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I saw a whole tree just disappear, sucked under by the current, then saw it shoot up, it must have been a hundred yards away. Looked like a missile fired by a submarine - J.M. Barry, levee worker's account from Rising Tide The Great Mississippi Flood Of 1927

Author Topic: Rev. Utah Smith  (Read 2387 times)

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Offline unezrider

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Rev. Utah Smith
« on: December 18, 2007, 03:53:31 PM »
hello friend,
i was listening to dylan's 'theme time radio hour' the other night, & he played a song by rev. utah smith called 'i want 2 wings'. (pretty sure that was the name. the title didn't come up on my screen). i had never heard of him before, but it was a real cool recording. all i know about him is that he only recorded 6 songs. -&, according to bob, he would wear a pair of angels wings while performing this song in public! anyone here familiar w/ this man's work?
by the way, the song struck me as being in the country blues vein, but if he belongs elsewhere, please move this post accordingly.
thanks,
chris
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline Doug

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Re: Rev. Utah Smith
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2007, 09:41:48 PM »
Rev. Utah Smith is the correct name, although I don't have a huge amount of information on him.  I've heard him on Volume 4 of JSP's The Guitar Evangelists (http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Willie-Johnson-Guitar-Evangelists/dp/tracks/B000675V8S/ref=dp_tracks_all_4#disc_4).

I've lost the CD liner with the information about the fellow, but I seem to recall that he was active in the 50s, and would perform with large wings on his back.  On the JSP set, they've included six numbers by him:  "I Want Two Wings", "God's Mighty Hand", "Two Wings", "Take a Trip", "I Got Two Wings", "Glory to Jesus, I'm Free". 

As you can probably tell from the titles, it looks like he had one hit, tht he recycled several times.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2007, 09:43:34 PM by Doug »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Rev. Utah Smith
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2007, 11:24:14 PM »
He recorded for Regis in June 1944 and Checker in 1953. He put out a "vanity" recording some time after that on his Two Wings Temple label. He was known as The Traveling Evangelist.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Rev. Utah Smith
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2007, 09:59:21 AM »
I've since located the misfiled Document CD he shares with Lonnie Farris and what's said in the booklet about Smith is little more than Chris Strachwitz came up with when writing his notes to "Negro Religious Music Vol. 2:The Sanctified Singers Part 2" (1968). See http://www.wirz.de/music/blclafrm.htm

Offline unezrider

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Re: Rev. Utah Smith
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2007, 03:24:18 PM »
thanks guys :)
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline Doug

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Re: Rev. Utah Smith
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2007, 02:14:20 PM »
Hey unez (or others),

If you're interested in hearing another song by Utah, there's a copy of "I'm Free" on http://prewarblues.org/2007/12/life-is-a-problem/

Offline unezrider

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Re: Rev. Utah Smith
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2007, 06:55:21 PM »
thanks doug,
cool tune!
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline jostber

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Re: Rev. Utah Smith
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2008, 07:14:47 AM »
Great music and some wild guitar there! Gotta hear his other stuff too.


Offline oddenda

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Re: Rev. Utah Smith
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2009, 07:30:49 PM »
I was just going to mention the Case Quarter "compleat" Utah Smith, complete with Lynn Abbott book. A must, if you like this sort of thing... and I do!

Peter B.

Offline JohnLeePimp

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Re: Rev. Utah Smith
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2011, 01:18:58 PM »
I'd say that John is correct - sounds like one is playing a twelve-string, too. Hardly "delta"!! They recorded a huge amount of material in the 40s.

pbl

Judging from comments on YouTube and Amazon, the term 'delta blues' seems to have acquired a new meaning among the not-very-knowledgeable, something like 'rural-sounding guitar blues'. I've seen Willie McTell described as 'delta blues'.  ::)

Hey LD who's the guy in your avatar?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 06:41:03 PM by Johnm »
...so blue I shade a part of this town.

Offline LD50

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Re: Rev. Utah Smith
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2011, 08:18:27 AM »
I'd say that John is correct - sounds like one is playing a twelve-string, too. Hardly "delta"!! They recorded a huge amount of material in the 40s.

pbl

Judging from comments on YouTube and Amazon, the term 'delta blues' seems to have acquired a new meaning among the not-very-knowledgeable, something like 'rural-sounding guitar blues'. I've seen Willie McTell described as 'delta blues'.  ::)

Hey LD who's the guy in your avatar?

Reverend Utah Smith.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 06:41:38 PM by Johnm »

Offline JohnLeePimp

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Re: Rev. Utah Smith
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2011, 03:07:05 PM »
Reverend Utah Smith.

ahh right... didn't recognise him without the wings

is it from that book written about him?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 06:42:01 PM by Johnm »
...so blue I shade a part of this town.

Offline LD50

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Re: Rev. Utah Smith
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2011, 06:36:07 PM »
Reverend Utah Smith.

ahh right... didn't recognise him without the wings

is it from that book written about him?

I think it's in the book, but I just plucked it off the internet somewhere.

This pic may be even cooler: http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/252/44354719.jpg

And this is probably the closest we'll ever come to a music video of Smith:
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 06:42:25 PM by Johnm »

 


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