Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Billy Preston - Another Musical Talent Gone

My first memories of Billy Preston were funky performances he made on SoulTrain during the early 70's. He was an Afro sporting keyboardist who rocked side to side while playing like Ray Charles. Many compared him to Ray Charles and I now see why. Billy Preston was a pioneer of sorts. Rather than try to list all his accomplishments I direct you to an article that says it all.

But before I do that let me say that gone but not forgotten is yet another brilliant piece of that which made up my coming of age era. To have grown up during an era bracketed by the rebellious 60's and greedy 80's makes me that much more grateful for those colorful fun 70's. What other decade can boast a Pariament Funkedelic Band with a star bassist named Bootsy? A time when Rainbow colored suspenders were worn by comedians like Robin Williams of "Mork & Mindy" as well as Pop Dancing Fred Berry as "Re-Run" on the sit-com "What's Happening." If you missed the 70's you really missed something special. No VCR, No answering machines, No Cellular phones, No War. Just Disco and Sex, Can You Dig It? And of course the sounds of a funky keyboard playing Billy Preston.

I guess that's why we're left with memories of great talents, to remind us of a time when life was young, fun and down right funky.

Here's the article, Billy Preston -- keyboardist, 'the fifth Beatle', a must read for all who enjoy music.

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