|Rick Cunha - Bio|
Born RICHARD DALE CUNHA; July 17, 1944, in Washington D.C.
Raised in Southern California ( the San Fernando Valley).
Graduated Grant High (W’62); attended Valley College (one year).
Studied Hawaiian steel guitar with Ernie Ball. Changed from steel guitar to Spanish guitar with the Folk Music renaissance of the early 60s. Moved to Hawaii in Feb. ‘63 and started singing and playing at a small "folk" club in Honolulu called Hum-bums. Sang (as "The Hawaiian Hootenanny Boy") on the Lucky Luck television show in 1964. Worked Honolulu nightclubs with partner Dave Dawson through '66. Returned to Los Angeles, and with Dave and Larry Murray started the Folk/Rock band "Hearts and Flowers". Recorded two albums for Capitol Records.
As a musician Rick has toured with Jennifer Warnes (who recorded Rick’s song: "When the Feeling Comes Around" which reached the top 40 charts in 1980), Mason Williams (of Classical Gas fame), John Stewart, and the Byron Berline and Sundance band. Studio musicians’ credits include: Emmy Lou Harris, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton, Jennifer Warnes, Waylon Jennings, Rose Maddox, et al.
In 1981 returned to Honolulu for the Hawaiian Song Festival finals to sing his entry "Rainbows". Rick also teamed up with Peter Apo, Charlie Oyama, Mike Botts and Joe Lamanno to form the group "Na Kama Hele" and record their first CD entitled "Ki hoÕalu Journey" for Mamo Records, Aiea, Hawaii.
At present, Rick is the owner/operator of the RAINBOW GARAGE; a recording studio in Van Nuys, California. Current projects include an album of songs written by Rick’s grandfather, "Sonny" Cunha. Sonny, known as the father of "Hapa Haole" music, wrote many of the hapa haole standards back in the early 1900’s including: "the Hapa Haole Hula Girl, "Hula Blues"(with Johnny Noble), "Honolulu Tomboy", and others. Sonny was recently inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame. Rick is also the Musical Director for WELLS FARGO RADIO THEATER, where original radio dramas are performed at Gene Autry’s WESTERN HERITAGE MUSEUM.
Rick Cunha may truly be described as a guitar players' guitar player. He is also one of America's finest songwriters. Rick has performed in concert with Mason Williams (for whom he also produces), Emmy Lou Harris, John Stewart, Anne Murray, Jennifer Warnes, Buck Owens, and The Smothers Brothers, to name a few. His songs have been recorded by Ms. Warnes, Ian Matthews, The Smothers Brothers, Michael Johnson and many other artists. Mr. Cunha's solo recording career began in 1974 with an album for the GRC label, that included his song "Yo-Yo-Man" which has since been immortalized on television and in concert by Tom Smothers. Other solo albums include: "Cunha Tunes" and "Moving Pictures".