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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hoochie Coochie Man - Billy Preston with Johnny Guitar Watson


William Everett "Billy" Preston (September 2, 1946 – June 6, 2006) was a musician who gained notoriety and fame, first as a session musician for the likes of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and The Beatles, and later finding fame as a solo artist with hits such as "Space Race", "Will It Go Round in Circles" and "Nothing from Nothing".

Alongside Tony Sheridan, Billy Preston was the only other musician to be credited on a Beatles recording after he was credited on the group's number-one hit, "Get Back", with the record title listed as The Beatles with Billy Preston.
William Everett Preston was born on September 2, 1946 in Houston, Texas. At the age of three, the family moved to Los Angeles where Preston began playing piano while sitting on his mother Robbie's lap. Noted as a child prodigy, by the age of ten, Preston was playing organ onstage backing several gospel singers such as Mahalia Jackson, James Cleveland and Andrae Crouch. At twelve, he appeared in the Nat King Cole-starring W.C. Handy biopic, St. Louis Blues, playing Handy at a younger age; a year prior, he appeared on Cole's national TV show singing the Fats Domino hit, "Blueberry Hill".

In 1962, he joined Little Richard's band as an organist and it was while performing in Hamburg that Preston met The Beatles. In 1963, he performed organ on Sam Cooke's Night Beat album and released his first gospel album, 16 Years Soul, that same year. In 1965, he released his secular debut album, The Most Exciting Organ Ever, and that same year played organ and performed on the rock and roll show, Shindig!. In 1967, he joined Ray Charles' band. Following his exposure with Charles, several musicians began asking Preston to come to sessions, most notably The Beatles, who asked him to contribute to two of their albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be.
Preston had battled kidney disease in his later years, brought on by his hypertension. He received a kidney transplant in 2002, but his health continued to deteriorate. He died on June 6, 2006 in Scottsdale, Arizona, of complications of malignant hypertension that resulted in kidney failure and other complications. He had voluntarily entered a drug rehabilitation clinic in Malibu, CA, at the suggestion of guitarist Is'real Benton and suffered pericarditis there, leading to respiratory failure that left him in a coma from November 21, 2005. His funeral was held on June 20 at the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California, where his remains were interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California.

Johnny "Guitar" Watson (February 3, 1935 – May 17, 1996) was an American blues and funk guitarist and singer.

A flamboyant showman and guitar picker in the style of T-Bone Walker, Watson recorded throughout the 1950s and 1960s with some success. His raunchy reinvention in the 1970s with disco and funk overtones, saw Watson have hits with "Ain't That a Bitch", "I Need It" and "Superman Lover". His successful recording career spanned forty years, with his biggest hit being the 1977 "A Real Mother For Ya"
John Watson, Jr. was born in Houston, Texas. His father John Sr. was a pianist, and taught his son the instrument. But young Watson was immediately attracted to the sound of the guitar, in particular the electric guitar as played by T-Bone Walker and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown.

His grandfather, a preacher, was also musical. "My grandfather used to sing while he'd play guitar in church, man," Watson reflected many years later. When Johnny was 11, his grandfather offered to give him a guitar if, and only if, the boy didn't play any of the "devil's music". Watson agreed, but "that was the first thing I did." A musical prodigy, Watson played with Texas bluesmen Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland. His parents separated in 1950, when he was 15. His mother moved to Los Angeles, and took Johnny with her.
Watson died of a myocardial infarction on May 17, 1996, while on tour in Yokohama, Japan. According to eyewitness reports, he collapsed in mid guitar solo. His last words were "ain't that a bitch", probably in reference to the song "Ain't that a Bitch". His remains were brought home for interment at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
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2 comments:

  1. Je n' achèterais plus de cd ou vidéos de ces deux Artistes !

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    1. Man i caught Is'real Benton performing live at a billionaires private party in whales the most awsome magic i had ever seen.Would have
      loved to see him play Billy Preston in a film or see them jam together with the Beatles.Oh well. Cheers!

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