While his work is transparent to those of us who weren’t in local NJ government or putting out influential mid-90s debuts (such as Hot Water Music and Ink & Dagger), Rich Cunningham was a major figure in workers rights in Central New Jersey but perhaps more famously as the founder of Happy Days Records. Last month, Cunningham succumbed to colon cancer. His friends at Chunksaah Records (home of the Souls) have set up a charity auction in his name with a fair amount of cool punk stuff. All proceeds will go to Cunningham’s wife and two children.
From the release:
Rich Cunningham formed Happy Days Records in 1995, releasing debut records by Hot Water Music and Ink & Dagger, as well as titles by Endeavor, Times Up, and Human Remains. In 2000 he formed New Labor, an alternative model of worker organization that combines new and existing strategies to improve working conditions and provide a voice for low-wage, young, immigrant workers in central New Jersey. In 2005 Rich was diagnosed with colon cancer. After a four-year battle, the 32-year-old labor leader died on September 4th, leaving colleagues to mourn the man whose efforts were nationally recognized.
All proceeds from these auctions will go directly to Rich Cunningham’s wife, Heather, and his two children, Reese and Lilly. We would like to encourage you to read more about Rich at NJ.com by clicking HERE. Donations can also be made at www.armyofrich.org.