Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

Help support this site! Consider clicking an ad from time to time. Thanks!


Jesus is Just Alright

First recorded by The Art Reynolds Singers (1966).
Also recorded by The Byrds (US #97 1969).
Hit version by The Doobie Brothers (US #35 1972).

From the wiki: “‘Jesus Is Just Alright’ is a gospel song written by Arthur Reid Reynolds and first recorded by Reynolds’ own group, The Art Reynolds Singers, on their 1966 album, Tellin’ It Like It Is.

“The first cover version of the song was recorded by the Los Angeles band The Byrds on their 1969 album, Ballad of Easy Rider. The song was introduced to The Byrds by the band’s drummer, Gene Parsons, who had been present in the studio when The Art Reynolds Singers had recorded it. The Byrds’ single stalled at #97 on the Billboard Hot 100 and failed to chart in the United Kingdom. Despite this lack of commercial success, The Doobie Brothers’ later hit version of the song featured an arrangement that was heavily influenced by The Byrds’ own recording.

“The song was later recorded by The Doobie Brothers, who included it on their 1972 album, Toulouse Street. The Doobie Brothers’ version of the song was released as a single in November 1972 and it became a hit in the United States, peaking at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Although none of the individual Doobie Brothers were religiously inclined, the song went on to become very popular among Christians during the early 1970s, particularly those within the hippie counterculture that were involved with the Jesus movement. “Jesus Is Just Alright” was one of a number of religiously themed songs to reach the U.S. charts between 1969 and 1973, along with ‘Spirit in the Sky’ (Norman Greenbaum), ‘Put Your Hand in the Hand’ (Ocean), ‘Superstar’ (Murray Head), and ‘Morning Has Broken’ (Cat Stevens).”

The Byrds, “Jesus Is Just Alright” (1969):

The Doobie Brothers, “Jesus Is Just Alright” (1972):

Comments are closed.