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Stamford Man Unlocks Songwriting Success

STAMFORD, Conn. — After filing for bankruptcy and getting divorced in 1991, Stamford’s Frank Wainwright decided to follow his dream and move down to Nashville to begin a song writing career. Now about 20 years later the 73-year-old was named 2011 Songwriter of the Year, by Tennessee Songwriters Association International .

Doors were opened in the music industry for Wainwright by, of all things, opening doors. The former Stamford locksmith continued his trade in Nashville — he would hand his business card top record label executives, such as Joe Galante of RCA/Sony, and say he could open doors for people, too, and to call him if needed.

Then an executive would get locked out of their car and Wainwright would get a call. He would give them his songs to listen to instead of charging them, he said.

“How else are you going to get in with these people? You have to have a gimmick,” Wainwright said of making himself standout from others trying to make it in the industry, adding that he has seen many come down to Tennessee on a Monday, and give up by that Friday.

While he recognizes that receiving the Songwriter of the Year award is an honor, Wainwright’s favorite part of the music business is hobnobbing with all of the celebrities—and he has the pictures to prove it. He said being a single man he is always getting calls from people to go to dinners, and other appearances, and even gets to go on tour with Willie Nelson regularly.

“I keep a tuxedo ready to go,” he said adding that a married man could not live this life, without giving up his family.

Being 73 does not stop Wainwright, who said he has no problem writing songs for younger people, and has even written a hip hop song, “Fun,” for kids. “I think like a 21-year-old,” he said, adding that most musician’s just hear the song, and not worry about who wrote it.

Wainwright’s most recent songs, “You the Man, Babe,” “I Love You,” and “Thank God,” on Julie Ingram’s upcoming album, “Remember Always.”

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