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What You Should Know About Billy Preston

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You may be scratching your head asking “what does Billy Preston have to do with ROCK?” The answer is a lot.

Preston is the only other non-Beatle, besides Tony Sheridan, to be credited on a Beatles album.  Their #1 hit “Get Back” is credited “The Beatles with Billy Preston.”  Preston was a sought after session musician who the Beatles frequently leaned on. The group reciprocated by signing him to Apple Records.

Then there was Steven Stills. He liked a particular phrase Preston used often, and asked if he could borrow it. The song “Love the One You’re With” was born!

Billy Preston started his career playing organ for some Gospel greats and eventually became a member of Ray Charles’ band. Later, he worked extensively with the Rolling Stones.

Preston was the first Rock-n-Roll act to play Radio City Music Hall too. The man was steeped in Rock-n-Roll. There is a reason he was dubbed “The Fifth Beatle”…

Preston died in 2006, and it is rare that I run across someone who knows of all his accomplishments in Classic Rock.  It was time someone thanked him. Thank you Billy Preston. You are missed.

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