Hugh McCracken is a session musician, arranger and producer based in New York.
Especially in demand in the 60s, 70s and 80s, he appears 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, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Idris Muhammad, James Taylor, Phoebe Snow, Bob Dylan, Linda McCartney, 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 and Gary Wright.
In the middle 60’s Hugh 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/bandleader Mario Madison,(Pizzuto). (Mario & The Flips) 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 many of today’s most sought-after session musicians, including 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 collectors’ albums he appears on is the 1970 recording by Robert Palmer‘s Insect Trust, Hoboken Saturday Night, together with drum legends Bernard “Pretty” Purdie and Elvin Jones.
McCracken was invited by Paul McCartney to form the band that became known as Wings, but declined.
He also arranged, co-produced—together with Tommy LiPuma—and played on Dr. John‘s City Lights (1978) and Tango Palace (1979).
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