Loudon Wainwright III has had a long and illustrious career highlighted by more than two dozen album releases, a 2010 Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album for High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project, and two previous Grammy nominations for I’m Alright(1985) and More Love Songs (1986). His 2012 recording, Older Than My Old Man Now was named one of NPR’s Top 10 Albums of the Year. And in 2014, Haven’t Got the Blues (Yet) — or HGTB(Y), for short — marks his the 26th career release to-date.
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 & Anna McGarrigle, Rufus Wainwright, and Mose Allison, among others. He 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, composed topical songs for NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered and ABC’s Nightline, and 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.
Loudon’s most recent project is his one-man play entitled “Surviving Twin.” A solo piece many years in the making, Surviving Twin is what the singer-songwriter calls a “posthumous collaboration” with his writer father. Part concert, part dramatic reading, part family slide-show, it is a hybrid theatrical form consisting mainly of songs written by Loudon III, along with readings of magazine columns written by his late father, Loudon Jr., and photographs that span four generations of the Wainwright clan. The show was developed with the help of director Joseph Haj at UNC’s Playmakers Rep.