Taken from George Harrison’s towering All Things Must Pass album this beautiful song has the distinction of being the first number one single in the UK and America by a former Beatle, as well as being the UK’s biggest selling single of 1971. George wrote the song, but did you know that he was not the first to record ‘My Sweet Lord’? George gave the song to Billy Preston to include on his September 1970 album, Encouraging Words that the former Beatle also produced.
Billy’s album included many of the musicians that were bound up in George’s musical world during this period, appearing on All Things Must Pass, including Eric Clapton, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon who soon after formed Derek and the Dominos. Bobby Keys and Jim Price play horns and on Billy’s version of 'My Sweet Lord' it’s the distinctive sounds of the Edwin Hawkins singers that provide the backing vocals.
Harrison began writing ‘My Sweet Lord’ in December 1969, when he, along with Billy Preston and Eric Clapton were in Copenhagen, Denmark playing with Delaney & Bonnie's band. It was in the middle of a productive and spiritual period that saw George producing Preston's ‘That's the Way God Planned It’ and the ‘Hare Krishna’ mantra of London's Radha Krishna Temple, as well as writing songs with a spiritual theme for his own planned solo record. Our photo shows Eric Clapton, Bonnie and Delaney Bramlett with George Harrison in the UK on tour a few days before he wrote 'My Sweet Lord."
Photos and text -Via Udiscovermusic