Friday, June 6, 2008

The Ballad of Jim and Tammy

No examination of the topic of Schadenfreude would be complete without a generous helping of televangelist scandals including "the superbowl of televangelist scandals": The Jim Bakker trial of the late 1980s.

There is nothing people enjoy more than a real life soap opera, and this one had everything. The main characters had a cartoonish quality to begin with, his wife Tammy Faye wore unintentionally comical makeup, and both spoke with soft voices and permanent smiles. There were allegations of sexual impropriety, enough showy wealth to make Robin Leach (the host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous) blush, and behind the scenes machinations by rival television ministers.

What I didn't know when I wrote the book was that it also had a theme song. The Ballad of Jim and Tammy, recorded by none other than Tammy Faye. You can listen to it courtesy of WFMU. Enjoy.