Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and musician JJ Cale, one of the originators of the Tulsa Sound, moved to Valley Center near Escondido in 1989. He and his wife Christine Lakeland owned a house on three acres of land.
Cale songs such as “Cocaine” and “After Midnight” have been huge hits for Eric Clapton, who he met in 1975 and then again in 2004. Among his other songs recorded by others are "Cajun Moon" by Randy Crawford, "Clyde" and "Louisiana Women" by Waylon Jennings, "Magnolia" by Jai, "Bringing It Back" by Kansas, "Call Me the Breeze" and "I Got the Same Old Blues" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, "I'd Like to Love You, Baby" by Tom Petty, "Travelin' Light" and "Ride Me High" by Widespread Panic, "Tijuana" by Harry Manx, "Sensitive Kind" by Carlos Santana, "Cajun Moon" by Herbie Mann with Cissy Houston, and "Same Old Blues" by Captain Beefheart.
As a solo performer, Cale's biggest U.S. hit single "Crazy Mama" peaked at number 22 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1972.
In August 2005, Clapton spent a week visiting Cale in Escondido, helping him put together the album The Road to Escondido. The album contains one of the last recordings by the late Billy Preston.
Clapton’s 2013 studio album Old Sock includes Cale’s backing vocals and guitar on the track “Angel.”
Cale passed away from a heart attack on July 26, 2013, at the age of 74. The following year, Eric Clapton put together a tribute album, The Breeze, An Appreciation of JJ Cale, with performers to include Mark Knopfler, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, and Derek Trucks of the Allman Brothers. Clapton also released a promo video for the project, “Call Me the Breeze.”
A newly remastered concert album was released on June 19, 2015 -- JJ Cale Ebbetts Field -- recorded in 1975 in Denver, Colorado. In addition, he was heard on Eric Clapton's 2016 concert album Live in San Diego, recorded at iPayOne Center (former Sports Arena) on March 15, 2007.