Songwriter, guitarist, and all-around master of the blues JJ Cale died of a heart attack yesterday. The 74-year-old was most famous for writing the Eric Clapton hits "Cocaine" and "After Midnight".

Cale was close with Clapton and in 2006, the duo released a terrific, laid-back blues album, the Grammy-winning "The Road To Escondido".

"I'd probably be selling shoes today if it wasn't for Eric," Cale told the AP when the album was released.

But Cale's work was appreciated by a wide range of artists. Lynyrd Skynyrd made Cale's "Call Me the Breeze" famous, and Johnny Cash, Santana and the Allman Brothers also covered his songs.

When asked if it bothered him that so many fans loved his music but didn't know his name, Cale replied, "No, it doesn't bother me... What's really nice is when you get a check in the mail."

[via, image via Getty]