Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 23 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Ioan Suciu
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

The 1966 version of “Jesus Is Just Alright” will knock your socks off

J-P Mauro - published on 05/07/18

This version may be better than the Doobie Brothers' cover.

This is the original version of “Jesus Is Just Alright,” written by Arthur Reid Reynolds. It was first recorded by Reynolds’ own group, The Art Reynolds Singers, for their 1966 album, Tellin’ It Like It Is. Like many tunes from the 1960s it is just over two minutes long and nearly begs to be played on a loop.

In the 1970s, there was a run on the market for pop music with spiritual connections. Songs like “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum and “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens were dominating the airwaves when The Doobie Brothers dropped their second studio album, Toulouse Street, and made “Jesus Is Just Alright” a top 50 hit.

But not many people knew that it was actually a cover … of a cover.

The Doobie Brothers were introduced to the tune from The Byrds’ 1969 album, Ballad of Easy Rider. This is why The Doobie Brothers’ version is much closer in it’s arrangement to the Byrds’ version, rather than Reynolds’ original. In order to fit with the 1970s style, The Doobie Brothers added a bridge and extra refrains, which elongated the tune.

Here’s what The Byrds’ cover sounds like.

Which version do you like best?

Christian MusicGospel
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Zelda Caldwell
Catholic priest’s chapel is finalist in “Shed of the Year&#...
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Zoe Romanowsky
Animated film shows the power of fatherhood in just one minute
Philip Kosloski
Can Catholics use the Enneagram personality system?
Theresa Civantos Barber
5 Thoughtful ways to honor a priest this Father’s Day
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.