Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show (song)

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"Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show"
Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show cover.jpg
Single by Neil Diamond
from the album Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show
B-side"A Modern Day Version of Love"
ReleasedJanuary 29, 1969[1]
GenrePop rock
Songwriter(s)Neil Diamond
Producer(s)Tommy Cogbill
Chips Moman
Neil Diamond singles chronology
"Sunday Sun"
"Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show"
"Sweet Caroline"

"Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" is a song written and recorded by Neil Diamond which appeared as the opening track on the eponymous album. Released as a single in early 1969, it hit number 22 on the U.S. pop singles chart.


The song tells the story of Brother Love, an evangelist who travels from town to town preaching. In the middle of the song, Diamond gives a sermon in typical evangelical style.

Some evangelical groups in the American South encouraged the boycotting of this song and of Diamond as they thought that this song denigrated and insulted evangelists and the evangelical movement. When Diamond explained in an interview that it was, contrary to their understanding of it, a celebration of Gospel music and the evangelical style of preaching and worship, the controversy subsided.

The original 45 mix of the title cut differs from the album version. Aside from being in mono, extra reverb is used throughout the whole song. Neil Diamond's voice was overdubbed onto the lead vocal, creating a harmony. A tubular bell part were added following the phrase "Take my hand in yours...". The fade-out of the song is longer, with a louder horn section and a rattling tambourine part. All of Diamond's CD compilations have used the album mix.[citation needed]

The New Rolling Stone Album Guide calls "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" "genuinely demented."[3]

In 1969, Peggy Lee sang a cover version of the song on her Grammy-awarded album Is That All There Is?.

Dolly Parton has performed the song on numerous occasions, including on her 1976-77 variety show, as during her 1983 concert at London's Dominion Theatre, which was later broadcast as the TV special Dolly in London.

David Spade lip-synched, and then sang the song while imitating Neil Diamond in his 1999 film Lost & Found.

Country group The Wright Brothers Band did a cover version of the song, changing "Take my hand in yours" to "Take my hand, dear Lord."

In 2019, the song was used in the trailer for the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as well as in the film itself.


  1. ^ "Neil Diamond – Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show". 45cat. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  2. ^ "Neil Diamond – Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  3. ^ Brackett, N., ed. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 233. ISBN 9780743201698.