About the song
Johnny Preston “Running Bear” has become an iconic song in the rock and roll genre, and the tragic love story it tells continues to captivate audiences to this day. Written by J.P. Richardson, also known as The Big Bopper, “Running Bear” was released in 1959 and went on to top the charts in both the US and the UK.
The song tells the story of two young lovers, Running Bear and Little White Dove, who belong to different Native American tribes and are tragically kept apart by their families’ rivalries. Despite their undying love for each other, their story ends in tragedy as they both perish in a raging river while trying to be together.
The song was brought to life by the powerful and emotive vocals of Johnny Preston, who was just 19 years old at the time of its release. Preston’s raw and heartfelt delivery of the song struck a chord with audiences and helped propel it to the top of the charts.
“Running Bear” is not only memorable for its tragic love story, but also for its catchy melody and infectious beat. The song’s unique blend of rock and roll with Native American-inspired rhythms and chants made it stand out in the music scene of the late 1950s.
The popularity of “Running Bear” has endured over the years, and it continues to be a beloved classic. The song has been covered by numerous artists and has been featured in various films, TV shows, and commercials, ensuring its legacy lives on.
Tragically, Johnny Preston’s life was cut short when he passed away in 2011 at the age of 71. However, his contribution to music with “Running Bear” will always be remembered and cherished by fans around the world.
The enduring appeal of “Running Bear” lies in its timeless tale of love and tragedy, as well as its catchy melody and emotional delivery. It remains a testament to Johnny Preston’s talent and the lasting impact of rock and roll music.