A great songwriter has died. JJ Cale wrote so many great songs that you know by heart but maybe didn't even know were his: "Cocaine" and "After Midnight" made famous by long time admirer and friend Eric Clapton; "Call Me The Breeze", made famous by Lynyrd Skynyrd", and so many more. Cale died of a heart attack Friday (July 26) in LaJolla, California. He was 74.

Cale was one of the innovators of the "Tulsa Sound" that blended blues, rockabilly, country, and even jazz influences. Cale got his start around Oklahoma City in the 1950's playing in country and swing bands, including one with Leon Russell, who he would collaborate with and play in bands with for many years.

Eric Clapton was quoted in a magazine interview as saying Cale was the person he most admired while Neil Young has said the two best electric guitar players he'd ever heard were Jimi Hendrix and JJ Cale.

Cale collaborated with Clapton on the Grammy winning 'Road to Escondido' album in 2006. Cale can also be heard on Clapton's self titled 2010 release, plus his latest album, 'Old Sock'. Cale's final tour was in 2009 around his final release

Although plans for a memorial service have not yet been announced, his management company has said "donations are not needed but he was a great lover of animals so, if you like, donations can be made to your favorite local animal shelter."

You can leave your condolence messages and rememberances of JJ on the Where's Eric! Facebook Page.