Signed with A&M Records in July 1971.
"If I ever leave this business I want him to take over what I started."--Ray Charles (Billboard, August 14, 1971)
Billy Preston is the only American artist to share a billing with the Beatles. He met them while a member of Little Richard European gospel tour. The Beatles came backstage and the five started jamming. Billy became friends with the band, especially George Harrison.
Billy Preston won Billboard's No. 1 Award for the Top Single, Instrumentalist of 1972.
Preston's touring quartet in 1972 was George Johnson (pre Brothers Johnson) on guitar; Grady Manning on bass; Robert Sam on electric piano and Manuel Kellogg on drums.
In 1973 Billy went on tour with The Rolling Stones as both their opening act and as the Stones' keyboardist.
A&M supported I Wrote a Simple Song with a television ad campaign airing in Los Angeles. The ads were 30-seconds long and appeared on both local and national music and talk shows 54 times.
In 1973 Preston made a deal with A&M's Irving Music to administer his WEP Music catalog.
- Billboard, March 24, 1973.
- Preston TV Spots. Record World, September 2, 1972.
- Billboard Number One Songs of 1973.