Billy Preston, the Fifth Beatle, long time accompanist for The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, and a pop star in his own right, died six years ago today. He was 59 and had been in a coma for months. Billy’s still not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even though he had major hits like “Nothing from Nothing” and “Will it Go Round in Circles.” He is the only artist ever to be featured on a label with the Beatles– on “Get Back.” His keyboard playing is heard throughout the “Let it Be” album. Keith Richards has credited him for inventing the sound of “Miss You.”
Believe it or not, Billy’s estate is still in chaos after six years. His manager, Joyce Moore, a friend of mine in full disclosure, took such excellent care of Billy in his last few years. She was also his business partner. Preston did not have much use for his own family. He thought he was leaving his estate in good hands with Moore. Nevertheless, his sister and half-sister have continued to fight Moore. Also, celebrity bankruptcy receiver R. Todd Neilson has waged a crazy war against Moore in the courts. It’s a shame. The case is very convoluted, and misguided. More on that soon.
Meantime, here’s a video link for Billy and Sam “Soul Man” Moore singing Billy’s “You are So Beautiful.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG0p15k8pIQ