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Musicians Speak About Loss Of Oklahoma's Own JJ Cale

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

JJ Cale's "Tulsa sound" influenced some of the biggest names in rock and roll, and landed him a Grammy in the process. The famous Tulsa artist died Friday night from a heart attack at the age of 74.

Cale was born in Oklahoma City, but called Tulsa his home. And while many people may not be familiar with his name, there's a good chance you're familiar with some of the artists that covered his music.

His laid back style laid the foundation for songs that climbed up the charts in the 70s. Songs covered by artists like Eric Clapton, Waylan Jennings, Tom Petty, Carlos Santana, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The Oklahoma native only had minor success as an artist himself, but his impact on the industry can still be felt decades later.

"JJ Cale was the single most positive influence in my whole life," said musician Rocky Frisco.

Frisco is member of the Oklahoma Blues Hall of fame and went to high school with Cale in Tulsa.

"There was just and air about John, you couldn't help but notice," Frisco said.

7/27/2013 Related Story: Grammy Award Winner, OKC Native JJ Cale Dies Of Heart Attack

Frisco was there in the 50's when Cale created the blues, county, and rock-a-billy hybrid that came to be known as the Tulsa sound, even if Cale never wanted to admit it.

"He said we were just trying to play the blues and that's what we came up with," Frisco said.

Grammy winning artist David Teegarden first meet Cale in Tulsa at the age of 16 and says they remained friends up until the time of his death.

"He was so sweet to me, he was like a big brother," said Teegerden.

Teegarden says no one ever had a problem with Cale. In fact, in the documentary "To Tulsa and Back", Eric Clapton called Cale his favorite person. Teegarden says sometimes they did question his career moves; Like putting ‘After Midnight' on the B-side of a record.

Cale finally landed a Grammy for his work with slow hand in 2006, but to talk to his friends, the Tulsa musician was never really concerned with the spot light.

"Cale got so many offers to make appearances and whatever and he didn't want to do it," Teegarden said.

Maybe because he knew his legacy would live on though his music.

"Very few people, one of their top 10 favorite songs won't be a Cale song," Frisco said.

At this point, no funeral arrangements have been made, but fans are being encouraged to remember Cale by making a donation to their local animal shelter.

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