I discovered this phenomenal musician by chance... in the library. To be honest, it is some of the most soothing music I have ever heard. It is true blues. It sings to my soul. It is a shame he is/was not documented more thoroughly. My 8 year old asked what the crackling was in the background. I explained how much recording methods had changed. She said he sounded like he was singing by a fire. Exactly as I imagine he would like it. May blessings find his kin.
Last FM has links HERE
"Next to nothing concrete is known of John T. Smith's life; assumed to have been born in East Texas during the latter half of the 1880s, he was a minstrel who wandered about the panhandle region...Smith settled down long enough to record some 22 songs between 1930 and 1931, among them his trademark number "Howling Wolf Blues, Parts One and Two"; indeed, he claimed the alternate nickname "Howling Wolf" some two decades before it was appropriated by his more famous successor, Chester Burnett. ...His career came to an abrupt end during the mid-'30s, when he was arrested for murdering a man over a gambling dispute; Smith was found guilty and imprisoned, and is believed to have died in his cell circa 1940."— Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide