Memphis, TN – Musician B.B. Cunningham Jr., a member of Jerry Lee Lewis’ band, was killed in a shootout early Sunday, according to police.
Authorities said that Cunningham was working as a security guard at an apartment complex in Memphis. He heard a gunshot Sunday at the neighboring Cherry Crest apartment building and went to investigate at around 2am, reports The Commercial Appeal. Though law enforcement officials didn’t delve into the details of the shooting, they said that officers arrived to find Cunningham and a 16-year-old boy dead from gunshot wounds.
The teenager was not identified, and calls to Memphis authorities by reporters were not returned, reports MSN. Bill Cunningham, brother to the late Jerry Lee Lewis bandmate, confirmed that B.B. had been killed.
“I liked him. We have a good memory from him,” said Byny Garcia of Cunningham. “He’d take care of the old people and the Spanish kids. He was a good person. We don’t feel good at this moment.”
Garcia lives in a unit across from where the shooting took place. He and his wife were listening to music when they heard the gunshots. “It’s like five or six shots. I don’t think anything about this because it’s common,” he said.
Blake Baker Cunningham Jr. was a keyboardist and singer, and established himself in 1965 as a member of the touring Ronnie and the Daytonas band, best known for the song “G.T.O.” Cunningham later went to work at the famed Sounds of Memphis Studios, and in 1971, he moved to Los Angeles to become the chief engineer at Independent Recorders, working with musicians like Billy Joel, Elton John, and Lou Rawls.
Cunningham later returned to Memphis to launch his own studio, and had been a member of Jerry Lee Lewis’ band since 1997. He also released a solo album in 2003 titled “Hangin’ In.”