Hugh Carmine 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.
|Born||March 31, 1942|
Glen Ridge, New Jersey
|Died||March 28, 2013 (aged 70)|
New York City, New York
|Instruments||Guitar, harmonica, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, mandolin, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar|
|Associated acts||Steely Dan, 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|
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), 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. McCracken also played on, arranged and co-produced with Tommy LiPuma, Dr. John's City Lights (1978) and Tango Palace (1979).
His most well-known work was the slide guitar solo in All By Myself by Eric Carmen, the guitar solo in Hey Nineteen by Steely Dan, and the main guitar playing fills on Van Morrison classic Brown-Eyed Girl.
- 1967: Blowin' Your Mind! Van Morrison
- 1967: Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina – The Left Banke
- 1968: Did She Mention My Name? – Gordon Lightfoot
- 1968: Eli and the Thirteenth Confession – Laura Nyro
- 1968: The Circle Game – Tom Rush
- 1969: Completely Well – B.B. King
- 1969: Everything's Archie – The Archies
- 1970: A Time To Remember! – The Artie Kornfeld Tree (ABC/Dunhill Records; Cat. DS 50092)
- 1970: Hoboken Saturday Night – The Insect Trust (Atco Records; Cat. SD 33-313)
- 1970: Outlaw – Eugene McDaniels (Atlantic; Cat. SD 8259)
- 1970: Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse – Eugene McDaniels
- 1971: Ram – Paul McCartney
- 1971: Mike Corbett & Jay Hirsh (with Hugh McCracken) - S/T (Atco Records)
- 1971: Gary Wright - Extraction (A&M Records)
- 1971: Flagrant Délit – Johnny Hallyday (France; Philips; Cat. 6325 003)
- 1972: Album III – Loudon Wainwright III
- 1972: Stoneground Words – Melanie Safka
- 1972: Sweet Buns & Barbeque - Houston Person
- 1973: Abandoned Luncheonette – Daryl Hall & John Oates
- 1973: Sassy Soul Strut – Lou Donaldson
- 1973: For the Good Times - Rusty Bryant
- 1973: From the Depths of My Soul – Marlena Shaw
- 1973: Breezy Stories – Danny O'Keefe (Atlantic; Cat. SD 7264)
- 1973: Daybreaks – John Wonderling (Paramount; Cat. 6063)
- 1974: Walking Man – James Taylor
- 1974: Until It's Time for You to Go - Rusty Bryant
- 1975: Desire - Bob Dylan
- 1975: Still Crazy After All These Years – Paul Simon
- 1975: Katy Lied - Steely Dan
- 1975: Feel Like Makin' Love – Roberta Flack
- 1975: New York Connection – Tom Scott
- 1975: First Cuckoo – Deodato
- 1976: Just a Matter of Time – Marlena Shaw
- 1976: Yellow & Green – Ron Carter
- 1976: Second Childhood – Phoebe Snow
- 1976: Pastels - Ron Carter
- 1976: Smile - Laura Nyro
- 1977: Havana Candy – Patti Austin
- 1977: The Stranger – Billy Joel
- 1977: Blow It Out – Tom Scott
- 1978: Pick 'Em – Ron Carter
- 1978: 52nd Street – Billy Joel
- 1978: City Lights – Dr. John (US; Horizon Records & Tapes; SP 732)
- 1978: Intimate Strangers – Tom Scott
- 1979: Tango Palace – Dr. John (US; Horizon Records & Tapes; SP 740)
- 1979: Headin' Home – Gary Wright
- 1979: Street Beat – Tom Scott
- 1980: After Dark – Andy Gibb
- 1980: Double Fantasy – John Lennon and Yoko Ono
- 1980: One-Trick Pony – Paul Simon
- 1980: Gaucho – Steely Dan
- 1981: Apple Juice – Tom Scott
- 1981: Season of Glass – Yoko Ono
- 1981: 4 – Foreigner
- 1982: The Nightfly – Donald Fagen
- 1982: Another Grey Area – Graham Parker
- 1984: Milk and Honey – John Lennon and Yoko Ono
- 1987: Jill Jones - Jill Jones
- 1987: Inside Information – Foreigner
- 1997: Alta suciedad –Andrés Calamaro
- 2003: Everything Must Go – Steely Dan
- 2005: Restless Angel – Marie Gabrielle (co-producer)
- 2006: Morph the Cat – Donald Fagen
- 2007: Romancing the 60s -Frankie Valli
- "Musicians' Institute". Mi.edu. March 2, 2009. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
- Martin, Douglas (April 3, 2013). "Hugh McCracken, a Studio Musician in High Demand, Dies at 70". The New York Times. p. B8.
- 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."
- All About Jazz. "Mike Mainieri at All About Jazz". Allaboutjazz.com. Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
- Whitaker, Sterling (March 29, 2013). "Legendary Session Guitarist Hugh McCracken Dies". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- "Eric Carmen interview". 2005. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
- "Hugh McCracken: Guitarist who worked for Lennon and McCartney". 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
- (according to the original album cover
- Artie Kornfeld Tree, The – A Time To Remember! at Discogs
- Insect Trust, The – Hoboken Saturday Night at Discogs
- Eugene McDaniels – Outlaw at Discogs
- Johnny Hallyday – Flagrant Delit at Discogs
- Danny O'Keefe – Breezy Stories at Discogs
- Dr. John – City Lights at Discogs
- Dr. John – Tango Palace at Discogs