Sam McCue

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Sam McCue has been compared to James Burton by music writers who know whereof they speak, and has played alongside such luminaries as the Everly Brothers. Born into a musical family -- his father played…
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Sam McCue has been compared to James Burton by music writers who know whereof they speak, and has played alongside such luminaries as the Everly Brothers. Born into a musical family -- his father played the trumpet semi-professionally and his mother sang and played the fiddle -- he took up the ukulele at age six and later switched to the guitar. By the early '60s, he was a member of the Legends, a Milwaukee-based outfit that rocked the city with their early single releases of "Lariat," "Bop-a-Lena," and "Say Mama" on the Ermine label, all of which topped the local charts. The group was good enough to get signed by Capitol Records, through which they released two LPs and a single in 1962 and 1963. And even though none of those records charted nationally, the exposure was enough to get McCue -- by then recognized as the main driving force within the group -- snapped up by the Everly Brothers, for the lead guitar spot in their backing band, and was with them into the start of the 1970s. During the latter decade, he also joined Crowfoot for their final LP. He remains a guitar hero in Milwaukee and the surrounding area -- it's amazing no one ever tried getting him onto That 70's Show for some verisimilitude -- and in addition to playing guitar for various artists (Atlee Yeager, et al.), he has also served as a producer for artists such as Steve Cohen.