Johnny Preston Biography

John Preston Courville, 18 August 1939, Port Arthur, Texas, USA. This pop ballad and rock singer first performed in the Lamar University (Beaumont, Texas) group the Shades, in 1957, and was brought to the attention of Mercury Records by disc jockey and singer, the Big Bopper (Jape Richardson). Among the tracks Richardson wrote and produced for him was the novelty ‘Running Bear’, a sad tale of Red Indian love gone wrong. The record took four months to chart Stateside but it then went on to became a chart-topper in the US and UK during 1959/60 (after Richardson’s tragic death in the plane crash with Buddy Holly). Despite a disastrous UK tour (cut three weeks short due to poor houses), he had transatlantic Top 20 successes with the follow-ups ‘Cradle Of Love’ and a revival of Shirley And Lee’s ‘Feel So Fine’. He later recorded for Imperial Records, TCF Hall (including ‘Running Bear ’65’), ABC Records and Hallway, but never graced the charts again. He continues to tour and perform from his home base near Dallas.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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