Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

Document Records
Electric / Slide Guitar Gospel - Rev. Utah Smith & Rev. Lonnie Farris (1944 - 1964)

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Rev. Lonnie Farris
Rev. LeVol Franklin
Rev. Utah Smith
Thelma William


Rev. Utah Smith (The Traveling Evangelist)
01 - I want two wings Listen
02 - God`s mighty hand Listen
03 - Two wings Listen
04 - Take a trip Listen
05 - I got two wings Listen
06 - Glory to Jesus, I`m free Listen

Rev. Lonnie Farris and The Gospel Flames
07 - Walk to thee Listen
08 - Soldiers of the cross Listen
09 - What mother can do? Listen
10 - Golden Street Listen

Rev. Le Vol Franklin (with Rev. Lonnie Farris, Hawaiian guitar)
11 - A closer walk to thee Listen
12 - It`s a blessing to call his name Listen

Rev. Lonnie Farris
13 - Peace in the valley Listen
14 - I`m so happy and free the Lord save me Listen

Rev. Elliot Keyes (with Rev. Lonnie Farris, Hawaiian guitar)
15 - They are ringing them bells Listen
16 - Walk around Listen

Thelma William (with Rev. Lonnie Farris, Hawaiian guitar)
17 - In your kingdom Listen
18 - In that clover field Listen

Rev. Lonnie Farris
19 - A night at the house of prayer Listen
20 - Wondering child mother is dead Listen
21 - Peace In The Valley Listen
22 - His love Listen
23 - The Holy Spirit Listen

Electric / Slide Guitar Gospel; Rev. Utah Smith & Rev. Lonnie Farris (1944 – 1964)

Rev. Utah Smith (The Traveling  Evangelist), vocal, electric guitar.
Rev. Lonnie Farris, vocal, electric steel “Hawaiian” guitar.
With contributions by;
Rev. Le Vol Franklin, vocal, electric bass guitar.
Rev. Grimes, washboard.
Deacon McMillian, drums.
Thelma William, vocal. 
Rev. Elliott Keyes, tenor sax.  

Genres; Gospel, Electric Steel “Hawaiian” Guitar.
Informative booklet notes by Ken Romanowski.
Detailed discography.                                                                

One of the most animated of the post-war crop of gospel evangelists was Shreveport, Louisiana’s Elder Utah Smith. Known as the “Two-Winged Preacher”, Smith began performing late in the 1920s and was using an electric guitar by 1942. Smith’s masterpiece was undoubtedly Two Wings which he recorded on each of his three released discs with varying degrees of intensity. The flip sides exhibit a considerable amount of diversity, with God’s Mighty Hand apparently modelled closely on Elder Curry’s “Memphis Flu” from 1930, and Take A Trip reminiscent of the Carter Family’s popular “Gospel Ship”. This evangelistic dynamo whose volatile guitar pyrotechnics are enough to distract a discerning listener from the fact that none of it is affected with a slide.

The dynamic Hawaiian guitar of Reverend Lonnie Farris should be proof enough of the resilience and adaptability of modern gospel music. He began his recording career when a disc-jockey asked him to record some background music that Farris claimed became a hit record for which he was not paid. He started his own record company in 1962 (Farris Records), and this is the source of the recordings herein, which are all quite interesting and eclectic performances as likely to draw from a booting R & B saxophone style (They Are Ringing Them Bells) as popular C & W hits like Ted Daffan’s Born To Lose (I’m So Happy And Free The Lord Save Me).

“l have to been offered a lot of money to play rock and roll, but I won’t change-
I have also played against a rock and roll band and I stole the show.”

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