January: John continued to record and to sing at various venues during 2005.
January 20-27: Ray Rush visited in the Pickering’s home.
January 22: The Pickering’s son-in-law, Craig Rees’ brother Alan died at age 48. All the family came to Houston for the funeral.
March 27: John and Vicky were saddened to receive the news that musician George Atwood had died. He worked in the Norman Petty Studios in the 50s and was a good friend of The Picks.
April 18: VHS arrived from England for John to view that would later be the DVD release “The Music of Buddy Holly and The Crickets – The Definitive Story” that was filmed in 2004. It includes interviews of John and other Buddy Holly friends and associates.
April 23: John and Vicky attended the Texas Independence Day celebration at the San Jacinto Monument. John’s great-great-uncle, John Pickering, fought with Sam Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto.
May: May issue of Texas Highways “For The Road” includes article on the “Imaginary Albums” show at the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock.
May 12: Vicky was elected Secretary of the Houston Geological Auxillary.
June: Theo and Cindy Dasbach, formerly of The Netherlands, moved to the USA in the Memphis, TN area. They will open their Rock and Roll museum in Clarksdale, MS. The web site is www.rockmuseum.biz. Watch for the opening date of the museum.
June: In the June Texas Highways issue, Vicky had a letter in the “Talk to TH” concerning the new cookbook Texas Highways has published. Vicky has saved all the recipes that have appeared in Texas Highways since 1975.
June 2-5: Bill and Sharon Griggs visited with John and Vicky. They were on their way to Florida to take a seaplane to the Dry Tortugas island off the coast of Florida, a cruise and then a drive to Connecticut. They had vehicle trouble near Houston, so stopped to visit the Pickerings while their car was repaired. Sharon had to fly back to Lubbock and drive another vehicle to Houston so they could proceed on their planned trip. This resulted in the cancellation of the seaplane trip. Vicky drove their car back to Lubbock on the 23rd when she and John went for her high school reunion. They stopped on the way in Abilene to see Sonny West and Bob Lapham.
June 24-25: Vicky and classmates of Lubbock High School Class of 55 celebrated the 50th anniversary of their graduation. Their class included Buddy Holly, Niki Sullivan, Bob Montgomery, Echo McGuire, and friends from other classes including J.I. Allison and Joe B. Maudlin and Peggy Sue Gerron. Vicky and John enjoyed an evening in the home of the Griggs with a delicious steak dinner and a viewing of the English version of the TV movie of the DVD “The Music of Buddy Holly and The Crickets – The Definitive Story” (Universal Music International). John enjoyed a visit with Jack Neal, Tinker Carlin, Gene Medley, Gordon Downum, Larry Byers, B.D. Payne, David Tobin, Travis Holley, Echo and Ron Griffith, Jerry Coleman, entertainer Patricia Vonne and her band, plus English fans Linda and Barry Peacock who were in Lubbock at the time.
July 2: At 5:00 am Houston time, John was interviewed live on the radio by Jeremy Dry from Kent, England on the Jeremy Dry show. He was interview again on October 22nd.
July 4: The 2 hour DVD and 20-song CD was delivered by courier from Barry Barnes of London. John and Vicky watched it and were very pleased with the work Barry did on the DVD. Granddaughter Rylie Rees called from Crested Butte Colorado to tell her Poppy that the Rees and Robinson families, who were vacationing there, had heard “Oh, Boy” coming from a car in the 4th of July parade. Twelve year old Rylie told her Poppy “You are more popular than you think!”. Her mom and dad had heard it in a taxi in Moscow, Russia in 1995.
July 14: John and Vicky heard John’s voice on Buddy Holly and The Crickets/Picks “Maybe Baby” on TV in the movie “American Graffiti”.
July 17: John was interviewed by Dave Wood of Evansville, Indiana for the Daddy Dave’s Hollywood Diner XM satellite all 50s channel radio show which was aired as a Buddy Holly Birthday party on September 2. The web site is www.hollywooddiner.com. Eddy and Ria Veldkamp of The Netherlands contacted John to do a live radio show on Oct 9th. Their show is called “Texas Music” and can be heard via the internet in the USA in the Central Time Zone from 2-4 pm on Sunday afternoons. The address is http://www.regiofm.info. It is a 2-hour live radio show of Texas music.
July 19: Daughter Paula called from Tulsa, OK that the family had heard “Oh, Boy” at a pizza parlor while attending son Jacob’s baseball tournament. John and Vicky called to tell Sonny West that their grandkids were very impressed with his song.
July 29: Vicky’s niece, Roxanne Curl and her children, Ryker and Ramsey, went to the Buddy Holly Center for the Children’s Day activities. The children wrote a song with the help of Dave Tobin, “English musician turned Texan” who volunteers at the center. Ryker called and sang the song on the phone for his great-uncle John.
July 30: Sonny West's birthday.
July: Texas Music magazine Issue 23 (www.txmusic.com) column “Inside the music of Texas.” included article “Yee-Haw! Texas Music At The Movies Starring” The Buddy Holly Story. ‘The Buddy Holly Story: Rave (And Rant) On’” by Robert Burke Warren. Also in the magazine was an add for the Clovis NM Music Festival September 8-10 and the Lubbock Texas Music Festival October 6-8.
August 9: Sonny West was in Houston for John to put backup vocals on six more of Sonny’s songs.
August 11: Sonny and John went to SugarHill Recording Studio. John put backup vocals on Sonny’s version of “Rave On!”, as well as “Rock My World”, “’57 Chevy”, “The Rave Is Gone”, “Big City Woman“, and “Sweet Dreams”. These songs, with the 4 they had done in 2003, are released on the CD “Rave On!” by Sonny West with John Pickering (The Picks).
August 23: John and Vicky celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary by going out to lunch and a movie. Son-in-law Craig Rees from Dallas was in town so he gifted them with a dinner out that evening. John and Vicky thanked relatives and friends that included Sonny and Dotty West and Scot Dennin for their anniversary greetings.
August 25: Vicky and John continued to celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary at the Pecos Grill steakhouse, where “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” band was performing. John joined the band on stage for a performance of “For The Good Times“. A.V. Mittelstedt (guitar), Ed Fontenot (bass guitar), Steve Snoe (fiddle), Roddy Barr (drums), and Don Carrol (saxophone and keyboard) made up a very entertaining band. The band entertained with a 50s music program. Guest singer Larry Youngblood and John renewed their acquaintance of 30 years ago when they were employed at an oil company. John saw several classmates from John H. Reagan High School in Houston.
September 3: John was invited to the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock for the Buddy Birthday Celebration.
September 8-10: John attended the Clovis (NM) Music Festival FanFare, performed with Sonny West, The Fireballs, The John Mueller Band, and sang a solo “Statue of a Fool”. Web site is www.clovisnm.org. Sonny West performed songs from his new 10-song CD “Rave On!”. John sang the backup vocals, along with along with Chicago musician Johnny Rogers. Plans are in the making for John and Sonny to do some live shows with Johnny Rogers and his band.
October 10: At the Texas State Fair, John and Vicky toured the Elvis Presley display, “King’s Ransom.” They met Elvis’ body guard, Sonny West (not the songwriter) and saw pictures and articles on many musicians who were associated with The Picks . The first display case in the Hall of State Building contained a display of Buddy Holly memorabilia, including a jacket and letter donated by a fan and “The Chirping Crickets” 1957 album on which John’s voice is on 9 songs.
October 27: Tommy Allsup was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. Johnny Rogers appeared with Tommy in the Buddy Holly set of songs.
November 5: John sang with John Bowyer’s band “Prohibition” at an Exxon/Mobile employees party in Houston. The employees work in Chad, Africa. Visit his web site at www.john.bowyer.com.