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The long and illustrious career of Loudon Wainwright III is highlighted by more than two dozen album releases, movies and television credits, and now his new autobiography, Liner Notes. In 2010, he won the Best Traditional Folk Album Grammy Award for High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project. His 2012 recording, Older Than My Old Man Now, was named one of NPR’s Top 10 Albums of the Year.
Wainwright is perhaps best known for the 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 songs have been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, Earl Scruggs, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Rufus Wainwright, and Mose Allison.
Collaborating with songwriter-producer Joe Henry, Wainwright cowrote the music for Judd Apatow’s hit movie Knocked Up. He also penned the 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 as well as for ABC’s Nightline. He has recorded several songs for the soundtrack of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.
As an actor, Wainwright has appeared in films directed by Martin Scorsese, Hal Ashby, Christopher Guest, Tim Burton, Cameron Crowe, and Judd Apatow.
Mr. Wainwright has proved to be far and away the most candid diarist among the singer-songwriters who . . . brought confessional poetry into popular song. . . . Mr. Wainwright wrings more human truth out of his contradiction than any other songwriter of his generation.
—New York Times
As good as he’s ever been. Almost forty years into his recording career, he has not only retained his sharpness of wit but has also learned to cut with greater skill.