J.J. Cale, whose songs "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" were made famous by Eric Clapton, died July 26 after suffering a heart attack, according to his management company. He was 74. A native of Oklahoma, in 1964 Cale and fellow Oklahoma musicians Leon Russell and Carl Radle moved to Los Angeles. Cale returned to Oklahoma in 1967, but tapes of his songs made it out west, and Clapton eventually cut "After Midnight" in 1969, taking it to No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100. Cale had additional songs recorded by artists such as Kansas, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Petty, Carlos Santana, and Widespread Panic, among others. He had a minor hit of his own in 1972 with "Crazy Mama," which peaked at No. 22, and recorded more than 15 albums, including The Road To Escondido with Clapton, which earned Cale a GRAMMY Award in 2007 for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
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