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Late Night Calls (CD)


Late Night Calls (CD)

by Loudon Wainwright III

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By the time of this captivating radio broadcast, Loudon Wainwright III had already begun to create his own particular niche in popular music as an eminently witty-wordsmith and satirist with a canny ear for a good tune. And, this very month, November 1972, he released what would become his best known song - Dead Skunk - as a single. It eventually rose to a giddy number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March the following year. Loudon, like so many performers, had been hugely inspired in his own creative endeavours after witnessing Bob Dylan s historic appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963. During his early life he zigzagged across the USA, from North Carolina, to Westchester County, New York, to San Francisco, to Rhode Island. After a stint honing his songs in folk clubs in Boston and New York City, he was signed up by Atlantic Records in 1970, via a management deal with Milton Kramer, co-producer of his first two albums. In a witty and weirdly prophetic triumvirate, Loudon chooses to open his set with the A-side of his yet-to-be-released 1974 single, Down Drinking At The Bar, follows it up with the song that would become its B-side, I Am The Way (New York Town) and then plays his song B-Side, which wasn t a B-side at all, but actually a track from his cryptically-entitled Columbia Records release, Album III , produced by legendary hipster Thomas Jefferson Kaye. Another of Wainwright s best known songs, his jaded sex-on-the-road masterpiece Motel Blues, is given a splendid outing here too. Come up to my motel room, treat me nice implores Loudon of his teenage lover, Never mind those desk-clerk scowls, I ll buy you breakfast, they ll think you re my wife he offers, increasingly desperately. Big Star main man, Alex Chilton, also later recorded a superb version of this song. In addition, there is a notably catholic selection of cover versions and Loudon plunders The Isley Brothers, The Temptations and Ernest Tubb for stripped-down live versions of Twist and Shout, Soul standard My Girl and Country music No.1, The Soldier s Last Letter respectively. Although this appearance is a solo performance, Loudon does seem to have acquired a somewhat inebriated set of backing singers by the closing stages! Other rarities aired during this broadcast include Wainwright s own Have You Ever Been To Pittsburgh?, Waiting For You (Back In The Bathroom) and Same Old Man, none of which exist in equivalent studio versions. More familiar fare, being drawn from Loudon s three albums to date, were School Days (from the eponymous 1970 debut), the medley I Know I m Unhappy/Suicide Song/Glenville Reel (from Album II , 1971) and Hometeam Crowd (from Album III , 1972). Finally, there are previews of Clockwork Chartreuse, which would soon be released on Loudon s 1973 album, Attempted Mustache and Unrequited to the Nth Degree from the 1975 album, Unrequited .

1. Down Drinking At the Bar 03:58
2. I Am the Way 03:54
3. B-Side 03:02
4. School Days 03:43
5. Have You Been To Pittsburgh? 01:03
6. Unrequited To the Nth Degree 03:09
7. The Soldier's last Letter 03:18
8. Back In The Bathroom 03:31
9. Home Team Crowd 03:03
10. Dead Skunk 03:45
11. Motel Blues 03:53
12. Clockwork Chartreuse 04:13
13. Glad To Be Back Home 02:25
14. My Girl 03:39
15. I Know I'm Unhappy/Suicide Song/Glenville Reel 03:32
16. Twist and Shout 02:42
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