Billy Preston's "16 Year Old Soul" To Be Re-Released Feb. 22nd, 2011
16 YEAR OLD SOUL OUT THIS MONTH FROM ABKCO
Cooke and Alexander had, in fact, tapped Preston to play on the sessions for Cooke’s legendary Nightbeat album, recorded in February of 1963. They were so taken with his manifest talent that they immediately signed him to a recording deal with Derby Records, SAR’s sister label. Just one month later, the sessions for Preston’s very first album, 16 Year Old Soul, took place and the record was rush released that June. Thus, this historic album highlights the brilliance of a pop/rock/soul/gospel legend at the start of his ascent to stardom.
In 1958, before his career as a key collaborator with such major artists as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, the Jackson 5, Barbara Streisand and many others, the stage was set when an 11-year-old Billy Preston portrayed W.C. Handy, “The Father of the Blues,” as a child in the film St. Louis Blues. Nat “King” Cole starred as the adult Handy. Soon thereafter, and prior to the recording of 16 Year Old Soul, Preston began gaining wider recognition in both gospel and R&B circles.
16 Year Old Soul is an album of percolating organ-fueled instrumentals that offers insight into the roots of one of the music world's most innovative and genre-busting stars who died at the age of 59, in 2006. With songs covering a broad spectrum of styles from country ("Born to Loose") to R&B ("Good News") to jazz ("God Bless The Child") with pop and blues undertones aplenty, 16 Year Old Soul is a preserved-in-amber glimpse of an artist whose musical maturity belied his years.
Shortly after the album’s original release, Preston broke through to a national TV audience as the hyperkinetic young keyboard player in the Shin-diggers (later renamed the Shindogs), the house band on Shindig!, ABC’s weekly network live music series. His Shindog band mates included, among others, Glen Campbell, Delaney Bramlett, Leon Russell and James Burton.
Preston’s strong relationship with the Beatles -- he is the only artist to ever share billing with the Beatles at their direction on a record label ("Get Back" is credited to ‘THE BEATLES with Billy Preston’) -- led to an Apple Records contract and the hit “That’s The Way God Planned It.” His backing band on the record was Keith Richards (bass), Eric Clapton (lead guitar), George Harrison (rhythm guitar) and Ginger Baker (drums). He performed the song at Madison Square Garden at The Concert For Bangladesh. He later toured with the Rolling Stones in the 1970s and backed the group on numerous albums including Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, Goats Head Soup and Black and Blue, which made Preston the only outside musician to have played with both the Beatles and Rolling Stones.
Similarly, 16 Year Old Soul showcases an all-star backing group featuring legendary drummer Earl Palmer with Clifford Hils on bass and Eugene Edwards on piano. Later in his career, when he was signed to A&M, Preston’s instrumental side shone through once more with his #1 Billboard R&B hit “Outta Space.”
16 Year Old Soul, a kind of musical time machine, offers Billy Preston fans a unique opportunity to gain insight into the roots of a great artist who can only be defined as the “musician’s musician.”
16 YEAR OLD SOUL - TRACKLISTING:
1) Greazee (Alexander, Preston, Smith)
2) Lost and A’ Lookin’ (Alexander, Jordan)
3) I Can’t Stop Loving You (Gibson)
4) Born To Lose (Brown)
5) Ain’t That Love (Smith)
6) Bring It On Home To Me (Cooke)
7) God Bless The Child (Holiday, Herzog)
8) Pretty Little Girl (Jordan, Alexander, Redmond)
9) In The Spring (Jordan)
10) Good News (Alexander, Smith, Preston)
11) Sweet Thing (Unknown)
12) Win Your Love For Me (Cooke)
Album produced by J.W. Alexander and Fred Smith
Recorded at RCA Studios, Hollywood March 1963
Engineered by Dave Hassinger
Digital-only release February 22, 2011 available from all online retailers
ABOUT ABKCO: ABKCO Music and Records is one of the world's leading independent entertainment companies. It is home to critical catalog assets that include compositions and recordings by Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, Bobby Womack, The Animals, Herman's Hermits, Marianne Faithfull, The Kinks as well as the Cameo Parkway masters by such artists as Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, The Orlons, The Dovells, ? & The Mysterians, The Tymes and Dee Dee Sharp. ABKCO's recent releases have included the soundtracks to Wes Anderson's acclaimed The Darjeeling Limited and Fantastic Mr. Fox, the director's first animated feature based on Roald Dahl's book of the same title, as well as soundtracks to Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief , Middle Men and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. ABKCO is active on many fronts including the release of critically lauded compilations and reissues from its catalog, film and commercial placement of its master recordings and music publishing properties in all media. ABKCO Films is in development of a biopic on Sam Cooke’s life. ABKCO is engaged in ongoing catalog research and development ensuring its continuing role as an innovator in the entertainment field. www.abkco.com/" href="http://www.abkco.com/" target="_blank">www.abkco.com