Singer/songwriter who specializes in folk and novelty music. He had a surprise top 40 hit in the 1970's called "Dead Skunk In The Middle of the Road". He also appeared in an episode of M*A*S*H playing a character named Captain Spalding, in which he also sings. His best song is called "IWIWAL" or "I Wish I Was a Lesbian". This, as well as Dead Skunk can often be heard on the Dr. Demento show.

A little bit about . .

" of America's most astute lyrical commentators...lyrically compelling and emotionally overpowering. MOJO Magazine"

When discussing Loudon Wainwright III, it is all too easy to either focus on his confessional, intimate aspect of some of his lyrics, such as "Motel Blues", or the wry humor of others, such as the aforementioned "I Wish I Was a Lesbian" or "Rufus is a Tit Man", the latter dedicated to his now-famous son. To ignore one while praising the other doesn't do his music justice; there are times when both elements meet and provide some of Loudon's best moments:

"I know I'm unhappy - I know things aren't right
For instance last week I got drunk every night.
I know I'm angry - I know I'm afraid
I rarely make love, I mostly get laid.
"I Know I'm Unhappy", Album II

Loudon's first two albums for Atlantic records were out of print in the US for over 20 years until they were re-released, together, as The Atlantic Recordings, by Rhino Handmade records. These two records hold some of his best work and are the best starting point for newcomers to his work.

In his own words

Extracts from

"After the War (II) my father Loudon (II) came home with his bride Martha (I). My parents had sex and nine months later I was born albeit almost backwards."

"I started playing the guitar around 1960 and after seeing Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in 1962 I acquired a brand new musical role model."

"I worked a variety of jobs - movie house janitor, boatyard barnacle scraper, and cashier-cook-dishwasher at New York's first macrobiotic restaurant, the Paradox on East 7th Street. This was also the time I started to write my own songs."

"I suppose if you were writing my obituary today you'd refer to 1972's "Dead Skunk" (#1 in Little Rock Arkansas for six weeks) and my 3 appearances on the M*A*S*H TV show in 1975 as Capt. Calvin Spaulding, the singing surgeon. Hopefully you'd mention my two Grammy nominations for the albums I'm Alright (1985) and More Love Songs (1986). And you'd remember and include the fact that Johnny Cash recorded my song "The Man Who Couldn't Cry" for his highly acclaimed 1994 album American Recordings. Undoubtedly your editor would remind you to say something about last summer's BBC II TV show, Loudon And Co. and the topical songs I've been writing for N.P.R. and Ted Koppel's Nightline on ABC. If and when you do write the obituary I'm sure Virgin Records would be happy to supply you with any photos you might require."


Adapted from

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