Hugh McCracken, a renowned session guitarist and harmonica player, died March 28. He had been battling leukemia.
In the mid ’60s, McCracken played in a cover band in New Jersey, followed by a three-year stint in White Elephant Orchestra, an experimental jazz-rock band based in New York City that included Steve Gadd and Tony Levin. Afterward, he shifted his focus to studio work and played on Paul and Linda McCartney’s Ram (which contained the hit single “Uncle Albert”/”Admiral Halsey,” followed by Wings’ Red Rose Speedway, as well as John Lennon’s Double Fantasy, Aretha Franklin’s Young, Gifted and Black, Foreigner’s megahit, 4, Van Morrison’s T.B. Sheets, Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years, Steely Dan’s Katy Lied, as well as to works by B.B. King, Graham Parker, Gordon Lightfoot, Janis Ian, and others.