Johnny Preston (born John Preston Courville, August 18, 1939, Port Arthur, Texas]) is an American pop music singer.
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', before recording his U.S. No. 1 hit single "Running Bear". 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 It was a transatlantic chart-topper, reaching #1 in the United Kingdom in March 1960. The sales of the gramophone 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. "Cradle of Love" was a hit in both the UK Singles Chart and in Athens, Greece. 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. In 2009 Preston performed at the Lamar State College in his hometown.