Billy Preston led The Beatles through a version of the 1929 classic ‘Without A Song’ during the Get Back/Let It Be sessions in January 1969.

‘Without A Song’ was composed by Vincent Youmans, with lyrics later added by Billy Rose and Edward Eliscu. It was included in the short-lived musical play Great Day, but the song became far more successful, being recorded by a number of artists.

An early recording from 1929 was by Bing Crosby and Paul Whiteman’s orchestra. Other versions were recorded by Billy Eckstine, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Neil Sedaka, Mahalia Jackson, George Benson, The Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Louis Armstrong, Willie Nelson and many others.

The Beatles’ version featured Billy Preston on vocals and piano, with backing from John Lennon and Ringo Starr. It was recorded on 28 January 1969, the 17th day of the Let It Be sessions.

The performance was widely bootlegged under the erroneous title ‘Unless He Has A Song’, but was given a proper release in October 2021 on the super deluxe reissue of Let It Be.

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