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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Celebrating 50 Years Of JJ Cale, Tulsa Sound, Limited Edition 9 LP Box Set To Be Released

By Stevie Connor. Photo Credit: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of JJ Cale’s career, his first eight, iconic, albums - Naturally, Really, Okie, Troubadour, 5, Shades, Grasshopper and #8 are presented in a limited edition vinyl box set that features some of his best known songs including ‘Cocaine’, ‘Travelin’ Light’, ‘Call Me The Breeze’ and ‘After Midnight’ that will be released on 6 October.

Available to pre-order now, each album is pressed on 180g colour vinyl with the ninth bonus vinyl containing ‘The Early Years’, a collection of his 1960’s singles. All have been remastered at Abbey Road studios.

In addition to the records, this package contains a 40 page hardback book featuring rare and unseen images, essays, memorabilia and a foreword from legendary guitarist Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits.

Cale’s influence is immeasurable. As an artist he was known for being unassuming and one to actively not seek spotlight proclaiming in 2013 "… I knew what fame entailed. I tried to back off from that. I had seen some of the people I was working with forced to be careful because people wouldn't leave them alone… “.

Raised in Tulsa, he was a true innovator who wrote and recorded his own music. His innovative nature saw him use the latest recording technology - an interest that started from his years working as a sound engineer. As a result he became known as the originator of the “Tulsa Sound”, all though, when once asked about the “Tulsa Sound” he reflected…

“I guess I had something to do with that, and Leon had something to do with it; Jamie Oldaker, Carl Radle – everybody’s kind of that way. Everybody knows everybody. I’ve played for two generations there. Tulsa was the kind of place you could slide in, and, ‘You want to be the leader? You be the leader tonight, you be the leader tomorrow night.’ That was the Tulsa sound, to me. It was in an attitude more than it was in music.”

He viewed his albums as “demos.” Primitively (or more accurately, eccentrically) recorded, they weren’t likely to generate hit singles; instead, his original songs spawned numerous cover versions by more established artists. Songwriting royalties provided Cale with a good living. ‘Naturally’, his debut album, alone spawned Top 40 hit ‘Crazy Mama’ (covered by The Band, Larry Carlton, Johnny Rivers, and others), ‘Call Me The Breeze’ (a hit for Lynyrd Skynyrd, also recorded by Johnny Cash) and ‘After Midnight,’ which Cale reluctantly recorded for the album after Eric Clapton had already scored a hit with it.

His inspiration is multi-generational and some of those who have covered his music include - Beck with The Flaming Lips (‘Magnolia’), Captain Beefheart (‘I Got The Same Old Blues’), Santana (‘Sensitive Kind’), Jerry Garcia (‘After Midnight’), Band of Horses (‘Thirteen Days’), Waylon Jennings (‘Louisiana Women’), Dan Auerbach (‘Don’t Go To Stranger’) - for a full list see

This collection of albums in ‘Tulsa Sound’ is an extremely influential body of work. Released between 1971 and 1983, he and his work had a profound influence on some of the best known and regarded songwriters of all time…

Speaking of Cale, Eric Clapton said - “One of the most important artists in the history of rock, quietly representing the greatest asset his country has ever had…He has been an incredible inspiration to me. His records are really minimal, light, it’s all about finesse. It’s almost like he’s whispering in your ear but you hear everything single word. I don’t know how he does it. It’s such a cunning technique.”

Neil Young - “Of all the players I ever heard, it’s gotta be Hendrix and JJ Cale who are the best electric guitar players.”

Tom Petty - “One of our favourite songwriters is a man named JJ Cale. He’s a fantastic writer.”

Mark Knopfler - “JJ Cale kept me falling in love with guitar, kept me wanting to play the instrument. But most important for me, I think, is the songwriter in him, the deep well of creativity that has given us so many bewitching songs to treasure.”

‘Tulsa Sound’ 9LP Box Set - Tracklist:

Naturally - Side A

Call Me The Breeze

Call The Doctor

Don't Go To Strangers

Woman I Love



Naturally - Side B

Crazy Mama

Nowhere To Run

After Midnight

River Runs Deep

Bringing It Back

Crying Eyes

Really - Side A


Everything Will Be Alright

I'll Kiss The World Goodbye


Right Down Here

If You're Ever In Oklahoma

Really - Side B

Ridin’ Home

Going Down


Playing In The Street

Mo Jo

Louisiana Women

Okie - Side A


I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)


Rock And Roll Records

The Old Man And Me

Everlovin' Woman

Okie - Side B

Cajun Moon

I'd Like To Love You Baby

Anyway The Wind Blows

Precious Memories


I Got The Same Old Blues

Troubadour - Side A

Hey Baby

Travelin' Light

You Got Something

Ride Me High

Hold On


Troubadour - Side B

I'm A Gypsy Man

The Woman That Got Away

Super Blue

Let Me Do It To You


You Got Me On So Bad

5 - Side A

Thirteen Days

Boilin' Pot

I'll Make Love To You Anytime

Don't Cry Sister

Too Much For Me

Sensitive Kind

5 - Side B



Let's Go To Tahiti

Katy Kool Lady

Fate Of A Fool


Shades - Side A

Carry On

Deep Dark Dungeon

Wish I Had Not Said That

Pack My Jack

If You Leave Her

Shades - Side B

Mama Don't


What Do You Expect

Love Has Been Gone

Cloudy Day

Grasshopper - Side A

City Girls

Devil In Disguise

One Step Ahead Of The Blues

You Keep Me Hangin' On

Downtown L.A.

Can't Live Here


Grasshopper - Side B

Drifters Wife

Don't Wait

A Thing Going On

Nobody But You

Mississippi River

Does Your Mama Like To Reggae

Dr. Jive

#8 - Side A

Money Talks


Hard Times


Takin' Care Of Business

#8 - Side B

People Lie


Trouble In The City

Teardrops In My Tequila

Livin' Here Too

The Early Years - Side A

Dick Tracy

It's A Go-Go Place

Outside Looking In

The Early Years - Side B

In Our Time

After Midnight

Slow Motion


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