Would Jesus Wear a Rolex

Album: Crackin' Up (1987)
  • Written by Chet Atkins and Margaret Archer, this song criticized the hypocritical behavior of televangelists who misled viewers out of their money so they could become rich themselves. It was released just before the sex and money scandals against renowned preachers like Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker broke.

    Stevens said: "If there was controversy about that title, I didn't hear about it. It was very timely, released in April 1987 when the televangelists were getting a lot of heat for being with hookers. They caught one of them taking church funds and using it for his personal gain."
  • Atkins, a Country music guitarist and record producer, didn't typically approach controversial subjects, but made an exception when it came to greedy televangelists. "I thought it needed to be said," he said. "Those guys are terrible and they need to be exposed."
  • This song reached #40 on the US Hot Country Songs charts and #45 on the Canadian Country charts.
  • Ray Stevens performed this song twice on The Tonight Show. One time, he was so nervous to perform for host Johnny Carson that he dropped his microphone. Stevens recovered: he picked it up and kept going as if nothing had happened.
  • Country music parodist Cledus T. Judd recorded a cover of this song for his 2007 tribute album Boogity, Boogity – A Tribute to the Comic Genius of Ray Stevens and featured Joe Diffie as a guest performer.


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