Forgotten Favorites Friday: The 5th Beatle (Or Was He The 6th Or 7th?)

When you hear the name Billy Preston, you may think of Will It Go Round In Circles and Nothing From Nothing — his biggest hits from the ’70s.

Years before those hits, he was touring with Little Richard and met the Beatles in Liverpool. Then in 1969, George Harrison saw Billy Preston at a Ray Charles concert. After that, George brought his friend to Apple Studios to do some recording.

“Get Back” was recorded during those sessions. When that single was released, the label on the record read: The Beatles with Billy Preston. Only one other person (Tony Sheridan) had ever been given that honor. Preston was also present during the Beatles’ infamous 1969 rooftop concert and the beautiful sound of his fingers hitting electric piano keys can be heard throughout Let It Be.

From 1972, here’s Billy Preston’s first big hit: Outa-Space


More from John Calhoun

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