John Pickering celebrated his 70th birthday, March 8, 2003, with family and close friends. During the festivities, John’s wife, Vicky, and children, Lisa, Paula and John V., presented John with a handmade guitar crafted by Travis Holley, brother of Buddy Holly. John’s guitar, #42, is handcrafted of mahogany and rosewood.
John, family and friends celebrated his birthday at the Pecos Grill restaurant with an evening of entertainment. John was asked to sing with the band, "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly". The band includes A.V. Mittelstedt, Steve Snoe, and Ed Fontenot. All of whom have accompanied the Pickering Brothers at various times.
John continues to sing at venues in the Houston, Texas area. He writes and publishes songs and records on his record label, "Pick Records." He is currently finishing his book about his musical experiences since age five.
John's grandson, Landon Rees, of Richardson, Texas, is electric bass guitar player for the Dallas-based rock band, "The Aviators". The web site is: www.members.tripod.com/aviatorsaudio/index.htm.
April 2003: John Pickering was asked to contribute an essay for the upcoming book by television host Larry King, entitled "Remember Me When I Am Gone". The book will be a collection of eulogies and obituaries written by well-known people from all walks of life, as they would like to be remembered. The book will be published by Bill Adler Books, Inc.
John enjoyed a reunion with school friends from Clovis (NM) High School Class of '51 at Kerrville, Texas. The Clovis grads enjoyed reminiscing about all the music that was being created at the Norman Petty Studios in their high school years and how their lives were depicted in "American Graffiti".
June 1, 2003: John Pickering sang at the Berean Baptist Church, Houston, Texas 66th Anniversary program. His family, "The Pickering Family Quartet," had sung at the church each Sunday in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Their recorded music was used on the church radio broadcast for many years after they had moved to another city. Included on the program with John were professional Christian comedian and singer with the Gaither Vocal Band, Mark Lowry; singer and motivational speaker, Bev Lowry; barbershop chorus member Betty Jo Brinkley ; and retired Metropolitan Opera Singer, John Enloe.
August 2003: Bob Lapham attended the "Not Fade Away: The Third Annual Buddy Holly Music Festival & Symposium", held in Lubbock, Texas, at the Buddy Holly Center August 28 - August 31st, 2003. He held 3 book signings for his novel “Meet Me At The River Buddy Holly” and participated in the Fan Fair at the Buddy Holly Center.
Dick Stewart, owner/editor of "The Lance Monthly", an online newsletter about 50s music interviewed John and Vicky Pickering in the August issue. Check out his site at www.lancerecords.com.
John and Vicky were saddened to receive news of the death of singer Floyd Tillman. John and Bill performed with Floyd at the Country Music Association’s party held at Ted Daffan’s home in Houston in 1972.
Sonny West wrote and recorded four new songs: “Dire Need”, “Long Time Wine”, “That’s All She Wrote”, and “Where Am I?“. John Pickering and The Picks added backup vocals at Sound Master Studios in Houston for a soon-to-be released CD. The Picks did vocal backups for Buddy Holly on Sonny’s song “Oh Boy” in 1957.