Hey guys, thought we should acknowledge a thread to this wizard of the Fender Rhodes.
That's what I thought when I came across this Shindig! video from 1965. I guess he listened to the Jodimars record just like The Beatles did!
Heres a biog. What a career! Not many can put all this on their resume. lol
Billy Preston's career has spanned five decades, starting as a child prodigy playing the movie role of young W.C. Handy and then playing organ for the likes of Ray Charles and Little Richard. His accomplishments are highlighted by a string of hits, including collaborating with some of the most celebrated names in the music industry, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Jackson Five, Sly and the Family Stone, Barbara Streisand, Sammy Davis Jr., Quincy Jones and perhaps the most famous of all, The Beatles.
Billy's relationship with The Beatles led to his signing with Apple Records in the 60's. Billy is widely acknowledged as the "Fifth Beatle" having been the only party to ever hand his name included in the label credits of the "Let It Be" and the "Abbey Road" albums as well as the landmark "White Album". Billy also appeared with them in the films "The Complete Beatles" and "Let It Be" as well as performing as part of them during their historic rooftop final concert.
In the late '60s Billy worked with John Lennon and Yoko Ono on their solo "Plastic Ono Band" album as well as Ringo Starr's solo single "Oh My My" and he participated in George Harrison's American Tour. In addition Billy Preston was a leading character in the movie "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" also featuring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees, performing a stunning version of "Get Back".
Preston's name and fame were solidified as a solo artist when he scored a string of Number 1 hit singles including the Grammy winning "Outta Space", "Will It Go Round In Circles", "Nothing From Nothing" and "Space Race".
A prolific writer, Billy Preston penned the multi-platinum standard "You Are So Beautiful" which was performed by his friend Joe Cocker. He also wrote the title songs for a series of box office champions including "Never Gonna Say Goodbye" "Fast Break" and "O'Hara's Wide". The title song from "Fast Break" became a Preston classic hit when performed as a duet with the late Syreeta Wright. Billy also co-wrote the score for the Sidney Poitier movie "They Call Me Mr. Tibbs" with Quincy Jones.
"Preston first met the Beatles as a 16-year-old in 1962, while part of Little Richard's touring band, when their manager Brian Epstein organized a Liverpool show, at which the Beatles opened. The Washington Post explained their subsequent meeting: “They'd hook up again in 1969, when the Beatles were about to break up while recording the last album they released, Let It Be (they would later record Abbey Road, which was released prior to Let It Be). George Harrison, a friend of Preston, had quit, walked out of the studio and gone to a Ray Charles concert in London, where Preston was playing organ. Harrison brought Preston back to the studio, where his keen musicianship and gregarious personality temporarily calmed the tension.”
Preston is one of several people referred to by commentators as the "Fifth Beatle". At one point during the "Get Back" sessions, John Lennon proposed the idea of having him join the band (to which Paul McCartney countered that it was difficult enough reaching agreements with four). Preston played with the Beatles for several of the Get Back sessions, some of the material from which would later be culled to make the film Let it Be and its companion album. Preston also accompanied the band for its rooftop concert; the group's final public appearance. In April 1969, their single "Get Back" was credited to "The Beatles with Billy Preston", the only time such a joint credit had been given on an official Beatles-sanctioned release (as distinct from an unsanctioned reissue of some Hamburg-era recordings on which they were the backing group for Tony Sheridan). The credit was bestowed by the Beatles to reflect the extent of Preston's presence on the track; his electric piano is prominent throughout and he plays an extended solo. Preston also worked, in a more limited role, on the Abbey Road album, contributing to the tracks "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and "Something."
In 1978, he appeared as Sgt. Pepper in Robert Stigwood's film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was very loosely based on the Beatles' album of the same name, and sang "Get Back" as the penultimate song." Wikipedia
He died June 6, 2006.