Jesus Is Just Alright – Doobie Brothers | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#35); 1973

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

With a name like “Doobie Brothers” one might think the members were the ultimate free love hippies of the day. Well, Tom Johnston and John Hartman did indeed wear Levi’s and sport long hair, however, when it came to the rest of it, they admit to being a bit naïve.

Living with Tom and John in a rental on Twelfth Street in San Jose was would-be pottery artist Keith “Dyno” Rosen. One morning Tom and John were wrestling with what to call their new band when Dyno looked up from his Cheerios and suggested the “Doobie Brothers.” Not being conversant in “doobies,” the two remained unaware of the meaning until they spotted it in a Rolling Stone article.

The name proved fortuitous for the Doobies’ fortunes, giving them instant credibility with hip music fans and deejays. Toulouse Street, the Doobies’ second album, launched them onto counterculture FM and mainstream AM radio with two classic tracks: Listen To The Music and, a tune originally recorded by the Byrds in 1969, Jesus Is Just Alright.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Ted Templeman

Lyrics Written by:

  • Arthur Reid Reynolds