Monday, January 12, 2009

Crazy Mama

One of my favorite songs from the early '70's is another one of those that just never seems to get played on the radio anymore.

Back in 1972, Oklahoma-born Blues / Rock Singer / Songwriter J.J. Cale took his biggest hit, Crazy Mama, all the way to #22 on The Billboard Pop Singles Chart. (It did even better here in Chicago, where it peaked at #12!)

Sounding like nothing else out at the time, Crazy Mama really stood out on the radio play list ... and I've loved it ever since. It's one of those laid-back slow jams that just has a GREAT feel to it ... and it SHOULD be part of oldies radio programming today ... definitely one of those "Wow" songs that'll turn your audience on its ear.

J.J. Cale's biggest fan just may be Eric Clapton, who immortalized TWO of Cale's best-known compositions, After Midnight (Clapton's first solo chart hit, #13, 1970) and Cocaine, an FM Classic Rock staple ever since it first appeared on Eric's 1977 Slowhand album.

In fact, Eric Clapton thinks SO much of J.J. Cale that he endorsed his induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in his recently published autobiography. (Unfortunately, Cale has never even been so much as nominated for this honor!) In fact, Eric pretty much echoed OUR sentiments regarding the multiple induction of Rock Hall of Fame members when he stated that J.J. Cale deserved a spot, pointing out that he, himself, had already been inducted three times while other great artists are continually ignored.

The two first met while working with Delaney and Bonnie back in 1970. (Sadly, we lost Delaney Bramlett just a couple of weeks ago.) Cale had been in a High School band with Leon Russell, another frequent Delaney and Bonnie contributor, and years later Russell would sign J.J. to his Shelter Records record label ... which is where he enjoyed his Top 40 success!

Clapton fell in love with J.J.'s music and eventually invited him to produce one of his own LPs. Over the years, Cale has done session work for Phil Spector, Bob Seger, Neil Young and Art Garfunkel ... and, in 1972, he released his OWN version of After Midnight as a single ... it peaked at #42 but again became a bigger hit here in Chicago, topping out at #26. (A decade later, Clapton would go on to re-record After Midnight for a beer commercial ... and then released it as a single again in its brand-new, slowed-down arrangement.) A third 1972 J.J. Cale single, Lies, just missed The National Top 40, also peaking at #42.

Give a listen to Crazy Mama today ... and then give your favorite oldies deejay a call and ask them to play it on the air ... it's a song that DESERVES to be heard!