JJ Cale Dies; Wrote Clapton, Skynyrd Hits - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

JJ Cale Dies; Wrote Clapton, Skynyrd Hits

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LA JOLLA, Calif. (AP) - Influential musician JJ Cale, whose best-known songs became hits for Eric Clapton with "After Midnight" and Lynyrd Skynyrd with "Call Me the Breeze," has died. He was 74.

Cale's manager Mike Kappus has told The Associated Press that the architect of the Tulsa Sound died Friday of a heart attack at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, Calif.

The Oklahoma native cut a wide path through 1970s rock 'n' roll, influencing some of the most famous musicians at the time with songs that were laid back and mellow, yet imbued with a driving groove.

A former member of the Grand Ole Opry touring company, Cale never rose to the level of success of his admirers, but his fingerprints could be heard all over the genre in the 1970s, and his music remains influential.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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