Biography All Music GuideWikipedia
All Music Guide:
Woody Cunningham is a talented drummer and vocalist and was the leader of '80s funk band Kleeer, for whom he produced and sang some classic tunes. With his background in soul, rock, disco, and funk, he continued sharing his talents as a solo artist in the '90s. Woody Cunningham started in 1971 as a drummer with the vocal group the Choice Four. In 1972 he moved to New York and formed the black heavy metal band Pipeline with bass player Norman Durham, keyboardist Richard Lee, and percussionist Paul Crutchfield. Because he was a talented drummer, Cunningham was very much in demand on New York's disco scene. He played on sessions for Sylvester, Faith, Hope & Charity, Disco Tex & the Sexolettes, and Candido, for Salsoul Records. At Salsoul he met session vocalist Jocelyn Brown who heard his voice and persuaded him to do lead vocals. So Cunningham became a vocalist. In 1976 Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael needed a group to tour under the name the Universal Robot Band. Cunningham and Brown got the job and they liked it so much that they continued, renaming themselves to Kleeer. In 1978 Kleeer was signed to Atlantic Records and they recorded seven albums on that label between 1979 and 1986. In this period Cunningham produced classics like "Keep Your Body Working," "Open Your Mind," "Take Your Heart Away," and "Intimate Connection." Unsigned to any label, he kept on working with other artists like Luther Vandross, Narada Michael Walden, Kashif, Lisa Fischer, Meli'sa Morgan, Nile Rodgers, and Martha Wash. In the early '90s Cunningham was contacted by Andy "Madhatter" Holmes to send him some tapes. This led to the release, together with Paul Crutchfield, of "Oooh With You" in 1994 on Old English, a Manchester label. When he came to the U.K. to do some promotion, Cunningham went in the studio with producers Andy Holmes, Steve Christian, and Si Brad to work on his solo debut album Never Say Never, an '80s-rooted set of R&B and funk, released in 1997 by Expansion. The next album Universal Love, a more mellow album with a jazzy touch, came out in 2000 on Expansion.