10 year old Billy Preston began playing keyboards for gospel big names like Mahalia Jackson, Andrae Crouch and James Cleveland. Two years later, he made his feature film acting debut in the W.C. Handy biographical movie “St. Louis Blues” (1958). Regarded a bit as a child genius on piano and organ, he toured with Little Richard and Ray Charles in the 1960s and appeared regularly on the ABC TV musical variety series “Shindig,” where as part of the show's house band he demonstrated his talent as a pianist and singer in the mid 1960s. He also played organ on Sam Cooke's album “Night Beat” (1963). ....................... Preston eventually signed with Vee-Jay Records and released his first album, “The Most Exciting Organ Ever,” on August 20, 1965, weeks before his 19th birthday. The fully instrumental album was produced by Steve Douglas. Later that same year, he launched a compilation album titled “Early Hits of '65.” His sophomore album, “The Wildest Organ in Town,” followed in March 1966 and was his first record with Capitol Records. It was arranged by Sly Stone and again produced by Steve Douglas. Preston took on co-producing duties for his subsequent album, “Club Meeting,” which was released on March 30, 1967, before he left Capitol and joined Apple Records in the late 1960s. ....................... Early Hits of'65 released in 1965 & recompiled singles and hits from this year to play with soul arrangements. The album was recorded in the same sessions of The Most Exciting Organ Ever [allmusic] Here
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