Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Billy Preston: Born Again

As a solo artist, Billy Preston gave us such hits like "Will It Go Round in Circles", "Nothing from Nothing", "Outta Space", and "That's The Way God Planned It."  As a session keyboardist, he has backed such greats as Little Richard, Sam Cooke, and Ray Charles. He is the only musician to be credited on a Beatle's recording other than the groups fab four members.  Their number one song "Get Back" is credited as The Beatles with Billy Preston.  Stephen Stills approached Preston to ask if he could use his line "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with" to pen the hit "Love The One Your With."  Additionally, Billy co-wrote the song "You Are So Beautiful" which would go on to become a number five hit for Joe Cocker.

Billy Preston would enjoy a long and productive career collaborating with and performing for The Beatles.  He managed to remain busy and continue recording even after The Beatles would break up. He worked with George Harrison for some time and then did some session work for Eric Clapton.  He played keyboards for The Rolling Stones on several of  the albums and on their tours.

Billy Preston did not share the truth about his sexuality publicly, but he did open up with some of those he became close with, including his manager Joyce Moore and Keith Richards.  In his memoir, Life, Richards discusses how Preston disclosed to him how he struggled with the fact that he was gay and how it conflicted with his religious upbringing.

Preston's story is just another example of the trauma I've witnessed inflicted on gay men by the church.  It's my story.  It's the story of many of my friends.  And I continue to read about it and hear about it on almost a daily basis.

Of all the hits he is credited with, my favorite will always be, "With You I'm Born Again."  Please get into it below:

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