BIO – Tom Cunningham

The American-born singer-songwriter has made a name for himself over the years in London, New York, and Nashville. But his main activity centers in Berlin, as a performer, a producer, a host, a session man, and a writer of both books and songs. 

Starting in 1978, he has been signed to Intercord, Deutsche Grammophon, TGR, Powerplay, Navigator/Edel, Galaxy City, and Monopol.  He has produced the group City, Romy Haag, Rik de Lisle, Robert Bauer, Karat, Keimzeit, Queen Yahna, Princess, Hagelberger Street Artists, Shannon, and Werner Lämmerhirt, among many others. He has played and sung on more famous (or quite obscure) artist’s records than you can keep track of.

And, although he has never met such tops stars as Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger, in the bounty of the rock 'n roll life he has talked with America's Gerry Beckley about a deal with Warner Brother’s, got complemented (at age 17) for slide guitar playing by Van Morrison, and had a box of cookies stolen (at age 13) at Camp Moosehead (Maine, U.S.A.) by Billy Squire (age 14).

 

BIOGRAPHIE - Tom Cunningham

Der in Amerika geborene Singer-Songwriter hat sich über die Jahre in London, New York und Nashville einen Namen gemacht. Sein wichtigster Ort blieb all die Jahre Berlin, als Performer, Produzent, Moderator, Session-Man und Autor von Liedern und nun auch Büchern.

Seit 1978 war Tom Cunningham als Sänger und Gitarrist bei Intercord, Deutsche Grammophon, TGR, Powerplay, Navigator/Edel, Galaxy City und Monopol unter Vertrag. Er hat als Produzent mit zahlreichen Künstlern gearbeitet, wie z.B. in den 80ern mit den ostdeutschen Gruppen City, Karat und Keimzeit, aber auch mit Romy Haag, Rik de Lisle, Robert Bauer, Queen Yahna, Princess, den Hagelberger Street Artists, Shannon und Werner Lämmerhirt. Er hat auf zahlreichen bekannten, mitunter auch ausgefallenen Künstlerplatten gespielt und gesungen. Und obwohl er noch nie Stars wie Paul McCartney oder Mick Jagger getroffen hat, hat er in der Fülle seines Rock'n Roll-Lebens mit dem Amerikaner Gerry Beckley über einen Deal mit Warner Bros gesprochen, mit 17 Jahren bekam er Komplimente von Van Morrison für sein Slide-Gitarrenspiel und von Billy Squire wurden ihm (im Alter von 13 Jahren) in Camp Moosehead (Maine, USA) seine Schokoladenkekse geklaut.

Seit den 90er Jahren machte sich Tom insbesondere in Berlin in der Singer-Songwriter-Szene einen Namen mit der Organisation der „Songwriter-in-a-Round“-Veranstaltungen, die leider 2005 ein jähes Ende durch den Schlaganfall fanden, den Tom erlitt. Sein rechter Arm blieb lahm und er braucht einen Gehstock. Er kann seitdem nicht mehr Gitarre spielen, aber er lernte mit den Folgen umzugehen. Sein gutes Deutsch hat auch etwas gelitten, aber seine Englischkenntnisse sind immer noch ausgezeichnet. und die Stimme kam besser und reifer zurück. Neben der Musik widmet sich Tom nun als Autor dem Schreiben von Romanen und Kurzgeschichten, die natürlich auch mit der Musikwelt zu tun haben.

 

(Deutch seihe Unten)

With the new year comes a new album:

"My Berlin Years, Volume II."

The opening track of the album, "Bad Love," you can play here. And the brand-new video will also be up on Youtube, under the "Best of Tom Cunningham." You can buy the album at Amazon, iTunes, CD baby (under the name Tom Cunningham.)

Take care,

 

TC

 

------

Das Jahr beginnt mit einem neuen Album:

"My Berlin Years, Volume II."

Den Eröffnungssong des Albums “Bad Love”, kannst Du hier abspielen. Das brandneue Video findet Ihr auch auf Youtube unter „Best of Tom Cunningham." Das Album ist erhältlich auf Amazon, iTunes und CD Baby ( unter dem Namen Tom Cunningham).

Ich habe den Song „Bad Love“ 1992 geschrieben. Er wirkt aber geradezu vorrausschauend, als wäre er auf die heutigen Schlagzeilen abgestimmt. 

Viele Grüße

TC

 

 

I have written a book. 

"Love, Death, and the Rock Star’s Song"

deals with a young Rock Star who attempts to make his wicked ways in the American world, ca.  1990s (and it is literature, not real life). 

It is published on Amazon worldwide (.com, de, co.uk, you name it). Just enter the name, Tom Cunningham, and the book, "Love, Death, and the Rock Star’s Song,"and there you have it.

 

And if you wish to hear some music from the young rock star, go no further. It it's all on page 2 of this website, "Tobias Stern Music." And you can even hear and see his YouTube video directly to the right, "I Gambled on Your Love, Babe."

 

Here is a brief taste of the novel.

Teddy McGillicuddy is in a quandary.

He (with the help of his old Martin guitar 0028) has written a hit, "Gambled on Your Love, Babe." A sophomore in the Des Moines, Iowa, Claremont College of 1990, his brand of down-home Midwest rock 'n roll is so invigorating, so exciting, that he's picked up an eager band of college guys, The Laundromats, to astound the world with his genius.

Of course, nothing goes as clearly as it should. After he quits school, the band dies beneath him, and he finds himself out in Los Angeles, California trying to offer his demo tapes to the major record companies. But, no go; his work is "derivative," he is told.

Then an old man offers a ray of hope. Jawbone Joffrey has had an illustrious career as an A&R manager during the past glorifying years of American music. He's helped Dylan, Springsteen, and Aretha Franklin, among countless others. And he offers Teddy McGillicuddy a contract, back in the days when a Record Contract really meant something.

Teddy nearly jumps for joy. A Contract! Just a couple of things are tied to his acceptance of it. A new name, for starters. Teddy McGillicuddy just won't do. Jawbone Joffrey decides to call him "Tobias Stern." It has the mysterious élan needed for a Rock Star. Teddy says, okay. These are the ways of making the wicked rock music business work, he thinks.

They shake hands on the new name, and Teddy is about to leave, when Jawbone Joffrey says, there is one other thing. One very important thing, in fact. If you want the contract, if you want the stardom, then you must be---

How Teddy deals with this is the crux of the novel.

 

Those who need more can go to www.tobiasstern.com.

 

New CD album release:  „My Berlin Years“ vol. 1

 

 

At long last I have finally released a new CD, "My Berlin Years" volume 1. As many of you know, I suffered from a stroke about 10 years ago, in July 2005. But, as the saying goes, "rock and rollers never die", and soon (with the help of Ron Randolph’s incomparable vocal coaching), I was out on the Tempodrom stage once again.

 

And I also discovered among many tapes and cassettes some unrivalled gems that I had started in the studio, but never (due to the stroke) finished. These form the basis of the work that I call "My Berlin Years". I slowly "relearned" the mechanics of Logic Audio, and with a new vocal finished up the final recordings. Some may be known to you if you ever visited "Songwriters in the Round" and heard me sing "Frank Sinatra-Mode" (I used to do the German version, lyrics by Juergen Will, called "Frank Sinatra’s Hut"), but some are brand-new ("Missin’ You").

 

And - I have decided to make a couple of videos to present the songs to you and yours. Just put this in your browser, and click on "The Best of Tom Cunningham" –

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF3yArIoN5DGTljEgtXEmY7MnUADb5NmM

and you will get five titles from the CD (with lyrics) as well as a bonus song, "Sixteen Tons", written by the inimitable Merle Travis in 1947.

Please "subscribe" to it (if you like it!), press on the "like" button, and add a comment if you feel like it. Maybe this thing will go "viral"!

 

I hope you have as much fun listening to it as I have had making it,

 

Sayonara,

 

Tom

 

PS - I wrote "volume 1" on the title. Will there be a volume 2? Well….?

 

 

“A Springsteen voice with a Philly soul update…”

 

Who is this guy Tom Cunningham? (see below)...

 

We asked a couple of bar-goers in Berlin the other day. One of them answered: "Tom Cunningham? He's a musician. He put on some wild shows back in the 80s...and then he headed for Nashville, Tennessee…"

"Cunningham came back, though," said another. "By 2002 he started this show called Songwriters in the Round, in the old Rickenbacker's near the Bundesalle. He invited songwriters near and far to share original tunes… and played some of his Nashville stuff too, great stuff."

"But didn't you hear about his stroke?" asked a third. "It was in 2005. He was paralyzed from the neck down, couldn't play guitar. Poor fella."

"But it didn't get old Cunningham down," exclaimed a third. "He couldn't play guitar, but he worked hard on his voice… I hear that it's better than ever, in fact…"

 

A little fact mixed in with the fiction: Tom indeed lost the ability to play guitar, but he still gets most ably around the world, with the help of a cane. And more important is that he has retained his quick witted, good-humored parry. In fact, he just came back from Nashville last year with a fine new album tucked under his arm, Me Again. It's a great serving of rock, country, jazz, gospel, and folk, all done with a wit and wisdom.

Tom interjects:

‘The CD baby website wants to know, "how do you describe your music?"

Oh boy. How do I describe my music? Well, the answer is usually "Well… it's rock."

But we all know that that's not right. Because the first song, Getting In, is a sort of a Philly sound, with a definite Latino thing going on with the horns. And a guy sees a girl and sings his heart out.

The second song, Moonlight on my Mind, is also I suppose a standard country rock song, but there's more to it than that. A cool dobro player opens it, and it goes on to use to use these cool  female singers (I could swear they were black) singing, "well, I got Moonlight on my mind…".

 Then comes something else again …a dreamy Josh Groban-tinged examination of the universal spell of Liebe. Love Shines. But it's got enough soul in it that perhaps Bill Withers would've, might have, called it his own.

So that's just the first three songs. Country rock? I would prefer to call it Philly rock with a definite Latino thing backed with the country rock number with female-singers matched with a Josh Groban-like area of dreamed crucial Traumküsschen ballad-sophistry.’

Tom puts up his hands.  Dear old, poor old Tom! A marketing agent with a record label would have the title of this kind of rock music down in a jiffy:

“A Springsteen voice with a Philly soul update!”

Tom Cunningham Links

YouTube -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3ur5aeDHrg&list=PLF3yArIoN5DGTljEgtXEmY7MnUADb5NmM Google Play -- https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Tom_Cunningham_My_Berlin_Years_Vol_1?id=B2rg2cn2hgr3y3zyjzs35twvmiy&hl=en Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/TomCunninghamMusic/

Tobias Stern links

YouTube -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap8easNjwoM Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/TomCunninghamMusic/ Amazon -- https://www.amazon.de/Love-Death-Rock-Stars-Song/dp/1521106185/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1494433788&sr=8-2&keywords=tom+cunningham

So where can I buy the CD?

USA:  Amazon.com

Germany:  Amazon.de

Apple.iTunes - rock, Tom Cunningham

(https://itunes.apple.com/de/artist/tom-cunningham/id13592058) note from Tom:  Best MP3 lengths!

Tobias Stern Video, "Gambled on Your Love"

Bad Love

Father & Child

Frank Sinatra-Mode

Paint It Blue

Nice Try

No Excess Baggage

My Most Beautiful Memory

Real Love

Send Me a Fax

The Summer the Sun

Over & Over Again

Taste of My Own Medicine

Missin' You

Sixteen Tons

A Beautiful Lie

I Do My Best Work In My Sleep

Moonlight on my Mind

Baby Don't You Cry