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The Most Exciting Organ Ever

Billy Preston

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Album Review

As the late John Holmes would tell you, it's damn near impossible to live up to a title as lofty as The Most Exciting Organ Ever, but Billy Preston does his best — the raw physical power of Preston's performances are matched only by the imagination and virtuosity of his phrasing. The music bridges the sacred and the profane, fusing the deep, bold sound of the church with the razzle-dazzle of R&B. While Preston's innovative use of bass pedals lends the music its pendulous bottom, his melodies defy gravity, soaring and dive bombing like birds of prey in flight.

Biography

Born: September 2, 1946 in Houston, TX

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

It's advantageous to get an early start on your chosen career, but Billy Preston took the concept to extremes. By age ten he was playing keyboards with gospel diva Mahalia Jackson, and two years later, in 1958, he was featured in Hollywood's film bio of W.C. Handy, St. Louis Blues, as young Handy himself. Preston was a prodigy on organ and piano, recording during the early '60s for Vee-Jay and touring with Little Richard. He was a loose-limbed regular on the mid-'60s ABC TV series Shindig, proving...
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The Most Exciting Organ Ever, Billy Preston
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