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Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright III grew up in the town of Bedford in wealthy Westchester County north of New York City, the son of Loudon S. Wainwright, Jr., a writer and editor at Life magazine and a direct descendant of colonial governor Peter Stuyvesant. Wainwright became a folk singer/songwriter in the late '60s, singing humorous and nakedly honest autobiographical songs. Signed to Atlantic Records, he recorded Album I (1970) and Album II (1971), accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, before switching to Columbia Records, for which he made the folk-rock Album III (1972), which featured the Top 40 novelty hit "Dead Skunk." Attempted Mustache (1973) and the half-live Unrequited (1975) did not continue that commercial success, though Wainwright's humor and engaging stage persona made him a cult figure and a concert favorite.

Meanwhile, his songs were recorded by others, notably Kate (his wife, later divorced, who died in 2010) and Anna McGarrigle, and Wainwright appeared in the off-Broadway show Pump Boys and Dinettes and played a featured role on the successful M*A*S*H television series. He moved to Arista Records for T Shirt (1976) and Final Exam (1978), on which he was backed by a rock band, but departed the major labels for a more appropriate home on the folk-based indie Rounder for A Live One (1980) and Fame and Wealth (1983).

Wainwright began to gain more notice in England than in the U.S., and he moved to London in 1985. I'm Alright (1985) and More Love Songs (1986) were co-produced by British singer/guitarist Richard Thompson. Therapy (1989) found Wainwright on the major-label-distributed Silvertone imprint and back living in the U.S., and he signed to Virgin Records' Charisma subsidiary for History (1992) and the live Career Moves (1993). Grown Man, his 15th album, was released in 1995, followed three years later by Little Ship. In 1999, there appeared a collection of topical, humorous songs Wainwright had been composing since the late '80s for National Public Radio, titled Social Studies; the following year, The BBC Sessions collected favorites and new compositions. The Last Man on Earth followed in 2001, and the live album So Damn Happy marked his debut for Sanctuary in 2003. Another studio album, Here Come the Choppers, was released in 2005. It was followed by Strange Weirdos: Music from and Inspired by the Film Knocked Up in 2007 and by Recovery in 2008.

In 2011, Shout! Factory issued a major career retrospective: a five-disc box set entitled 40 Odd Years that included album tracks, a complete CD of rare and unreleased material, and a 200-plus-minute DVD that included an hourlong documentary as well as dozens of performances. In 2009, Wainwright released High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project. The set featured songs by the American folk and country icon, as well as new songs that helped move his odd legend forward. Older Than My Old Man Now appeared in 2012, a collection of 15 songs featuring contributions from all four of Wainwright's children and two of his three wives, and including a song co-written with late ex-wife, Kate McGarrigle. In September of 2014, Wainwright released Haven't Got the Blues (Yet). It was produced by David Mansfield and issued on 429 Records. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: 40 Odd Years (4 Cd/1 Dvd)

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4
Disc 5

Comments

Love me some Louden. He's as real as they come.
amye45
he was cast on one of my favorite TV shows Undeclared as the recently separated father of a college freshmen that ends up frequenting the dorm and hanging out - he was hilarious.
bob the hater
xhidden99
One of America's greatest song writers, ever.
This one will be my father and daughter dance one day :)
I love Shrek 2 better than Shrek
HM Miley Cyrus your rock
Hannah Montana you like them
I took a friend to see him once and she said, why he is a troubadour! He will always be one of my favorites...
He's highly over rated. Sure he's unique. But that doesn't equate to listenable
School days is a lovely song..and since the beginning he has kept up,..some silly songs,though his deepness is quite unique Our own Swift and his tales about the folks and satirical wit is inspirationa l . W a i t s and Louden are good bookends to hold up the contents of Philo ..Gonnnnna make me a long distance call...beaut i f u l .
steveandlaur a 7 1 8 9
tearing up best song about the kids ive heard in a long while
loudon is truly a national treasure. its ubsurd he never received any huge success. to see him live is something everyone should do at least once. he remains folk musics best kept secret
biographical info with no mention of his talented children ?
I saw him last year, playing with Richard Thompson. In his set, Loudon did not even play Dead Skunk. Very cool to omit your one big hit...
edpowell4304
I saw loudon at the marin county ampitheater in1975 or 1976 he opened for janis ian. She was depressing, and he was uplifting and funny. Wish he would have played after her.
Loudon Wainwright is an absolute genious, and all the humor aside such a passionate musician. The song motel blues has to be one of his best. B E A utifull
These people that think Dead Skunk was his defining song you are really missing the boat with this guy. Great songwriter and entertaining performer.
Loudon is fantastic!!! ! ! ! ! Unrequited- unbelievable ! Thanks Pandora !
mjgodsil
Beautiful voice. Beautiful large sentiments.
veraikon
Thanks for giving us Rufus!
Not sure there's any hope for someone who thinks Dead Skunk is anyone's best song.
rickster
Loudon is great in concert. He has terrific, meaningful songs and maintains an intimate relationship with the audience.
david.smith3 1
to: dmlp1960
Take off your Pop Music Blinders and Listen to his Music...Star t with "History"... t h e n listen to "Grown Man", "Last Man on Earth" and "Strange Weirdos". He has about 25 Albums... Loudon is amazing live. Listen to his Music, see him live and then get back to me.
Dead skunk in the middle of the road and its stinkin to high heaven! Amen.
dmlp1960
He had one decent tune... Dead Skunk.
You gotta listen to his son Rufus as well. Rufus' songs are unbelievable .
joanpontius
wow, first time I heard of this guy, reminds me of Dan Bern
My daughter is a swimmer so "daughter in the water" is a song that means a great deal to my daughter and I... someday I could envision a father/daugh t e r dance with that song playing...
david.smith3 1
He played Capt. Calvin Spaulding, the singing surgeon on M*A*S*H. I beleive he sang 'Abscence Makes the Heart Grow Founder" and a little bit of "Unrequited" . It has been 15 years at least since I saw the re-run, but I still remember it.
Loudon is amazing concert.
If you're even given the chance to see Loudon in person.....d o n ' t pass it up. Not only a wonderful musician, but funnier than Hell.
yep no where near tom waits, miles above him
ackerbex3
Does anybody know the role he played on M.A.S.H. referenced in the review above?? I used to watch that show all the time & I don't remember him at all. He looks a little like Mike Farrell, who played BJ Hunnicut...
tristancloy
Apples and oranges as diametricall y opposed as night and day; winepoem is not wrong....but it's really just a silly comparison anyway. No need to jump to conclusions, let it brew a little while longer.
Umm.....good , really good but NOWHERE NEAR Tom Waits.
Just heard "New Paint" Wow! Who is this guy? Nice find Pandora. Way better than Tom Waits.
i listen to his song grey in la at least once a day. he has real talent that is hard to find. his lyrics are real, which is a great refreshment to me.
You could hear a pin drop when he entered the stage at the Philadelphia Academy of Music in the spring of 1973. He was preceded by a rowdy English? Irish? string band that I cannot remember the name of anymore. His command of the audience was amazing. His quirky humor and lyrics always put a smile on my face. Lost track of his tracks in the 80s. Glad Pandora is here.
dd_pw
Really one of my favorite artists. I put together a collection of his songs about family -- about his dad, grandma, mom, sister, daughter (devastating one about losing his temper and slapping her), and of course various wives -- and the songs are just terrific. Touching, funny, cringe-inspi r i n g l y truthful, and musically superfine. Yeah, he can be jokey/flip -- but that doesn't bother me when balanced with the achy stuff. A deeply underappreci a t e d artist.
He writes songs about life, his observations of life and if you listen to enough of his material, when sex is referenced it seems to go with the flow of human behavior we all follow. Sex is a part life and is on people's minds anyway, to different degrees. To me, it doesn't shock or affront me because it just goes through his music lyrics like other life subjects,sit u a t i o n s , and observations he sings about. Like when guys stand around and offhandedly exchange notes about their sexual encounters.
So deep and yet so shallow his lyrics. His "Three Mirrors" is pure poetry. His "Breakfast in Bed' is just bragging about banging at his age (in my opinion)

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