Nothing From Nothing – Billy Preston | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1) & R&B (#8); 1974

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Only one American ever shared equal billing with the Beatles, a Houston-born piano player named Billy Preston. Billy met the Liverpool band on a 1962 tour to England when he was tinkling the ivories behind Little Richard.

Years later George Harrison caught Billy backing up Ray Charles and enlisted him to play on Get Back. The Beatles then signed Billy to their Apple label. After two albums, Apple went belly up and Billy moved on to record solo hits such as Outa-Space (#1 R&B & #2 Pop; 1972) and Will It Go Round In Circles (#1 R&B & #10 Pop; 1973).

Along the way, he found time to do session work and tour with the Rolling Stones. Playing in a Atlanta night club after his gig with the Stones, Billy started fooling around at the piano, adlibbing “nothing from nothing” over a melody chorus.

Collaborator Bruce Fisher helped polish off the lyrics. Billy’s “nothing” became his second chart topper.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Billy Preston

Lyrics Written by:

  • Billy Preston
  • Bruce Fisher