Loudon Wainwright III

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About Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright III’s staggeringly productive and artistically varied career is built on gifted songwriting skills that mix humor, tenderness, and profundity in equal measure. Born in Chapel Hill, NC, in 1946, Wainwright was exposed to music by his piano-playing, Life magazine editor father. He was a bona fide folk singer by the late ‘60s, and released his debut, Album I, in 1970. His ‘70s work established him as a talented writer of lonesome road songs (1971’s “Motel Blues”), humor (1972’s “Dead Skunk”), and effortlessly poignant introspection (1973’s “The Swimming Song”). The decade also saw Wainwright marry and divorce Canadian folk singer Kate McGarrigle, a relationship that produced two more deft songwriters in Martha and Rufus Wainwright. The elder Wainwright has worked at a steady clip since his early days—he’s also a capable actor and wrote his autobiography in 2017—and earned his first Grammy for 2009’s High Wide & Handsome - The Charlie Poole Project, a tribute to the fellow North Carolinian banjo pioneer. In 2022, Wainwright went back to basics with Lifetime Achievement, a collection of understated, reflective folk.

Chapel Hill, NC, United States
September 5, 1946
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