Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show

Album: Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show (1969)
Charted: 22
Play Video


  • Diamond performed this on The Johnny Cash Show, where he explained: "This song was written about a revival meeting I was at in Jackson, Mississippi. I went there because I was curious, and also because I was a college kid who had all the answers - no one was going to teach me anything and I could lay a few answers on them. I sat in the back of this tent meeting and I got really caught up in the music - clapping, the singing - tremendously exciting. After a while I felt something about the people - there was a tremendous yearning, looking for answers. Trying to ease a very hard burden of very rough lives. After a while the music stopped and a preacher walked out. I remember thinking that all the education I had, all the books, all the words, all the learning I went through at college didn't mean anything to these people, I had nothing for them. So I found myself pulling for this man who was about to give them something that I couldn't even begin to give them."
  • Diamond wrote the lyrics on a flight to Memphis, and he set the words to soulful tune he had already written.
  • This marked a turning point for Diamond, as it was a character-driven song as opposed to something personal and introspective. This allowed Diamond to play a character on stage, and he quickly developed into a very charismatic performer. In the liner notes to his boxed set In My Lifetime, Diamond wrote: "This recording became a hit and was to make a showman out of me. How could you not let go of your inhibitions when playing such a wonderful character?"

Comments: 15

  • Annie from WisconsinIn 1982 my life was falling apart brother love traveling salvation show was the song that brought me to Christ because of Neil Diamond i became a born again christian thank you Neil Diamond
  • Tony from NcCould have been Hal Blaine on drums, but to me sounds more like Ron Tutt.
  • Coy from Palestine, TexasThis wasn't the Wrecking Crew on the record. Diamond recorded it at American Studios (Chips Moman's studio) in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Nathan from Johnston IaLoved hearing this song in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and now I'm obsessed with Neil Diamond
  • Rebecca from Lake TahoeJennifur Sun from Ramona: The Wrecking Crew out of LA!!? TTAT Makes sense since they did backup for almost everything!! That would mean Leon Russell also who was in the Wrecking Crew!! Fascinating.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaHave been in old tent revival meetings. LOVED the drums on this song, believe the musicians are the Wrecking Crew of LA.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 22nd 1969, Neil Diamond performed "Brother Love's Travelin' Salvation Show" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #49 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; five weeks later on April 20th, 1969 it peaked at #22 for 2 weeks {See 2nd post below}...
    Between 1966 and 1988 he had fifty-six Top 100 records; thirteen made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, "Crackin' Rosie" {for 1 week in 1970} and "Song Sung Blue" {for 1 week in 1972}...
    He just missed having his third #1 when "Love on the Rocks" peaked at #2 {for 3 weeks} in 1981...
    Technically he did have three #1 records, in a duet with Barbra Streisand, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" reached #1 {for 1 week} in 1978.
  • Violet from VirginiaI could listen to BLTSS over and over. Lately, I have gone Diamond crazy. and Jay, YES. I love the line "you'd almost bet you could hear yourself sweat"
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 16th 1969, "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show" by Neil Diamond entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #100; and on April 20th it peaked at #22 (for 2 weeks) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #44 on the Australian Kent Music Report chart...
    Mr. Diamond celebrated his 73rd birthday last month on January 24th (2014).
  • Luke from Auckland, New ZealandOne of the highlights on the live album 'Hot August Night' - arguably his greatest live performance recording(s), which I believe provided the 'perfect' renditions of not just this track, but all the others as well. Superb.
  • Dom from Toronto, Ongreat song writer and singer up there with the likes of billy joel , bob dylan, paul anka roy, orbison
  • Kurtis from Portland, OrOn the origial studio version,when Neils' voice breaks when he says "i say!!".......sooooo cool.
  • Mark from Worcester, MiJay It's a great line, from a great writer, and great showman. An American Icon.
  • Jay from Brooklyn, NyThis song has one of my all-time favorite lyrics: "... and when you'd almost bet you could hear yourself sweat, he walks in."
  • Stormy from Kokomo, InEvery time that I hear this song, I think back to when I first started lifting weights in the old Y.M.C.A. in Kokomo, Indiana and this song was playing when I first picked up a weight. It reminds me of all of the stuff that I've accomplished and all of the interesting places and people that I've been able to see and meet through my weightlifting. Also, if I'm not mistaken, literally ALL of Neil Diamond's hit records were written by him! That just amazes me!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Laura Nyro

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

Who Wrote That Song?

Who Wrote That Song?Music Quiz

Do you know who wrote Patti Smith's biggest hit? How about the Grease theme song? See if you can match the song to the writer.

Van Dyke Parks

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

Psychedelic Lyrics

Psychedelic LyricsMusic Quiz

Whoa man! Do you know which band came up with these cosmic lyrics?

Christopher Cross

Christopher CrossSongwriter Interviews

The man who created Yacht Rock with "Sailing" wrote one of his biggest hits while on acid.

Joe Ely

Joe ElySongwriter Interviews

The renown Texas songwriter has been at it for 40 years, with tales to tell about The Flatlanders and The Clash - that's Joe's Tex-Mex on "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"