Thursday, September 9, 2010

BP was a gas

We never bought into "The Fifth Beatle" title bestowed on Billy Preston, even if the idea came from John Lennon. The Beatles, by this time in 1969, were not long for the world.  As Paul McCartney noted: The band was going bad enough with just four members.

That doesn't mean we didn't appreciate BP's contributions to the group or more broadly to the music world in which he contributed greatly. Two of his R&B songs were crossover No. 1s on the Billboard pop chart: "Will It Go Round in Circles" and "Nothing From Nothing."

And Preston's presence in the Let It Be sessions may have saved the day for the fractious Beatles, whose infighting was threatening to keep the record from becoming reality.

The clip we'd like to share with you today, however, is from the George Harrison tribute concert at Royal Albert Hall in 2002 on the anniversary of Harrison's death.  Preston and Harrison were good buds, and Preston handles "My Sweet Lord" with sweet style and grace. Click here to check it out as we hoist a tall one to members of today's Birthday Band:

Otis Redding (1941-1967): Singer
(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay

Inez Foxx (1942): Singer
Mockingbird (with brother Charlie)

Dee Dee Sharp (1945): Singer
Mashed Potato Time, Do the Bird, Slow Twistin’ (with Chubby Checker)

Doug Ingle (1946): Keyboards, Iron Butterfly

Billy Preston (1946-2006): Singer, keyboards
Will It Go Round in Circles, Nothing from Nothing, Get Back (with Beatles)

Freddy Weller (1947): Guitar, Paul Revere and the Raiders
Kicks, Just Like Me, Hungry

David Stewart (1952): Guitar/keyboards, Eurythmics
Sweet Dreams, Who’s That Girl, Right by Your Side


  1. I had the "pleasure" of seeing Iron Butterfly more times than I care to remember. The mere mention of them makes me hallucinate.

  2. Nice way to begin a weekend - cool interpretation and arrangement. I never saw/heard this before.