Billy Preston: Often Referred to as the “Fifth Beatle”

This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll learn about a Texas connection to the phrase, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”

On October 11, 1975, Houston-born piano player Billy Preston appeared as the very first musical guest on the now-legendary TV show, Saturday Night Live. Preston, who had performed with Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and Aretha Franklin, was sometimes referred to as the “Fifth Beatle” for his work on the group’s albums Abbey Road and Let It Be. By the time Preston appeared on Saturday Night Live, he already had several of his own hit songs, including “Nothing from Nothing.”

Throughout his career, Billy Preston performed and recorded with many prominent musicians, including George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, and the Rolling Stones.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll honor a man who used music to fight racism.

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