John Weldon Cale1 (Oklahoma City, 5 de diciembre de 1938 - La Jolla, California, 26 de julio de 2013), más conocido como JJ Cale o J.J. Cale, fue un músico y compositor estadounidense y uno de los fundadores del sonido Tulsa, un género musical con influencias del blues, del rockabilly, del country y del jazz. El estilo personal de Cale ha sido descrito a menudo como «relajado» (laid back) y sus canciones han sido ampliamente versionadas por artistas como Eric Clapton, Phish, Jerry García, Waylon Jennings, Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Mayer y Bobby Bare. Cale nació el 5 de diciembre de 1938 en Oklahoma City. Creció en Tulsa, Oklahoma y se graduó en la escuela secundaria en 1956. Junto a otros músicos jóvenes de Tulsa, Cale se trasladó a Los Ángeles a comienzos de la década de 1960, donde comenzó a trabajar como ingeniero de sonido en diferentes estudios.2 Debido a su poco éxito como artista, regresó a Tulsa y consideró abandonar la industria musical hasta que Eric Clapton ejecutó una nueva versión de «After Midnight» en 1970. Su primer álbum, Naturally, estableció su propio estilo musical, descrito por Richard Cromelin en Los Angeles Times como «un híbrido único de blues, folk y jazz, marcado por surcos relajados, la guitarra fluida de Cale y una voz lacónica. Su uso temprano de cajas de ritmos y su mezcla poco convencional dio una calidad distintiva y atemporal a su trabajo y lo situó aparte del paquete del purismo musical de las raíces del americana». En 2013, Neil Young comentó que de todos los músicos que había escuchado, Cale era, junto a Jimi Hendrix, el mejor guitarrista eléctrico. Algunas fuentes citan incorrectamente su nombre real como Jean-Jacques Cale En el documental To Tulsa and Back: On Tour with J.J. Cale, el músico habló sobre Elmer Valentine, copropietario de la discoteca Whisky a Go Go de Sunset Strip, quien lo contrató a mediados de la década de 1960 y fue el responsable del acrónimo JJ para evitar confusión con John Cale, miembro de Velvet Underground. Su mayor éxito en los Estados Unidos, "Crazy Mama", alcanzó el puesto 22 en la lista Billboard Hot 100 en 1972. En el documental To Tulsa and Back, Cale relató que recibió una oportunidad para aparecer en el programa American Bandstand para promocionar la canción. Cale declinó la oferta cuando supo que no podía llevar a su grupo y que tenía que cantar en playback. Cale también fue conocido por su rechazo y aversión al estrellato, a las giras largas, y a las grabaciones periódicas. Fue un artista de culto para los músicos, y relativamente desconocido para el público durante los últimos 35 años. El lanzamiento de su álbum To Tulsa and Back en 2004, así como la aparición en el Festival Crossroads de Eric Clapton en 2006 y el estreno del documental To Tulsa and Back: On Tour with J.J. Cale, acercaron su discografía a un nuevo público, más joven y más amplio. Además, esta publicidad siguió hasta finales de 2006, cuando publicó un álbum en colaboración con Clapton, The Road to Escondido, que ganó el Grammy al mejor álbum contemporáneo de blues en la 50ª edición de los premios en 2008. El 26 de julio de 2013, Cale falleció en el Scripps Hospital de La Jolla, California a consecuencia de un ataque al corazón. En agosto de 2018 se anunció el lanzamiento de Stay Around, un álbum póstumo con material inédito mezclado y producido por el propio Cale, finalmente publicado en abril de 2019. El primer sencillo, "Chasing You", fue estrenado el 31 de enero de 2019.
John Weldon "J. J." Cale (December 5, 1938 – July 26, 2013) was an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Though he avoided the limelight, his influence as a musical artist has been widely acknowledged by figures such as Mark Knopfler, Neil Young and Eric Clapton, who described him as "one of the most important artists in the history of rock". He is considered to be one of the originators of the Tulsa Sound, a loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz. In 2008, Cale, along with Clapton, received a Grammy Award for their album The Road to Escondido. John Cale was born on December 5, 1938, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and graduated from Tulsa Central High School in 1956. As well as learning to play the guitar he began studying the principles of sound engineering while still living with his parents in Tulsa, where he built himself a recording studio. After graduation he was drafted into military service, studying at the Air Force Air Training Command in Rantoul, Illinois. Cale recalled, "I didn't really want to carry a gun and do all that stuff so I joined the Air Force and what I did is I took technical training and that's kind of where I learned a little bit about electronics." Cale's knowledge of mixing and sound recording turned out to play an important role in creating the distinctive sound of his studio albums. Along with a number of other young Tulsa musicians, Cale moved to Los Angeles in late 1964, where he found employment as a studio engineer as well as playing at bars and clubs. He managed to land a regular gig at the increasingly popular Whisky a Go Go in March 1965. In 1966, while living in the city, he cut a demo single (in those days professional demos were actual 45 rpm vinyl singles) with Liberty Records of his composition "After Midnight". He distributed copies of the single to his Tulsa musician friends living in Los Angeles, many of whom were successfully finding work as session musicians. He found little success as a recording artist and, not being able to make enough money as a studio engineer, he sold his guitar and returned to Tulsa in late 1967, where he joined a band with Tulsa musician Don White. In 1970 it came to his attention that Eric Clapton had recorded a cover of "After Midnight" on his debut album. It was suggested to Cale that he should take advantage of this publicity and cut a record of his own. His first album, Naturally, released in December 1971, established his style, described by Los Angeles Times writer Richard Cromelin as a "unique hybrid of blues, folk and jazz, marked by relaxed grooves and Cale's fluid guitar and iconic vocals. His early use of drum machines and his unconventional mixes lend a distinctive and timeless quality to his work and set him apart from the pack of Americana roots music purists." In his 2003 biography Shakey, Neil Young remarked, "Of all the players I ever heard, it's gotta be [Jimi] Hendrix and J. J. Cale who are the best electric guitar players." In the 2005 documentary To Tulsa and Back: On Tour with J.J. Cale, Cale's guitar style is characterized by Eric Clapton as "really, really minimal" adding "it's all about finesse". His biggest U.S. hit single, "Crazy Mama", peaked at #22 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1972. In the 2005 documentary film To Tulsa and Back, Cale recounts the story of being offered the opportunity to appear on Dick Clark's American Bandstand to promote the song, which would have moved it higher on the charts. Cale declined when told he could not bring his band to the recording and would be required to lip-sync the words. Cale moved to California in 1980 and became a recluse, living in a trailer without a telephone. His 1983 album #8 was poorly received and he asked to be released from his contract with PolyGram. When later asked how he had spent the 1980s he replied: "Mowing the lawn and listening to Van Halen and rap. Cale often acted as his own producer / engineer / session player. His vocals, sometimes whispery, would be buried in the mix. He attributed his unique sound to being a recording mixer and engineer, saying, "Because of all the technology now you can make music yourself and a lot of people are doing that now. I started out doing that a long time ago and I found when I did that I came up with a unique sound." His catalogue is published by independent music publishers Fairwood Music Imternational. On August 10, 2018 it was announced on his official website and Facebook page that a posthumous album of previously unreleased material would be released later in the year. On what would have been Cale's 80th birthday on December 5, his Facebook page announced that the album would be released in the spring of 2019. The new album is called Stay Around with its release date set as April 26, 2019. "Chasing You" (2:58), the first single from the album, was digitally released on January 31, 2019 and was released physically as a vinyl single on Record Store Day on April 13, 2019. The title track "Stay Around" (3:05) was digitally released on March 20, 2019. Death Cale died at the age of 74 in San Diego, California, on July 26, 2013, after suffering a heart attack. He was survived by his wife Christine Lakeland, whom he married in 1995.