Johnny Preston (born John Preston Courville, August 18, 1939, Port Arthur, Texas) is an American 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 No. 1 hit single "Running Bear." The 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.