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Johnny Preston (August 18, 1939 – March 4, 2011) was an American pop singer, who was best known for his international number one hit in 1960, "Running Bear".
Born as John Preston Courville in Port Arthur, Texas, of Cajun ancestry, Preston sang in high school choral contests throughout the state of Texas. He formed a rock and roll band called the Shades, who were seen performing at a local club by J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.
Richardson offered Preston the chance to record a teenage tragedy song he had written, "Running Bear", which they did in Houston, Texas, in 1958. The "Indian" sounds on the record were performed by Richardson and George Jones. The record was released after the Big Bopper's death in the same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. It entered the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in October 1959, reaching number one in January 1960 and remaining