The electric riff was still a recent miracle when Elder Utah Smith, a superstar evangelist and guitarist from northwest Louisiana, first recorded his signature ascension song, "I Got Two Wings," in 1944. He meant what he sang: Smith typically presided at services in giant homemade seraphim wings. But his musical gifts were very much of this earth: a pitted roar as big and deep as Howlin' Wolf's; an agile clawing attack on guitar, a rough mix of runaway Robert Johnson and sanctified Charlie Christian. Smith, who died in 1965, cut multiple versions of his hymn for different labels, each a proto-rock & roll train to glory, and they are all on the CD that comes with Lynn Abbott's brief, energetic biography, I Got Two Wings: Incidents and Anecdotes of the Two-Winged Preacher and Electric Guitar Evangelist (CaseQuarter). The disc also has related vintage gospel recordings, but Smith's holy fire shines brightest every time he straps on those "Two Wings."
Fricke's Picks: God's Guitar Hero, Elder Utah Smith
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Around the Web
Men's Journal12 Things Everyone Should Know About Vaginas
The Daily Beast20 Things You Didn’t Know About Pulp Fiction
SalonThe 13 Most Cringeworthy Sex Scenes in ‘Girls’
The Daily BeastInside New York’s Most Elite Sex Party
Salon10 Songs with Hidden Drug References
Men's Journal7 Reasons You Should Quit Facebook in 2015
- 10 Things We Learned From Scientology Doc 'Going Clear'
- 5 Things We Learned From 'Walking Dead''s Season 5 Finale
- The Children of ISIS
- Jason Beghe: The TV Tough Guy Who Took on Scientology
- Jay Z, Kanye, Rihanna Throw Support Behind Streaming Service Tidal
- Inside Scientology
- Reba at 60: The Country Queen's Iconic Career in Photos
- Why Hiring Trevor Noah to Host 'The Daily Show' Is a Great Idea
- Why Trevor Noah Is a Great Choice to Host 'The Daily Show'