Johnny Cunningham was born on 27 August 1957 in Portobello, Edinburgh. He was a founding member of Silly Wizard, as well as a member of Relativity, The Raindogs, and Nightnoise. Throughout his career, Cunningham was also a fiddler, composer and producer. His younger brother, Phil Cunningham, is a multi-instrumentalist best known for his piano-accordion and whistle playing. He is also a former member of Silly Wizard and was involved in promoting a greater awareness of Scottish traditional music and its performers through the medium of television, doing interviews interwoven with music. Cunningham died of a heart attack on 15 December 2003 in New York City at the age of 46.