Billy Preston Nothing from Nothing

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Billy Preston Nothing from Nothing

Billy Preston Nothing from Nothing

Soul Music

If you do the math, it’s a zero sum game; nothing from nothing certainly leaves you with nothing. Preston co-wrote the song with songwriter, record producer, and playwright Bruce Fisher. They had previous charting success with their song “Will It Go Round in Circles.” In 1974, “Nothing from Nothing” was released on Preston’s album The Kids & Me. It was also released that year as a single, backed with “My Soul is a Witness.” (The album also contained another Preston-Fisher song “You Are So Beautiful,” which was a very successful cover for Joe Cocker in 1975.) “Nothing from Nothing” charted well internationally, rising to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 as well as #1 on Cash Box and Record World. It went to #3 in Canada and France.

A bit of trivia about this song is that Preston performed it on the first episode of the TV show Saturday Night Live on October 11, 1975. Preston and Janis Ian were the musical guests.

Preston began his musical career by playing keyboards for Mahalia Jackson. He played with Ray Charles and also joined The Beatles on several songs (e.g., “Get Back” and “Let It Be”). They considered him to be the fifth Beatle. Preston played on severalĀ  recordings by Sly and The Family Stone. He had a successful solo career. Unfortunately, he a number of legal problems due to insurance fraud, cocaine, and sexual assault charges. He died at the age of 59 in 2006.

Here are the lyrics to “Nothing from Nothing” by Billy Preston:

Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
You gotta have somethin’ if you want to be with me
Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
You gotta have somethin’ if you want to be with me

I’m not tryin’ to be your hero
‘Cause that zero is too cold for me, Brrr
I’m not tryin’ to be your highness
‘Cause that minus is too low to see, yeah

Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
And I’m not stuffin’, believe you me
Don’t you remember I told ya
I’m a soldier in the war on poverty, yeah
Yes, I am

Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
You gotta have somethin’ if you want to be with me
Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
You gotta have somethin’ if you want to be with me
Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
You gotta have somethin’ if you want to be with me

You gotta have somethin’ if you want to be with me
You gotta bring me somethin’ girl, if you want to be with me

For More 70s Tunes

The System has daily featured music from all sorts of genres of 1970s music. You’re welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections in The System. Thank you for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed “Nothing from Nothing” by Billy Preston.

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