Loudon Wainwright III is an American songwriter, folk singer, humorist, and actor.
Loudon wrote his first song in 1968, “Edgar”, about a Watch Hill RI lobsterman, and was soon signed to Atlantic Records by Nesuhi Ertegun. Several years later, Clive Davis lured him to Columbia Records, where 1972’s “Album III” yielded the top 20 hit “Dead Skunk”. His recording career spans a total of 23 albums, including 2009’s Grammy-winning “High Wide & Handsome”, a musical tribute to Charlie Poole (1893-1931); the legendary yet obscure NC singer and banjo player. Wainwright has collaborated with songwriter /producer Joe Henry on the music for Judd Apatow’s hit movie “Knocked Up”, written music for the British theatrical adaptation of the Carl Hiaasen novel “Lucky You”, and composed topical songs for NPR’s “Morning Edition “and “All Things Considered” and ABC’s “Nightline”. Loudon Wainwright songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Earl Scruggs, Rufus Wainwright, and Mose Allison, among others.
Loudon’s acting career includes an early recurring role as Capt. Calvin Spalding, the singing surgeon, in TV’s M.A.S.H. and a stint in “Pump Boys & Dinettes” on Broadway, and more recent work in films directed by Hal Ashby, Tim Burton, Cameron Crowe, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Guest, and Judd Apatow. He also appeared as a regular in Apatow’s critically acclaimed TV series “Undeclared”.
Loudon’s newest CD release is 2010’s “Songs For the New Depression”, a collection of topical songs on his own label, Cummerbund Records.