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Nothing From Nothing by Billy Preston

Album: Kids And MeReleased: 1974Charted:
1
  • Preston started writing this one night in the dressing room of an Atlanta nightclub where he was performing. He wanted to write a song based on the saying, "Nothing from nothing leaves nothing."
  • Bruce Fisher, who was Preston's songwriting partner (he co-wrote his previous American chart topper, "Will It Go Round in Circles"), added a second verse.
  • The B-side of the single was another song Preston wrote with Fisher: "You Are So Beautiful," which was later a hit for Joe Cocker.
  • Preston started off at the age of 10 playing keyboards for Gospel legend Mahalia Jackson. Later he joined Ray Charles touring band before recording with The Beatles on several of their tracks including "Get Back" and "Let It Be" (The Beatles considered him to be the 5th Beatle). He also played on a number of Sly & The Family Stone recordings. Preston went on to have a successful solo career with 5 Top-10 US hits. In 1997 he was sent to prison on drug charges. He died in 2006 at age 59. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above)
  • In the US, this was used in a TV commercial for Fidelity Investments. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • Preston performed this song on the very first episode of Saturday Night Live. He and Janis Ian were the musical guests on the October 11, 1975 debut.
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Comments: 11

In 1973, George Harrison arrived in Boston at the end of his American tour, and his voice was almost completely gone by the time he reached Boston,
but Billy Preston came on stage and saved the show as far as I'm concerned -
so much energy! such happy music! he was really amazing!
Eli - Toronto, On
Correction: 1974 and 1975 both hold the record for most #1 songs with 35 each. 1974 was quite a year for music trivia. Not only did this song tumble to #15 the week after reaching #1, as did Then Came You, but 12 others also fell out of the top 10 the following week after reaching #1. A typical #1 song stays in the top 3 after leaving the top spot.

Another odd chart occurence was these three song titles were #1 consecutively: *Nothing* From Nothing, You Aint Seen *Nothing* Yet, and You Haven't Done *Nothin*'".
Paul - Detroit, Mi
This song set a Billboard chart record in 1974 by dropping from the #1 position all the way down to #15 the following week. It was replaced by "Then Came You" which also stayed at #1 for a week before tumbling to #15. That feat has never been accompluished again and probably never will. Also, 1974 holds the record for most #1 songs with a total of 31.Paul - Detroit, Mi
I remember when I was working back in 1974 and singing and dancing this song while I worked. The employees thought I was nuts, but it has stuck with me for 34 years and I still love the song. Thank you Billy.Paul - Columbus, Oh
Billy Preston, William Everet Preston, sometimes known as Willie or Wild Bill, besides scary talented, was a very kind a trusting man. He was taken advantage of because of that kindness by promoters, managers and other show business pros. The lyrics to Will it go Round in Circles really was "Willie Go Round in Circles" because of what his business manager had done to him.Si - Ocala, Fl
Nuthin from Nuthin leave nuthing...gotta do sumthin..Muthaf***a punch ya in da mowwwwth. - Vernon MurphyJeff - Austin, Tx
AT THE END OF THIS SONG, BILLY SAYS MY FIRST AND LAST NAME. I KNOW THERE'S A MUSICIAN NAMED TOM SHAD. WONDER IF HE PLAYED WITH BILLY PRESTON.Tom - Miami, Fl
Question!!! Any one know the meaning of Prestons song "Will it go 'Round in Circles?" Nikki, shasta, ca.Nikki - Shasta, Ca
why must all the talented ones die??!Joey - Nowhere Land, Ca
Mr. Preston passed on today due to kidney failure. We lost a talented one.Jim - Dayton, Oh
Billy has played with everyone (Beatles, Stones, The Band, so many more). I think he was a child prodigy. If I am correct 10-15 years ago he was accused of something to do with a minor?
He was touring with the Band (till he got arrested).
Phil - San Jose, Ca