Jimmy Swaggart

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Jimmy Swaggart (1935) is an American preacher and televangelist. In 1988 he was caught with a prostitute which caused a sex scandal. He confessed his "sin" live on television and wept crocodile tears while begging God for forgiveness. A year later he was caught with yet another prostitute.


"One of the misconceptions about evangelicals in the U.S. is that they're all as extreme as Swaggart, Falwell and Robertson. They're not. Most of them just want to worship at their local church. They don't give a shit about those guys on television -- they think they're clowns and that what they do cheapens everyone's religious experience. On this, we definitely agree."

Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book.

"Meanwhile, did anybody hear the great news today? Jimmy Swaggart under investigation! 'Oh, Jay-sus!' One day, every one of those cock-suckers will get caught! I understand in the case of Mr. Swaggart that he claims that it was not 'multiple encounters with many prostitutes'. Apparently only one sweet young thing! And he did tell Cal Thomas of the Moral Majority that 'the sex act itself was not fully consummated.' However, he did admit to doing 'something pornographic' with the girl. Let's use our imagination, ladies and gentlemen!"

Frank Zappa as heard on Make A Jazz Noise Here, Boston, MA, 20 February 1988.

Songs referring to Jimmy Swaggart

Zappa also composed parodies of three The Beatles songs, Norwegian Wood, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and Strawberry Fields Forever with new lyrics all about the televangelism sex scandals and Jimmy Swaggart. Due to copyright problems these parodies haven't appeared on CD yet, but can be found on several bootleg albums. (See Texas Medley)

See also