A virtuoso keyboardist and child prodigy, Billy Preston was one of the top session musicians of the 60s and 70s. In the early 70s he had two #1 US singles of his own – Nothing From Nothing and, this week’s 70s hit, Will It Go Round in Circles.
- William Preston, was a child prodigy. At just ten years old he was backing gospel singers such as Mahalia Jackson and Andraé Crouch. By 11 years old he’d made his first television appearance singing Blueberry Hill. By 12 he’d appeared in his first movie; a W.C. Handy biopic. Nat King Cole was the star and Billy played W.C. Handy as a youngster.
- By the time he was 16 Billy was part of Little Richard’s backing band.
- Billy played with many well-known artists including, Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Steve Winwood, and Norah Jones.
- In 1962, as a 16 year old, Billy met the Beatles. They were the support act for Little Richard. It was seven years later that Billy met the Beatles again. During a tense recording session, George Harrison had walked out and gone to a Ray Charles concert. He saw Billy and invited him to the band’s Let It Be recording sessions. Billy features on a number of later Beatles albums.
- In 1969, Billy signed as a solo artist to Apple Records releasing That’s The Way God Planned It before signing with A&M Records.
- In his later life Billy ran into a more than just a few legal troubles. He was sentenced to nine months at a drug rehabilitation center and three months of house arrest for drug and sexual assault charges.
- In 1991, Billy was invited to join The Band. He toured with them for a while but his legal issues made the continuing association impossible.
- Billy wrote a number of songs for other artists including being cowriter of Joe Cocker’s, You Are so Beautiful. He also gave Stephen Stills the phrase, “…if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with…” which went on to become a hit for Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
- Billy died on June 6, 2006 after suffering from kidney disease for a number of years.
- Written by Bruce Fisher and Billy Preston, Will It Go Round In Circles appeared on Billy 1972 album Music Is My Life.
- Released as a single in 1973, Will It Go Round In Circles went to #1 on the US singles chart. It stayed there for two weeks and the song was a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks, and sold over a million copies.
- Will It Go Round In Circles lyrics.
will it go round in circles – billy preston – 1973
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