, To Tulsa and Back: On Tour with J.J. Cale, have brought his understated discography and songwriting to a new audience. This mainstream exposure continued into late 2006 with the release of a collaborative album with Eric Clapton, The Road to Escondido, which won Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008. February 2009 saw the release of his 23rd album, Roll On, including the previously unreleased title track recorded with Eric Clapton.


1958 Shock Hop/Sneaky
1960 Troubles, Troubles/Purple Onion
1961 Ain't That Lovin You Baby/She's My Desire
1966 A Trip Down The Sunset Strip (with the Leathercoated Minds)
1971 Naturally
1972 Really
1974 Okie
1976 Troubadour
1979 5
1981 Shades
1982 Grasshopper
1983 #8
1984 Special Edition (a compilation of hits from previous albums)
1990 Travel Log
1992 Number 10
1994 Closer to You
1996 Guitar Man
1997 Anyway the Wind Blows
1998 The Very Best of J.J. Cale
2000 Universal Masters Collection
2001 Live
2004 To Tulsa and Back
2006 Collected (with bonus tracks) (Dutch release only)
2006 The Road to Escondido
2007 Rewind: The Unreleased Recordings
2009 Roll On
Other contributions
107.1 KGSR Radio Austin - Broadcasts Vol.10 (2002) - "After Midnight"

Cover songs

Songs by Cale have been covered by the following artists:

Asha Puthli: "Right Down Here", "Lies"
Brad Absher: "Sensitive Kind"
Chet Atkins: "After Midnight"
The Band: "Crazy Mama"
Band of Horses: "Thirteen Days"
Beck: "Magnolia"
The Barcodes: "Don't Go To Strangers"
Tom Barman (dEUS): "Magnolia" & "After Midnight"
Jimmy Boyd: "Will I Cry"
Brother Phelps: "Any Way the Wind Blows"
Francis Cabrel: "Mama Don't" (lyrics translated to French by Cabrel: "Madame n'aime pas")
Captain Beefheart: "Same Old Blues"
Larry Carlton: "Crazy Mama"
Johnny Cash: "Call Me The Breeze"
Eric Clapton: "After Midnight", "Cocaine" (on Slowhand), "I'll Make Love To You Anytime", "Travelin' Light", "Any Way the Wind Blows" (with Cale on The Road to Escondido)
Clyde Cotton Band: "River Runs Deep"
David Allen Coe: "Call Me The Breeze"
Randy Crawford: "Cajun Moon"
Daddy's Favorite: "Let Me Do It To You"
Deep Purple: "Magnolia"
Dr. Feelgood: "No Time"
Dr. Hook: "Call Me The Breeze", "Clyde"
Bob Dylan: "Cocaine"
Jose Feliciano: "Magnolia"
Bryan Ferry: "Same Old Blues"
Fistula: "Cocaine"
Jerry Garcia Band: "After Midnight"
Clarence Gatemouth Brown: "Don't Cry Sister"
Cissy Houston with Herbie Mann: "Cajun Moon"
Waylon Jennings: "Call Me The Breeze", "Clyde, Louisiana Women"
Kalinov most: "Sensitive Kind" (with original Russian lyrics, as "Devochka letom" - "Girl in Summertime")
Kansas: "Bringing It Back"
Freddie King: "Same Old Blues"
David Kitt: "Magnolia"
Christine Lakeland "Borrowed Time", "Ain't Love Funny"
Lefay: "Cocaine"
Lynyrd Skynyrd: "Bringing It Back", "Call Me The Breeze", "Same Old Blues"
Magna Carta:"Magnolia", "Call Me The Breeze"
Harry Manx: "Tijuana" (Harry Manx & Friends: Live at the Glenn Gould Studio)
John Mayall: "Sensitive Kind"
Sergio Mendes: "After Midnight"
moe.: "Call Me The Breeze"
Maria Muldaur: "Cajun Moon"
Nazareth: "Cocaine""
James Otto: "Call Me The Breeze" (Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector Soundtrack)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: "Thirteen Days", "Call Me The Breeze," "I'd Like to Love You, Baby"
Poco: "Cajun Moon", "Magnolia"
Phish: "After Midnight", "Ain't Love Funny"
Toni Price: "Like You Used To"
The Radiators: "After Midnight, "Crazy Mama", "Magnolia"
Ramshackle: "Lies"
Redbone: "Crazy Mama"
Johnny Rivers: "Crazy Mama", "Don't Go To Strangers"
Santana: "Sensitive Kind"
Merl Saunders with Jerry Garcia: "After Midnight"
Seldom Scene: "After Midnight"
Chris Smither: "Magnolia"
Spiritualized: "Call Me The Breeze" performed and recorded as "Run"
George Thorogood and the Destroyers: "Devil in Disguise"
Pat Travers: "Magnolia"
Widespread Panic: "Ride Me High" (on Live in the Classic City), "Travelin' Light" (live on Light Fuse, Get Away and studio version on Space Wrangler)
Bob Wilber Quintet: "After Midnight"
Wire: "After Midnight"
Bill Wyman and The Rhythm Kings: "Anyway The Wind Blows"
Yonder Mountain String Band: "If You're Ever in Oklahoma"

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