Police said Cunningham, 70, working as an apartment complex security guard, heard a shot at the neighboring Cherry Crest Apartments and went to investigate. When police arrived they found the bodies of Cunningham and the teenager, The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported. Both had been shot to death.
The youth's name wasn't reported. No arrests had been made.
Cunningham spent 50 years in the music business as a musician, singer, songwriter, session player, engineer and producer, the newspaper said.
After recording a regional hit with his band, the Six O'Clock Boys, Cunningham toured with Ronnie and the Daytonas in 1965 and then played keyboards and sang for the Hombres, which had a hit song, "Let It All Hang Out," in 1967.
He went on to work for Sounds of Memphis Studios and then moved to Los Angeles where he was chief engineer for Independent Recorders.
He returned to Memphis a few years later and started his own studio. Since 1997, Cunningham was also a member of Jerry Lee Lewis' band. He released a solo album, "Hangin' In," in 2003, The Commercial Appeal said.