Bill Cunningham (musician)

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For other people named Bill Cunningham, see Bill Cunningham (disambiguation).
Bill Cunningham
Born (1950-01-23) January 23, 1950 (age 67)
Memphis, TN, U.S.
Instruments Bass Guitar, Piano, Organ, Upright Bass, Cello, Vocals
Associated acts Box Tops, Chris Bell

William "Bill" Cunningham (born January 23, 1950) is the original bass guitarist / keyboardist for the Box Tops.[1]

Cunningham was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He remained a member of the Box Tops until August 1969, when he decided to return to school to get a music degree in performance of the upright bass.

Though Cunningham virtually vanished from the pop music scene after he left the Box Tops, he rose in the ranks of classical musicians, playing in many symphony orchestras and in ballet and opera companies while attending university. During this period he backed artists as diverse as Eddy Arnold, Van Cliburn, Isaac Hayes, the Romeros (Spanish guitarists), and Dionne Warwick.

During that period, Cunningham played on a number of string sessions for STAX and other Memphis recording artists. One example can be heard on Chris Bell's (Big Star) song "You and Your Sister," featuring Bell's guitar work and vocals, Alex Chilton backing vocal, and Cunningham's string arrangements and upright bass work.

In 1996, Cunningham played the principal role in reforming the original Box Tops. He played bass and shared responsibility for keyboard parts with John Evans on the Tear Off album. Cunningham has toured with the group since 1997.[2]

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