The Louvin Brothers are best known as the brotherly Bible-thumpers who made close harmony acceptable. Prior to the creation of their breakthrough sound (think Everly Brothers with Grand Ole Opry-style gospel music), close harmony singers were routinely burned at the stake for “unnatural” love.
Once they overcame this (terrible) stereotype, they became quite popular, joining the Grand Ole Opry in 1955. Ira Louvin was the charismatic one, and he was known for falling into “fits of faith” when he would paint portraits of the devil. (Who looks suspiciously like a red Oscar with slanted eyes and bucked teeth — Ira was tortured by the Japanese during the war and was overlooked by the Academy for his performance as “inbred hillbilly” in John Fjord’s “Up the River”.)
The Louvin Brothers are also the first nominally “Godly” singers to play with the power of backwards tracking. Close observers will have already figured out that the title track “Satan Is Real”, played backwards, will sound like “Lear, Sin At Ass”. Now, can imagine how creepy and disgusting that will sound in reverse harmony? You don’t have too. You can listen to this. [Warning: Not Safe, Period. Don’t listen to this if you value your sanity. Opens an MP3 file.]
If you think that is frightening don’t listen to either “Are You Afraid to Die?” or “Low and Lonely”. In test subjects, these tracks will cause aural stigmata and an unnatural desire to eat sausage-shaped cheeses.