Johnny Preston (August 18, 1939 – March 4, 2011) was an American pop music singer, who was best known for his international number one hit in 1960, "Running Bear".
J. P. "The Big Bopper" 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. Hot 100 in October 1959, reaching number one in January 1960 and remaining there for three weeks. It was a transatlantic chart-topper, reaching #1 in the United Kingdom in March 1960.The sales of the record exceeded one million copies, earning Preston his first gold disc.
Preston quickly followed up with another hit called "Cradle of Love," (Billboard #7, UK # 2) and made several other records during the early 1960s that met with modest success.
Preston’s pioneering contribution to the genre was recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He also performed at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater in Branson, Missouri. In 2009, Preston performed at the Lamar State College, in his hometown.
Death of Johnny Preston
Johnny Preston had coronary artery bypass surgery in 2010. He died of heart failure in Beaumont, Texas on Friday, 4 March 2011, after years of heart related illnesses.
Johnny Preston was 71 years old at the time of his death.
Johnny Preston – Cradle Of Love – RUNNING BEAR
Johnny Preston – Cradle Of Love