Perth Festival

15th - 27th May 2017
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Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright III

Tuesday 24th May 2011

Perth Concert Hall, 20:00

This event was part of the 2011 Festival Programme.

Tickets will be available on the door on the night.

American songwriter, folk singer, humorist and actor, who won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album "High Wide & Handsome" in January 2010.

Loudon Snowden Wainwright III (born September 5, 1946) is a Grammy Award-winning, American songwriter, folk singer, humorist, and actor. He is the father of musicians Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche, brother of Sloan Wainwright, and the former husband of the late folk singer Kate McGarrigle.

Wainwright's career began in the late 1960s. He had played the guitar while in school but later sold it for yoga lessons while living in San Francisco. Later, in Rhode Island, Wainwright's grandmother got him a job working in a boatyard. An old lobsterman named Edgar inspired him to borrow a friend's guitar and write his first song, "Edgar". Wainwright soon bought his own guitar and in about a year wrote nearly twenty songs. He went to Boston and New York City to play in folk clubs and was eventually "discovered" by Milton Kramer, who became his manager. He acquired a record deal with Atlantic Records, who released his first album in 1970.

Wainwright is perhaps best known for the 1972 novelty song Dead Skunk (in the Middle of the Road) and for playing Captain Calvin Spalding (the "singing surgeon") on the American television show, M*A*S*H. His appearances spanned three episodes in its third season (1974-1975), including the episode "Rainbow Bridge".[3]

Using a witty, self-mocking style, Wainwright has recorded over twenty albums on eleven different labels. Two of his albums have been nominated for Grammy Awards: I'm Alright (1985) and More Love Songs (1986).[4]

Wainwright has also appeared in a number of films, including small parts in The Aviator, Big Fish, Elizabethtown, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and the television series, Undeclared and Parks and Recreation.[3] In the late 1980s, Wainwright came to the attention of many people in Britain for the first time when he appeared as the resident singer with comedian Jasper Carrott in his UK show, Carrott Confidential, and has remained popular in the UK ever since.

He appeared as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live, the season's 5th episode that was broadcast on November 15, 1975. He performed "Bicentennial" and "Unrequited to the Nth Degree" as a guest to Robert Klein.

Wainwright has claimed that, like many of his contemporaries, he was inspired musically by seeing Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963. He was one of many young folksingers tagged as the "new Dylan" in the early 1970s, a fact that he later ruefully satirized in his song, "Talking New Bob Dylan", from History (1992).[5]

Wainwright was also a judge for the 4th annual Independent Music Awards.[6]

According to his own liner notes, Wainwright entered a period of deep depression following the death of his mother in 1997 and believed he could never write again. Retreating to his mother's cabin in the woods, he underwent therapy and gradually recovered, eventually recording the soul-baring Last Man on Earth in 2001. Since then his recording career has mostly returned to its previous frequency.

In September 2006, Wainwright and musician Joe Henry began composing the music to the Judd Apatow film, Knocked Up, which was released on June 1, 2007. In addition to composing the soundtrack, Wainwright appeared in the film in a supporting role as the protagonists' obstetrician.[7] He has also composed music for the new theatre production of Carl Hiassen's Lucky You, which premiered at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[8]

In January 2010, Wainwright won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album ("High Wide & Handsome").

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