Billy Preston - Nothing From Nothing

Billy Preston - Nothing From Nothing
"Nothing from Nothing" is a song written by Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher and recorded by Billy Preston for his 1974 album The Kids & Me. The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week in October 1974, becoming Preston's second solo chart-topper in the United States (following his 1973 hit "Will It Go Round in Circles"). Preston performed the song later on Saturday Night Live - the first musical performance ever on the show. The song was also used in a Chevrolet commercial, and prominently featured in the 2008 film Be Kind Rewind.

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    From Motown Encyclopedia

    A supremely talented keyboard player, Billy Preston's chief claim to fame was that he was the only musician to be credited on an official Beatles record, surely the ultimate accolade.

    Born William Everett Preston in Houston, Texas on 2 September 1946, Billy spent much of his childhood growing up in Los Angeles, where he and his half-sister Rodena learned to play the piano together. Whilst Rodena was talented, Billy's abilities were on a different plane altogether, resulting in him playing in his local church choir at the age of seven, performing with a symphony orchestra at ten, accompanying Mahalia Jackson soon after and making his film debut at twelve in the role of a young W.C. Handy in 'St Louis Blues' alongside Nat King Cole, Eartha Kitt and Cab Calloway. Adept at both the piano and organ, Billy soon learned to play both at the same time.

    "I had been inspired by an organ player named Earl Grant, who played organ and piano together. My mom took me to see him. So I went home, put my piano and organ together too."

    Word of his talent soon spread, resulting in a regular position in Little Richard's touring band in 1962.

    "We met in church and he was getting ready to go to England to do a gospel tour. Or so we thought. We got over there and it turned out to be a rock and roll tour. That was the first time that I ever played rock and roll because until then I had been strictly gospel. I learned a great deal but the thing I remember most was Little Richard leaving me in London stranded. He was going through some enormous mental changes at the time. He had given up rock and roll for gospel and now he was being forced back."

    Despite being left in the lurch, Billy had made some useful contacts, for also on that tour were Sam Cooke and two Liverpool groups in Gerry & The Pacemakers and The Beatles, with Billy forming a close friendship with the latter.

    "One night they even asked me to join them on stage but I had to say no because Richard would get mad."

    Sam Cooke meanwhile was impressed enough to hand Billy his first recording contract, signing him to his SAR label which released his debut album Sixteen Year Old Soul. Following SAR's demise Billy picked up a deal with Vee-Jay where he would record two albums before signing for Capitol in 1966 (where he would work with Sly Stone). In between recording his own albums Billy kept busy as a session musician, which led to an introduction to Ray Charles and with it a three year spell touring and recording.

    "The first time I met Ray, I was going to school around the corner from his house. One day, he was playing the piano. I eased up on the porch to listen to him. On stage Ray's band and the Raelettes and I would perform the first half with me sitting in Ray's place. He was very gracious to me and would introduce me to the audience by saying that he was counting on me to carry on for him after he's gone."