Sam Moore's video tribute to Billy -- watch it on Amazon Entertainment. November 21 is the unfortunate anniversary of Billy suffering respiratory arrest that caused him to fall into a coma Remember: Billy Preston should have turned 60 this September 2nd. Let's all celebrate Billy on that day. Watch for further details Story on the funeral from SF Gate.
Along with Tony Sheridan , he was one of just two non-members to receive top billing on a Beatles record. At the time The Beatles were the opening act, and were yet to find fame beyond their home city. They met again in , during the fraught sessions for the Let It Be album and film. George Harrison , unwilling to further endure the animosity within the group, had walked out of the studio and gone to a Ray Charles concert in London, where he saw Preston playing the organ. Harrison brought Preston back into the studio, where his enthusiasm and easy-going personality helped ease the tensions. John Lennon was in favour of making Preston a full member of the band; Paul McCartney disagreed, saying there was little point as the band was close to splitting. The title track, produced by George Harrison, was released as a single. The pair had a strong relationship after The Beatles split. He also appeared at the Concert for Bangladesh.
George wanted a new sound — and a new vibe — for the band in early ’69
Preston was one of five musicians  credited on a Beatles recording other than the group's four members. Preston continued to record and perform with other artists, notably George Harrison after the Beatles' breakup, and Eric Clapton , and he played keyboards for the Rolling Stones on many of the group's albums and tours during the s. Noted as a child prodigy , Preston was entirely self-taught and never had a music lesson. By the age of ten, he was playing organ onstage backing several gospel singers such as Mahalia Jackson. Louis Blues , the W. In , Preston joined Little Richard 's band as an organist, and it was while performing in Hamburg that he met the Beatles. In , he joined Ray Charles ' band. Preston first met the Beatles as a year-old in , while part of Little Richard's touring band, when their manager Brian Epstein organized a Liverpool show, at which the Beatles opened. The Washington Post explained their subsequent meeting:. They'd hook up again in , when the Beatles were about to break up while recording the last album they released, Let It Be they would later record Abbey Road , which was released prior to Let It Be.