Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Carlina + Carolina (for Carolina or Carlina)

I've blogged about Loudon Wainwright III before, but seeeing as how today is the old chap's birthday, here's another shout-out to someone I consider to be one of the finest singer-songwriters in the country. Wainwright was born on September 5, 1946, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His mother was a yoga instructor and his dad worked as a writer and editor for Life magazine. Wainwright the elder also played piano and enjoyed writing songs. Loudon followed in his father's footsteps and learned how to play guitar, but after moving to San Francisco in his early twenties, he sold his instrument in order to afford yoga lessons. Nice tribute to his meditative mom, but Loudon's true calling was louder. While working in a boatyard in Rhode Island, an old lobsterman inspired his very first song, "Edgar." Soon after that, Wainwright bought another guitar and wrote almost twenty songs in less than a year. Since that time, he has scarcely let up, with 25 or so albums currently to his name. Here's wishing a very happy birthday to North Carolina's native son, along with a poignant farewell to summer, a season best summed up by one of my favorite Loudon Wainwright tunes, "The Swimming Song": This summer I went swimming / This summer I might have drowned / But I held my breath and I kicked my feet / And I moved my arms around / Moved my arms around... I held my breath and I kicked my feet and I found ten cases of today's combination typo in OhioLINK, along with 103 in WorldCat.

(Swimmer at Carolina Beach, North Carolina, 14 July 2012, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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