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Articles - Diaries > Events of 2006

2006: The Clovis Music Festival web site used John Pickering’s and Johnny Rogers’ voices backing Sonny West on “Oh Boy” to advertise the Sept 2006 festival.


January 1, 2006: John, Vicky and granddaughters Rylie and Jansen started out the year by attending the Cotton Bowl Parade of Bands at Fair Park in Dallas. The parade was followed by a Texas Tech pep rally for the Cotton Bowl game on Jan 2.


January, 2006: Vicky served as Treasurer of Houston Geological Auxiliary for the 2006-2007 year and did volunteer work for the NAPE conventions.


February, 2006: Carl Bunch, drummer on Buddy’s last tour, sent a set of signed drumsticks to John and Vicky’s grandson Jacob, and to John, as well.


February, 2006: Music fans were sorry to hear that Carl Bunch was hospitalized in his home town in California.


February 14, 2006:  Houston’s favorite Country Music DJ and performer, Arch Yancey was inducted into the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame in Nashville. Arch played “The Pickering Brothers” country songs during the 60s and 70s on popular stations in Houston. He and John and Bill performed at the Jimmy Rogers memorial celebration in Jackson, Mississippi in 1970.


March 15: Houston radio talk show host Pat Gray referred to the “Buddy Holly Syndrome” which is when celebrities die in small planes.


March 17, 2006: Chuck Thorp of the Fireballs died in Clovis, NM and will be greatly missed by the fans.


March 23, 2006: Sympathies sent to Bill Griggs regarding the death of his mother.


April 12, 2006: The Library of Congress changed the credit for “That’ll Be The Day” from “Buddy Holly” to “The Crickets“.


April 14-15, 2006: Vicky and John attended the Heritage Auction Galleries auction of Buddy Holly items in Dallas. John’s voice with The Picks is heard on several of the records that sold.  Buddy Holly fans were able to purchase over $500,000.00 worth of memorabilia. After the auction, they enjoyed the evening out with Maria Elena Holly, Tommy Allsup and friends.


May 19 & 20, 2006: John’s Reagan High School Class of ’51 celebrated their 55th anniversary party. John sang and Vicky played piano for him.


May 21, 2006: Country singer Billy Walker and his wife Bettie were killed in an auto accident. Two band members were also killed and a grandson injured. At age 13 Billy won a singing contest on KICA Clovis, NM. The Walker family was friends of the Pickering family. Vicky and John visited him in Nashville in 1972 when they took John’s songs for him to audition.


May 27, 2006:  John and Vicky’s second grandson, Landon graduated from J.J. Pierce High School in Richardson, Texas. He attended Prairie Creek elementary school with Ashlee Simpson. She was a 6th grader and he was a 3rd grader. Ashlee was Landon’s “reading buddy” and would come and read books with him during school. The names of the school “graduates” is found on the wall of the school. Ashlee Simpson’s name is there.


July 4, 2006: Vicky’s mother, Pauline Billington, died in Lubbock, TX at the age of 92. Vicky and John spent 33 days in Lubbock attending Pauline and visiting with family and Lubbock High School friends from the class of ’55 as well as Bill and Sharon Griggs during the time of Pauline’s illness and funeral.


August 23, 2006: Vicky and John as well as Vicky’s cousin Lavoyda and her husband Leonard Williams of Houston celebrated their 49th and 48th wedding anniversaries respectively. John sang for the Williams’ wedding in Farwell, Texas in 1958.


September 7 – 10, 2006: Carl Bunch attended a NM Music Festival, became ill and had to spend time in the Gallup, NM hospital. He recuperated at his home in California for the rest of the year.


September 15 & 16, 2006: Rod and Christine Jordan of Australia attended the Clovis Music Festival and then toured through Texas. Vicky and John met up with them in Dallas and visited for two days. They attended a birthday celebration for John and Vicky’s son-in-law, Craig and enjoyed visiting with other members of the Pickering family before flying back to Australia. Rod and Christine, we are sorry it took you 90 minutes to go through DFW airport and all the security. John and Vicky enjoyed a preview peak at Rod’s new book about Buddy Holly’s tour of Australia in early 1958 due out in 2007. It has lots of new pictures and facts and is very well written. We highly recommend it.


September 30, 2006: John and Vicky attended the Houston City Fest and met and visited with Pat Boone. John and Pat discussed Buddy Holly and the music of 1957. Pat earlier had recorded a cover of The Crickets “Oh Boy” with the backup vocal arrangements exactly like John and Bill had arranged for The Crickets’ 1957 version.


October 28, 2006: Songwriter and Past President of NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) Marijohn Wilkin died. John Pickering was the director of the Houston chapter of NSAI in the 1980s and enjoyed knowing Marijohn. She and Kris Kristofferson wrote “One Day At A Time”.


November 1, 2006: Vicky and John met with Holly/Crickets fans, Jim and Pat Schuman from Ohio who were in Houston to participate in the International Quilt Festival. Vicky’s sister, Marilyn Brown came from Lubbock with her quilting group.


November 12, 2007:  Two of the original Picks, John and Bob, joined by Sonny West, are in the process of putting down vocal tracks for a young British talent named Micah who is produced by Bob’s son John Mark Lapham. John Mark writes songs for a popular British group called the Earlies and is a producer for that group. He divides his time between England and Abilene, Texas.


December 4, 2006:  John can be heard singing backup vocals behind Sonny West on “Rave On”. Go to the “MySpace URL: http://www.myspace.com/raveonsonnywest.”


December 13, 2006: John Victor Pickering, the son of John and Vicky, received his Master of Science in Accountancy degree from the University of Houston. He is employed by KPMG accounting firm to do auditing work. John V. can still be seen on reruns of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” TV show.


December 10, 2006: Longtime friend, musician and DJ, Jerry “Jaybird” Drennan of Kent, Ohio, died as a result of a fall on an icy sidewalk. Jaybird sang with the Pickering Family Quartet in 1945 - 46 when Bill was in the Navy and again in 1953 after “Pop” Pickering died. Vicky and John enjoyed attending the ceremony when Jaybird was elected to the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame in Nashville in 2004. He worked in Clovis, NM and Lubbock, Texas before moving to Ohio. A version of the Pickering Family Quartet is now in Heaven.


December 15, 2006: John received an invitation to attend the Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa in February to commemorate the last night Buddy performed 48 years ago. He sent a letter of congratulations, as he was unable to schedule the event.


December 18, 2006: Clyde Hankins of Albuquerque, NM, musician and friend, passed away. John knew him for more than 50 years. Clyde sold Buddy Holly his first Stratocaster at a music store in Lubbock. Clyde was still performing in the Albuquerque area at the time of his death.


December 27, 2006: Lubbock woman DJ “Misty” (Moda Fincher) died. She had a career as “the first woman DJ in Texas who also worked in television.” Her career spanned over 50 years. She was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2006. She was a friend of “The Picks.” “Misty” served as DJ at the dance for the Lubbock High School Class of ’55 reunion June 6, 2000. She played 50s records from her extensive LP Album collection.


December 29, 2006: John, Vicky, Rylie and Jansen ended the year watching on TV the Texas Tech Red Raiders play the Minnesota Gophers in the Insight Bowl in Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe AZ. The TT kicker broke his own record of 48-yards with a game-tying 52-yard field goal, and the winning touchdown was scored in overtime, as the Texas Tech Red Raiders completed the biggest comeback in bowl game history with a 44-41 victory over the Minnesota Gophers.


December 31, 2006: In the Dallas Morning News Getaway Section:

1. "Exhibits spotlight luminaries from the Lone Star State." Two exhibits at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station feature profiles of 120 men and women who have made major impacts in Texas and beyond. "100 Tall Texans" includes artifacts such as A. J. Foyt's Indy race car, boxer George Foremen's title belt, singer Buddy Holly's recording microphone, and artwork by Robert Raushchenberg, Tom Lea and John Biggers. "Texas Lone Stars" spotlights an additional 20 Texans including cycling champion Lance Armstrong, former first lady Barbara Bush and actress Sissy Spacek. The exhibits continue through March 18. (Note: The microphone is thought to be the same one that The Picks used on the overdubs for “The Chirping Crickets” album.)


2. "Photo exhibit features Texas musicians." A collection of 50 portraits of Texas musicians is on exhibit at the Grace Museum in Abilene through Feb.17. "Texas Singer-Songwriters, An Americana Portrait; Photographs by Gary Goldberg" includes pictures of Willie Nelson, Pat Green, Kinky Friedman, Gary P. Nunn, Tommy Alverson and Mike McClure. Each portrait is accompanied by lyrics and several have audio components. Contact: 325-673-4587; http://thegracemuseum.org.