Bill Cunningham has been playing music since the age of 12 when he began playing bass at local square dances and on the Georgia Mountain Fair Staff Band with his dad, Fiddlin’ Howard Cunningham. Bill began playing pedal steel guitar at age 15. As a teenager he and several other local kids formed a country and bluegrass band that played shows including one week summer runs at the Civic Auditorium in Gatlinburg where they backed Mac Wiseman, Stringbean, and Barbara Fairchild. Bill served four years in the Marine Corps and played the local clubs around Cherry Point, NC. In 1980, after the Marines, Bill settled in the Atlanta, GA area. Over the years Bill worked in the bands of Gerry Hall, Nelson Rogers, Vernon Maney, Tiny Tate, and Jim Wood. In 2008, Bill was Tommy Dodd’s sub. on steel guitar in the Atlanta Woodruff Arts Center’s14th St. Playhouse production of “Always Patsy”, a musical biography of Patsy Cline. This run of “Always Patsy” featured the nationally known Cindy Summers as Patsy.Bill continues as a member of the Georgia Mountain Fair Band and just past 45 years with that group. With the 2008 passing of the production of the Georgia Mountain Fair shows from Fiddlin’ Howard Cunningham to Jim Wood, Bill has become the band leader on the GMF Band. Over the years the band has backed many national artists including Ray Pillow, Jack Green, Jeannie Seeley, Hank Thompson, and Johnny Gimble. Today, besides the Georgia Mountain Fair Band, Bill plays casuals in the Atlanta area and is an occasional member of the Praise and Worship Band at Mountain Lake Church in Cumming, GA where he and his family are active members. Bill is a featured steel player and bass player on regional and national steel guitar shows. He is President of the Georgia Steel Guitar Association.
Host band: Steel Guitar Cruise Staff Band