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This Week in Texas Music History: Billy Preston

Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll remembers a rockabilly cat who sang his own version of a nursery rhyme.

You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Sunday at precisely 6:04 p.m. on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you. And if you’re a music lover, be sure to check out Track by Track, the bi-weekly podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KXT’s The Paul Slavens Show, heard Sunday night’s at 8.

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On Oct. 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.