Hugh McCracken

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Hugh McCracken
Born (1942-03-31)March 31, 1942
Glen Ridge, New Jersey
United States
Died March 28, 2013(2013-03-28) (aged 70)
New York City, New York
United States
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar, harmonica, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, mandolin, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar[1]
Years active 1960s–2013
Associated acts Paul Simon, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Roberta Flack, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Yoko Ono, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Phoebe Snow, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Hall & Oates, Bob Dylan, Garland Jeffreys

Hugh C. McCracken (March 31, 1942 – March 28, 2013) was an American rock guitarist and session musician based in New York City, primarily known for his performance on guitar and also as a harmonica player. McCracken was additionally an arranger and producer.[2]


Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, McCracken grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey.[3]

Especially in demand in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, McCracken appeared on many recordings by Steely Dan, as well as albums by Donald Fagen, Jimmy Rushing, Billy Joel, Roland Kirk, Roberta Flack, B. B. King, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, The Monkees, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Idris Muhammad, James Taylor, Phoebe Snow, Bob Dylan, Linda McCartney, Carly Simon, Graham Parker, Yoko Ono, Eric Carmen, Loudon Wainwright III, Lou Donaldson, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, The Four Seasons, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Hank Crawford, Jerry Jemmott, Gary Wright and Andy Gibb.

In the middle 1960s, McCracken played in a North Jersey night club cover band called The Funatics under the stage name of Mack Pierce. The band became Mario & The Funatics for a short time when it merged with saxophonist Mario Madison. He was a member of Mike Mainieri's White Elephant Orchestra (1969–1972),[4] a 20-piece experimental jazz-rock outfit based in New York City. The band was made up of Steve Gadd, Tony Levin, Warren Bernhardt, George Young, Frank Vicari, Michael Brecker, Ronnie Cuber, Jon Faddis, Lew Soloff, Randy Brecker, Barry Rogers, Jon Pierson, Steve Goodman, David Spinozza and Joe Beck.

Among the many albums he performed on was the 1970 recording by writer/critic Robert Palmer's Insect Trust, Hoboken Saturday Night, together with Bernard "Pretty" Purdie and Elvin Jones. In 1971, because of such high demand for his work, McCracken declined Paul McCartney's invitation to help form his new band, Wings.[5] McCracken also played on, arranged and co-produced with Tommy LiPuma, Dr. John's City Lights (1978) and Tango Palace (1979).


McCracken died of leukemia in New York City at the age of 70.[6]



  2. "Musicians' Institute". March 2, 2009. Retrieved November 8, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Martin, Douglas. "Hugh McCracken, 70, Who Made His Sound in Studios", The New York Times, April 6, 2013. Accessed June 13, 2015. "Hugh Carmine McCracken was born on March 31, 1942, in Glen Ridge, N.J., and grew up in nearby Hackensack."
  4. All About Jazz. "Mike Mainieri at All About Jazz". Retrieved November 8, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Whitaker, Sterling (March 29, 2013). "Legendary Session Guitarist Hugh McCracken Dies". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved March 31, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Martin, Douglas (April 3, 2013). "Hugh McCracken, a Studio Musician in High Demand, Dies at 70". The New York Times. p. B8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. (according to the original album cover
  8. Artie Kornfeld Tree, The – A Time To Remember! at Discogs
  9. Insect Trust, The – Hoboken Saturday Night at Discogs
  10. Eugene McDaniels – Outlaw at Discogs
  11. Johnny Hallyday – Flagrant Delit at Discogs
  12. Danny O'Keefe – Breezy Stories at Discogs
  13. Dr. John – City Lights at Discogs
  14. Dr. John – Tango Palace at Discogs
  15. "With You - Prince Vault". Retrieved March 6, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links