(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.)

I wrote the song "Bad Love" back in 1992. But it seems prescient, as if it was tuned to the headlines of today. My comments follow.

Take care,




Garrison Keeler = Harvey Weinstein?


Garrison Keillor, the originator and head honcho of the beloved Minnesota Public Radio music and talk series "Pure Prairie League," has been put up for tough examination by denizens of the #MeToo bandwagon.


His sin? This is how Keiller put it:


“I put my hand on a woman’s bare back,” he said minutes after MPR’s statement. “I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called.”


What do you do with such a powerful man in the communications business?  Do you just throw him "under the bus," where he will do his time with the rest of those reprobate media moguls?


Angie Andresen, Director of Communications at Minnesota Public radio, says that MPR and American Public Radio has decided to


* end distribution and broadcast of The Writer's Almanac and rebroadcasts of "The Best of A Prairie Home Companion" hosted by Garrison Keillor;

* change the name of APM's weekly music and variety program (currently called "A Prairie Home Companion") hosted by Chris Thile; and,

* separate from the Pretty Good Goods online catalog and the PrairieHome.org website.


The "A Prairie Home Companion" is no longer up on the web. The show has been renamed to "Live from Here with Chris Thile."  Keiller built up his "A Prairie Home Companion" for 50 years of broadcasting, over a multitude of American Public Media stations.


Now it's gone.  What do you think?  An outrage?  Or, a real darned pity, but, "justice must be done"?

Amber Tamblyn, an actress, writer, and director, says in the New York Times, "redemption must be preceded by atonement. You have to acknowledge the line in the sand."


Really? Tell us your story.  Drop a line per Facebook, or send me a mail at mail@tom-cunningham.com.



Tom Cunningham musically tells the perhaps unfashionable story of an encounter, from the man's point of view:


"Bad Love."


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. Meine Erläuterungen dazu folgen noch, siehe unten

Viele Grüße



Garrison Keeler = Harvey Weinstein?


 Garrison Keillor, der Gründer und Chef der beliebten NPR Minnesota Public Radio und Talk-Show  "Pure Prairie League," wurde einer gründlichen Untersuchung von Anhängern der #MeToo Bewegung unterzogen.


Seine Sünde? Keiller drückt sich so aus:

"Ich habe meine Hand auf den nackten Rücken einer Frau gelegt", sagte er nur Minuten nach MPRs Aussage. "Ich wollte ihren Rücken tätscheln, nachdem sie mir von ihren Sorgen erzählt hatte, doch ihr Hemd war offen und meine Hand landete ungefähr fünf Zentimeter zu hoch. Sie wich zurück. Ich habe mich entschuldigt. Ich schickte ihr später eine E-Mail mit einer Entschuldigung und sie antwortete, dass sie mir vergeben habe und nicht weiter darüber nachgedacht habe. Wir waren Freunde. Wir waren weiterhin freundlich zu einander, bis ihr Anwalt anrief.


Was macht man mit einem so mächtigen Mann in der Kommunikationsbranche? Wirft man ihn einfach "unter die Räder", wo er seine Zeit mit dem Rest dieser verwerflichen Medienmogule verbringen wird?


Angie Andresen, Kommunikationsdirektorin bei Minnesota Public Radio, sagt, dass MPR und American Public Radio entschieden haben:


* die Verbreitung und Ausstrahlung des Almanachs "The Writer's Almanac" und "Broadcasts" von "The Best of A Prairie Home Companion" von Garrison Keillor zu beenden;

* den Namen von APMs wöchentlichem Musik- und Varieté-Programm (derzeit "A Prairie Home Companion") von Chris Thile zu ändern; und,

* die Trennung des Pretty Good Goods Online-Katalog von der PrairieHome.org-Website durchzuführen.


Die "A Prairie Home Companion" befindet sich nicht mehr im Netz. Die Show wurde in "Live from Here with Chris Thile" umbenannt. Keiller baute seine "A Prairie Home Companion" über einen Zeitraum von 50 Jahren und mit einer  Vielzahl von amerikanischen Rundfunkstationen auf.


Nun ist sie verschwunden. Was meinst du? Eine Unverschämtheit? Oder eine wirkliche Schande, bei der der Gerechtigkeit Genüge getan werden muss?


Amber Tamblyn, eine Schauspielerin, Autorin und Regisseurin, sagt in der New York Times: "Der Erlösung muss Sühne vorausgehen. Man muss rote Linien einhalten.“ 

Tom Cunningham erzählt musikalisch die vielleicht nicht ganz zeitgemäße Geschichte einer Begegnung, aus der Sicht des Mannes:

Bad Love.



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" –


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,






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!

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

Tobias Stern Video, "Gambled on Your Love"

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