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Johnny Preston
Birth name John Preston Courville
Born August 18, 1939 (1939-08-18) (age 70)
Port Arthur, Texas
Genres Traditional popular music
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1959 – present
Labels Mercury

Johnny Preston (born John Preston Courville, August 18, 1939, Port Arthur, Texas[1]) is an American pop music singer.

Of Cajun ancestry, Preston sang in high school choral contests throughout the state of Texas.[1] He formed a rock and roll band called 'The Shades', before recording his U.S. No. 1 hit single "Running Bear".[1] The teenage tragedy song was written by J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, who had died the previous year in the same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.[1] It was a transatlantic chart-topper, reaching #1 in the United Kingdom in March 1960.[2 ] The sales of the gramophone record exceeded one million copies, earning Preston his first gold disc.[1]

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. "Cradle of Love" was a hit in both the UK Singles Chart and in Athens, Greece.[3 ] Preston's "I'm Starting to Go Steady", a song on the flip side of "Feel So Fine", (Billboard #14), was released in June 1960. Preston made appearances on American Bandstand (ABC-TV) and The Milt Grant Show and also The Buddy Deane Show (East Coast, United States).

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.[4] In 2009 Preston performed at Lamar University in his hometown.[5]

Notable recordings

  • "Running Bear"
  • "Cradle of Love"
  • "I'm Starting to Go Steady"
  • "I Want A Rock 'n' Roll Guitar"
  • "A New Baby for Christmas"
  • "Feel So Fine"
  • "Charming Billy"

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 127/128. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.  
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 108. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.  
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 437. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.  
  4. ^
  5. ^ - accessed March 2009

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