Billy Preston

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.

A&M Records congratulates Billy Preston & Carpenters for Billboard Awards


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.


Billy Preston 1974 Canada launch of Dark Horse Records

Billy Preston at the Montreal Forum in September 1974 touring in support of the Canadian launch of Dark Horse Records. Billy is backstage with JP Guilbert (A&M Montreal promotion representative). 



Billy Preston biography
It's My Pleasure New Music On A&M Records
Billy Preston New Music On A&M Records
A Whole New Thing New Music On A&M Records
Ultimate Collection press release

  1. Billboard, March 24, 1973.
  2. Preston TV Spots. Record World, September 2, 1972.
  3. Billboard Number One Songs of 1973.
Recording Years / Label
1971-1978 -  A&M Records
keyboards, vocals
See associated acts:
Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band

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