A kid phenom on the so-called evangelist circuit, he pulled 'em in. Before TV, he was well known, at least in some circuits. How could a little boy know so much as to be called a "walking Bible"? That was his reputation. He was a showman or a showchild.
The two linked videos below reveal so much about the carnival aspect of Christianity, that I recommend watching them. Are we Americans particularly vulnerable to this hype? I wouldn't be surprised.
Perhaps church people, being more honest, feel others are honest too. But Lindon Johnson said that when he heard someone describe himself as "just an old country boy", he kept one hand on his wallet.
Little Marjoe's reference to hell and the Rich Man and Lazarus shows he knew how to get the money, even then. It still goes on, as long as there are "buyers".
Watch the following videos.