WCSX Classic Cuts
The Doobie Brothers: “Jesus Is Just Alright”
The Hook: It brought the Jesus freaks out to their shows.
Album: Toulouse Street
Writer: Arthur Reid Reynolds
Stats: Peaked at number-35 on the Billboard Hot 100
Background: “Jesus Is Just Alright” was a modern gospel song, which was first recorded in 1966 and then covered three years later by The Byrds. Three years after that, The Doobie Brothers covered The Byrds version, with even more success. Singer-guitarist Tom Johnston says it brought the group a new audience he didn’t expect.
Doobie Brothers frontman Tom Johnston on the band’s cover of “Jesus Is Just Alright.” OC:…a song. :26
“The deal about this song and why it had the success it did is there was a lot of – I don’t like this word — Jesus Freaks. I think it’s kind of a bad connotation for the people, but that’s what they called themselves, at any rate – One-Wayers and all that kind of stuff. And they were showing up to gigs after that song was out all the time, throwing things on the stage that were passages from the bible or what have you. I guess they thought that we were a religious band, which we weren’t. We weren’t roaring atheists, either, but I’m just saying that we weren’t preaching — we did a song. That was all it was, a song.”