J.J. Cale grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was a key figure in the development of the Tulsa Sound in the late 50s and early 60s, blending country, blues and rock 'n' roll. He began performing in the 50s, playing with various bands and as a solo act. He lived in Los Angeles, California, for a period in the mid-60s, where he performed on the local circuit, worked as a sound engineer, and made a number of low-key recordings. He returned to Tulsa in 1967, where he became a popular local artist. He gained wider recognition when Eric Clapton released a version of Cale's After Midnight in 1970. The song was a significant USA hit, and triggered the beginning of a successful period for Cale. Throughout the 70s he recorded some outstanding material and achieved strong success, with his distinctive laid-back, meandering style of guitar playing, and soft, almost-whispered vocals. In 2006 he teamed-up with acolyte Eric Clapton for the excellent album The Road To Escondido. Cale's music has been cited as an important influence by a number of well known artists, and he continued to record and perform well into the new millennium.
Followers: Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Iron & Wine, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Bryan Ferry
Influenced By: B.B. King, Albert King, Jimmy Reed, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Merle Travis
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