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Al McKay

Al McKay (born February 2, 1948, in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American guitarist, songwriter, producer, and former member of the American soul/funk/rock/pop band Earth, Wind & Fire, and a recipient of six Grammy Awards. McKay now leads his own group which started life as Al McKay's L.A. All Stars, with former EWF members Johnny Graham, Fred White (younger brother of EWF founders Maurice White and Verdine White), Andrew Woolfolk and Rahmlee Michael Davis and Michael Harris of the former Phenix Horns.

In 2001, the group released an album entitled Al Dente through the Japanese label Videoarts Music. A live album (Live At Mt. Fuji Jazzfestival 2002) followed in 2003 on the same record label. Both releases are available only as imports.

McKay's first professional gig was as a guitarist for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue at the age of 18. Throughout most of the 1970s and 1980s, McKay was hired for numerous studio sessions from different artists and produced/composed for various projects, including George Semper, Brenton Wood & Al McKay Productions, United Soul Association (Sticky Boom Boom Too Cold - 1972 / Epic, Prophesy, Mr. Woods Records), The Temptations (Truly for You – 1984 / Motown), A Taste of Honey (Ladies of the Eighties – 1982 / Capitol), and Finis Henderson (Finis – 1982 / Motown), among many others.

His instructional video for Star Licks Productions appeared on VHS in the mid-1980s. With a re-designed video sleeve, it was re-issued on VHS during the 1990s.

He now performs with his band, The Al McKay Allstars, performing a show called The Earth, Wind & Fire Experience, and tours along the major jazz festivals in the world with this 13-piece ensemble. There is also a live DVD (Live In Kaunas Jazz 2004) from this project, which was filmed in Eastern Europe. It was released on the Lithuanian label Rhythm Records.

McKay is a left-handed guitar player.

Birth and Death Data: Born February 2nd, 1948 (New Orleans)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1967 - 1968

Roles Represented in DAHR: guitar


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 119090 6/19/1967 It's got to be mellow Leon Haywood instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 119091 6/19/1967 Cornbread and buttermilk Leon Haywood instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 119519 10/20/1967 Mellow moonlight Leon Haywood instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 119520 10/20/1967 Hold on I'm coming Leon Haywood instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 15011 9/4/1968 Blues get off my shoulder Leon Haywood ; Leon Haywood ; Leon Haywood instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 15012 9/4/1968 Everybody will be like a holiday Leon Haywood ; Leon Haywood ; Leon Haywood instrumentalist, guitar  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "McKay, Al," accessed February 26, 2021,

McKay, Al. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved February 26, 2021, from

"McKay, Al." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 26 February 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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