Loudon Wainwright III (b. September 5, 1946) is a singer-songwriter and actor with a wry and self-deprecating sense of humor who became famous during the early 1970s. He is best known for "Dead Skunk" (1973), a gamey roadkill saga inspired by a real life accident involving a skunk that Wainwright stumbled onto while on the road. (Wainwright didn't actually kill the skunk; someone else had done so before he arrived at the scene.)
Born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and raised in Bedford, New York, Wainwright began his career in the late 1960s writing songs and performing in folk clubs in Boston and New York City. He was discovered by Milton Kramer, who became his manager, and soon after signed with Atlantic Records. He released his eponymous debut album in 1970.
Wainwright debuted on the Pop/Rock charts in 1973 with the self-penned folk/country novelty song, "Dead Skunk," which became a Top 20 hit. This smash was followed later that year by the less comedic "Say That You Love Me" and "Down Drinking At The Bar," both of which were minor hits. Other songs for which Wainwright became well known also include "The Swimming Song" (from his 1973 album, "Attempted Mustache").
Since his commercial peak in the early 1970s, Loudon Wainwright III has continued to perform actively to the present day, amassing a loyal following. He is a prolific recording artist who has released over 25 albums to date, one of which ("High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project") won him the 2010 Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. Wainwright played Captain Calvin Spalding (a.k.a. "the singing surgeon") in three episodes of "M*A*S*H" during the show's third season (1974-1975), and he has also made many other TV and movie appearances over the years. He is the father of singer-songwriters Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, and Lucy Wainwright Roche.
- For more info about Loudon Wainwright III and his current projects, visit lw3.com.
- Wainwright recounts the inspiration behind "Dead Skunk" and discusses other topics in an interview with Terry Gross of NPR (September 6, 2017).
Disclosure: The following links will take you to various online merchants outside of allbutforgottenoldies.net that sell recordings and other merchandise for the performing artist featured on this page. Please note that these are referral or affiliate links from which allbutforgottenoldies.net may receive, at no additional cost to you, a commission if you should make any purchases through them.
- Loudon Wainwright III Recordings (CDs, etc.)
- Loudon Wainwright III MP3s
- Loudon Wainwright III Vinyl
- Loudon Wainwright III Sheet Music
To listen to a song clip, click any song title that has a speaker icon. This will take you to a list of links to CD and/or MP3 product pages from one or more online merchants that have sound samples.
Loudon Wainwright III
- Dead Skunk 1973
Previous Artist | Next Artist