An enigmatic character who always shunned publicity, J.J. Cale adopted the initials JJ to avoid confusion with John Cale of Velvet Underground. Born in Oklahoma but raised in Tulsa, his distinctive guitar playing, laid-back vocals, shuffling rhythms and free-thinking fusions of rock, jazz, blues and country originated a style that became known as the "Tulsa sound." His shyness and rejection of the star system ensured that he remained a cult attraction, but his standing among his contemporaries has always been high. At 21 Cale moved to Nashville and worked for a while with the Grand Ole Opry touring band, but also worked with Leon Russell, Delaney And Bonnie and Leathercoated Minds, before launching his solo career in 1965. When Eric Clapton had a hit with a cover of his After Midnight in 1969, Cale's fame spread and he released his debut solo album Naturally in 1971, producing the US hit single Crazy Mama. He followed this with the albums Really, Okie, Troubadour, Shades and Grasshopper, but disappeared from live performance and the recording studio for much of the 1980s. Cale reappeared in 1992 with the album Travel Log and re-established his influential reputation with 10 (1992), Closer To You (1994), Guitar Man (1996) and To Tulsa & Back (2004). In 2006 he collaborated with Eric Clapton on the Road To Escondido album, following it with Roll On (2009).