Don Preston (guitarist)

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For the musician associated with Frank Zappa, see Don Preston.
Don Preston
Born Denver, Colorado, United States
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Session musician
Instruments Guitars, vocals
Years active 1950s-present
Associated acts Leon Russell, Joe Cocker, Canned Heat

Don Preston is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He recorded in the 1970s with Leon Russell on Leon Russell and the Shelter People and other albums, and with Joe Cocker on Mad Dogs and Englishmen (as "The Gentle Giant"). He backed Russell at the The Concert for Bangladesh and appeared in the film and played on the album The Concert for Bangladesh.

Preston recorded two albums on A&M Records, both produced by Gordon Shryock. The first was Bluse (1968), and the second was Hot Air Through A Straw (1968) by Don Preston & The South with Bob Young, Casey Van Beek, and Bobby Cochran. He also recorded an album on Stax Records titled Still Rock (1969), as well as solo albums on Shelter Records Been Here All The Time (1974) and Sacre Blues (1997) on DJM Records.


Preston was born in Denver, Colorado, and moved to Whittier, California at age 8. He started playing guitar and sang in the Sewart-Barber Boys Choir. By age 11, he was performing with a traveling youth troupe that performed at store openings, company parties, and USO clubs throughout Southern California.

In the 1950s, he performed with The Penguins, The Coasters, The Olympics, The Jaguars, Ritchie Valens, The Righteous Brothers, Gene Vincent, Don Julian and the Meadowlarks, and Jessie Hill, among others.

In the 1960s, his band, Don and the Deacons, played at the Cinnamon Cinder, a North Hollywood club owned by Bob Eubanks. From there, he joined The Shindogs with Joey Cooper, Chuck Blackwell, Leon Russell, and Delaney Bramlett.

He performed and recorded in the 1970s with Leon Russell (including Carney and Leon Live), Joe Cocker and on the The Concert for Bangladesh. He also recorded and performed with Freddie King, Ricky Nelson and J. J. Cale.

The other Don Preston[edit]

Preston has sometimes been confused with another rock musician named Don Preston, a keyboardist for Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention. [1]


  1. ^ "Don Preston". United Mutations. Retrieved 2007-07-03. 

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