Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Billy Preston had quite a career. Whether playing sideman or ostentatious front man, he always turned in performances that were the equivalent of 1000 watts. His life had its share of charms and hardships, though music would always carry him through. Content to let his talent do the talking, here is the late musician in a series of clips that provide an excellent overview of his versatility.

A pre-teen musical dynamo teams with Nat King Cole in 1957.

With Ray Charles in 60's TV appearance, displaying some fancy footwork.

Jan 30 1969, up on the roof and disturbing the peace at 3 Saville Row with some buddies from Liverpool. He was the only musician to get a name check on a Beatles record (The "Get Back" single)

"That's the Way God Planned it" from The Concert for Bangladesh, August, 1971.

1972 "Simple Song" recorded live in the studio.

1973 Midnight Special-"Will it Go Round in Circles"

"Outta Space" 1975 tour with the Stones in LA.

"Nothing from Nothing" with the Stones in Paris 1976. Keith does a nice solo.

B3 magic with Clapton at the Crossroads fest, not long before the end.


Jeff said...

Without Billy Preston, who knows if we would have ever gotten Let it Be from the Beatles. The Beatles had said that it was great that he was there because it relieved all the tension within the band. They had to be on their best behavior in front of a guest.

rock and roll history said...

I have yet to see a performance that sucked from the Midnight Special.
Thanks for that one, i had never seen it before.
B P is amazing

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I could sit here and watch all these over and over. His talent was a gift and I'm sorry he's gone. I loved that clip of him and Nat King Cole!

I agree about the Midnight Special, I would look forward to it all week and never missed it!!!