MEMPHIS, TN— The Memphis music community mourning after losing of one of its legends: B.B. Cunningham. Police say the 70 year old was shot and killed while working part-time as a security guard. Police responded to the shooting at Cherry Crest Apartments in East Memphis around 2am Sunday October 14. Cunningham’s friends tell ABC24 News he was responding to a shooting call at the apartment complex, as he was trying to help others he lost his life.
"I went num; it came to me in an email,” said Cunningham’s former band member and friend Bob Holden. “At first I didn't know what to make of it."
A 16 year old boy was also shot and killed at the apartment complex. Police are not releasing many details leaving the Memphis music community in shock.
"To hear the loss, another great musician, so untimely it was sad,” said a friend Eddie Dattle. “I looked up to him (Cunningham) because how many people can say they had a timeless, classic American rock hit like 'Let it all Hang Out.'”
That song was the highlight of Cunningham's career, a classic 60's song. Cunningham was part of the band "The Hombres" when they released the 1967 song "Let it all Hang Out.” In 1997 Cunningham joined the Jerry Lee Lewis' band as a bass player. During his 50-year music career, those who knew Cunningham, say he was one of the most versatile talents in Memphis.
"B.B. Cunningham went on to play other instruments. He wasn't just limited to being a vocalist, he was a producer, a song writer, he played keyboards, and he played bass guitar,” said Dattle.
Even at age 70 his friends say Cunningham would still perform and give back to the community.
"He took the time to work with young people to show them the ins and outs of the music business,” said Holden.
"He was a very nice, warm person. He worked with a lot of different musicians,” Dattle stated.
Memphis police later charged 22-year-old Dock Britt with First Degree Murder and Attempted First Degree Murder. He is being held without bond at the Shelby County Jail and is scheduled to appear in court October 22.