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Articles - Diaries > Events of 2007

2007 is a year of 50th anniversaries for John and Vicky including:


1. On June 3, 1957: John graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock with a degree in petroleum geology.

2. During the Spring and Summer of 1957: John and Bill Pickering and Bob Lapham recorded vocal backups in the Norman Petty Studios in Clovis for several different artists, including Terry Noland, Gary Dale (Tollett), Ramona Locke, Jim Robinson, and Sherry Davis.

3. On July 13, 1957: This date may have been the most definitive point in the careers of The Picks. The work they did on this day influenced them for the rest of their lives. On this day they put the backup vocals on Buddy Holly’s solo version of “Oh Boy” (written by Sonny West).

4. On August 23, 1957: John and Vicky were married with members of The Picks, Holly’s backup singers attending. Bill Pickering was Best Man, and Bob Lapham was a groomsman. Gene Medley who served as a groomsman had done work with The Picks in Clovis on a Sherry Davis session.

5. On August 28, 1957: Vicky and John moved to Corpus Christi, Texas where John began his geology career with the Humble Oil & Refining Company.  In Corpus Christi they reunited with family friend, musician and local DJ, Sonny Stewart, a friend of Sonny Curtis and the Pickering Family’s lead guitarist for several years.

6. During September & October, 1957: John and Vicky made three round-trips from Corpus Christi to Lubbock and Clovis, NM (1340 miles round-trip), including one weekend in September and 2 in October, 1957 for The Picks to do more backup work.

7. On October 12, 13 & 14, 1957: These dates mark the 50th anniversary of the recording of the 8 other songs, which with “Oh Boy” (July 13th) make up the total of 9 songs on which The Picks backed up Buddy Holly for “The Chirping Crickets” album (Brunswick BL 54038; Mono 33 1/3 LP; 1957). The additional 8 songs were “Maybe Baby”, “It’s Too Late”, “Tell Me How”, “An Empty Cup”, “Send Me Some Lovin’ ”, “Rock Me My Baby”, “You’ve Got Love”, and “Last Night”.

8. December 30 & 31, 1957: John, Bill and Bob, The Picks, recorded “Moondreams” and “Look to The Future” which were released in 1958 by The Picks as artists on a Columbia Records 45 single.


Other events of 2007 include:

January 9, 2007:  A friend of the Pickerings said he saw Ralna English on “The Lawrence Welk TV Show” talking about Buddy Holly. He asked if they saw it. They said no, then told him that Vicky’s first cousin Deral Hendrix was Ralna’s first husband.


January 9, 2007:  On Houston Radio Station KTRH, Vicky heard R. Gary Patterson on the night time radio show Coast To Coast AM discussing his book Take A Walk On The Dark Side – Rock and Roll Myths, Legends, and Curses (c) 2004. He was discussing Chapter 2 “The Buddy Holly Curse?” which involves the coincidences of the lives and deaths of other musicians as compared to Buddy Holly’s life and music.


January 20, 2007: Vicky heard R. Gary Patterson again on Coast To Coast AM at 4:30 A.M. A friend had called later to say he also heard it. Vicky and John exchanged emails with Gary. They obtained the book and read it. It is very interesting.


January 22, 2007:  February Texas Highways “For the Road” on page 6 is an article concerning a new book about Lubbock musicians. Christopher J. Oglesby, publisher and editor of the arts Web Site www.virtualubbock.com has written a book titled “Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends of West Texas Music”© 2006 (U of T Press).  “The book covers the gamut of artists, performers, writers, and musicians. Oglesby’s book shines a warm, bright light on these fascinating Texans and their perspectives on West Texas’ shaping of their art and ambition.” Mr. Oglesby and the Pickerings corresponded by email in discussion of the book on January 24, 2007. Vicky’s email is included in the “Reader Mail” of www.virtualubbock.com/Mail.html.


January 22, 2007:  February Texas Highways’ “Talk to TH” - on page 2 is a letter from Glenn Dromgoole: "I want to recommend a book on songs about Abilene: “The Women There Don't Treat You Mean: Abilene in Song” by Joe Specht. ($14.95). It includes a CD, with six of the songs sung by Abilene musicians. The book notes that about 20 songs over the years have had Abilene in the title, and another 20 or so mention Abilene in the lyrics. One of my songs, ‘A Prayer for Abilene’, is included in the book. It is in recognition of the city's 125th birthday”.  - Glenn Dromgoole, Abilene.  Ed Note: “Good to hear from you, Glenn. Readers, ‘Abilene In Song’ is available at bookstores and online”. (Abilene, Texas is home to “Pick” Bob Lapham and songwriter, Sonny West – writer of The Crickets/Buddy Holly’s recorded songs: “Oh Boy” and “Rave On”.)


January 25, 2007: This day was the 22nd anniversary of the death of Bill Pickering, who asked John to promise that the 1984 overdubs would be released, even if he died. John promised.


February: Members of the LHS Class of ’55 in the Houston area are organizing a local chapter of the LHS “Monthly Lunch Bunch” like the one held in Lubbock.


February, 2007: Hans Werner Finking of Dortmund, Germany added a section to his web site featuring John Pickering and The Picks: www.buddyhollylives.info/359362/640562.html  © 2007. Pictures are included to document the musical experiences of The Picks.


February 1, 2007: John continued to do vocal background harmonies in recording studios in the Houston area. At SugarHill Studios he worked with singer-songwriter Glenna Bell on a song titled "Can't Get My Mind Off Of You". Her web site is www.glennabell.com.


February 3, 2007 marked the 48th anniversary of the deaths of Buddy Holly, Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens in the first airplane catastrophe involving rock ‘n roll stars.


Saturday, February 3, 2007, 2:50 A.M. on Coast to Coast AM radio show a caller named "Steve from Iowa" called George Noory to say that he had an interesting story about Buddy Holly and the 2 stars plane crash 48 years ago. He said he was not trying to change rock and roll history. He said that 25 years ago he was taking a final exam for his aviation license in Mason City, Iowa. The examiner was Jerry Dwyer, the owner of the plane in which Buddy, Big Bopper and Ritchie and the pilot were killed in 1959. As Jerry and "Steve" flew out from the airport, Jerry pointed to a fence and said, "That is the fence the plane hit when it crashed. "Steve" and George Noory continued their conversation for several minutes. The rumor has been circulating for several years that there was a gun found outside the wreckage. Jerry said he saw a bullet hole in the pilot's seat. He took the seat out and keep it in storage all those years (their conversation was in 1982). Jerry is reported to be living in Arizona now. George Noory said he will contact Gary Patterson and see if they can follow up on the story. Note: Gary Patterson currently has a listing on a web site concerning this subject: www.classicbands.com/MysteryofBuddyHolly.html


February 4: Happy Birthday Bob Lapham!


February 4, 2007: During the Super Bowl XLI there was a commercial for the Revlon Hair Color “Not Fade Away” ad campaign with a Buddy Holly look-a-like and Sheryl Crow. She sang the song during the commercial. The original song, recorded in May 1957, was credited to The Crickets and appeared on the B-side of Holly’s “Oh, Boy” on which The Picks sang backup vocals. The 45 was released October 27, 1957, with Buddy and Niki doing the background chants on “Not Fade Away“..


February 5, 2007 from the Houston Chronicle in article "Need-to-know bassists" by Andrew Dansby, he is quoted as saying. "In rock 'n' roll's hierarchy, drummers typically reside at the bottom. But bass guitarists, too, usually fail to receive much respect. Bass solos are, after all, rock's second-greatest tiresome indulgence (after drum solos)."


February 28, 2007:  John heard himself on the nationally syndicated radio program “Morning in America” hosted by President Reagan’s Education Secretary,  Dr. William “Bill” Bennett (author of the “Book of Virtues”) on February 28th singing on Buddy Holly and The Crickets recording of “Maybe Baby”. The producer contacted John to be on the nationwide show on Friday March 2nd during the 7 a.m. Houston time show. John enjoyed talking with Mr. Bennett who is a great fan of Buddy Holly music. Mr. Bennett said when he was in Austin one time he drove all the way to Lubbock just to see the town where Buddy Holly was from.


March 2007: Sculptor, Glenna Goodacre, a former Lubbockite and inductee in the Walk of Fame, suffered a mysterious head injury at her studio in Santa Fe, NM. She is the mother of Victoria’s Secret model, Jill Goodacre who is married to Harry Connick, Jr.


March 8, 2007:  Happy Birthday John!


March 31, 2007: John and Vicky attended the book signing by country music legend singer/songwriter Johnny Bush at Sig’s Lagoon in Houston, TX. His book is titled “Whiskey River (Take Me Home)” written with Rick Mitchell and foreword by Willie Nelson. It is “The True Story of Texas Honky-Tonk”. The title is from Johnny hit song “Whiskey River”. Also in attendance were Andy Bradley and staff from SugarHill Recording Studios and singer Glenna Bell. John Pickering and his brother Bill recorded as “The Pickering Brothers” at Stop Records in Nashville, TN at the same time Johnny Bush was recording with Stop in the late 1960s and 1970s.


April 1, 2007: John and Vicky enjoyed celebrating the 30th anniversary of Houston’s First Baptist Church at its present location. The church was founded in 1841. They were present at the opening of the new building in 1977 and recognized at the anniversary with other members who were in attendance. The new building was opened on Vicky's birthday, April 3, 1977. Son John, joined the church that day and was baptized on Father's Day in June of 1977.


April 7, 2007: The Pickering family enjoyed a birthday celebration for Vicky and granddaughter Rylie at the Pocket Sandwich Dinner Theater in Dallas.


April 9-13, 2007: Sonny West came back to visit John and Vicky and do some work at SugarHill Studios. John put backup vocals on 5 of Sonny’s songs which included “West Texas Wind”, “Be Still My Heart, Be Still”, “Golden Years”, “Sure As Sin”, and “Oh Buick!” a song designed for a commercial. Sonny was to appear at the Oneida Casino Rock ‘n’ Roll Show in Wisconsin in May.


May 15, 2007: The Texas House of Representatives recognized the music of Texas singer-songwriter Glenna Bell with the presentation of a House Resolution written to honor her for “all of her dynamic work through musical expression.” “Glenna is preparing to release her third full-length CD, “The Road Less Traveled”, which features Texas Country Music Hall of Famer Johnny Bush, as well as John Pickering of the vocal group The Picks, who backed Buddy Holly on several major hits.”


June 7, 2007:  80-year old David Adickes, the distinguished artist who created the monumental artwork on display at Presidents Park at Williamsburg, VA unveiled his latest creation of four 36-foot-tall sculptures of the Beatles in Houston on the lawn of his SculpturWorx Studio. His daughter, Mary Adickes Van Pelt who works for an art auction company in New York City christened the set by breaking a bottle of champagne across the leg of the “John Lennon” statue. A showing of his artwork was inside the studio where the Paul English Band was playing. David joined the band playing songs he played in a band in 1943. John and Vicky enjoyed meeting Mr. Adickes and other dignitaries including the former Houston Astros manager and ball player, Larry Dierker. John’s music lawyer was also in attendance. The statues will be moved near Interstate 10 and Shepherd Drive in the fall of 2007 and will be visible for miles. Mr. Adickes expects the statues to be moved to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in about 10 years.


June 20, 2007: John and Vicky were glad to receive the news that singer-actor Donnie Allison of Lubbock was recovering from cancer after recent treatments. Donnie has performed in Lubbock for 30 years. He performed as Buddy Holly in “The Buddy Holly Story” play at the Cactus Theater.


August 5 - John and Vicky attended the world-premier opening weekend of the play "Tuna Does Vegas" at Galveston's Grand 1896 Opera House. The play is the 4th in a series of the 2-man cast playing all the parts of the residents of Texas' 3rd smallest town, Tuna. Mentions were made of Lubbock and Clovis.


August 9 - John and Vicky drove to Sealy,Texas to a dinner for "The Friends of The Library". Award winning writer of western novels, Elmer Kelton of San Angelo, Texas, spoke and signed books. His wife Ann was with him.


August 10 - John and Vicky met their daughters and families to spend a day and night in Galveston, TX. They were presented with a "Memory Album" containing letters from many friends and relatives congratulating them on their 50th anniversary.


August 11-16  - John and Vicky with their 3 children and their spouses and the 6 grandchildren boarded the Carnival Cruise Lines "Ecstasy" ship in Galveston for a 5-day cruise in the western Caribbean to celebrate the 50th anniversary. They made stops at the Island of Cozumel and enjoyed touring the city and going to Paradise Beach for a day of fun at the beach. The following day they visited the city of Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico. They toured the city and visited the beautiful beaches. The sons-in-law's took the grandchildren to the Mayan Ruins. John, Vicky, Lisa and Paula stopped for lunch at a sidewalk cafe where a roving troubadour entertained them with Spanish music. Then the owner joined in playing the guitar and singing. They all sang "Oh Boy". Vicky and John were recognized one night on the ship at the theater show for having been married the longest of those present at the show. Son-in-law, Terry, was selected to go on stage one night and participate in a magic trick. [See October 24-31,2004; March 19-26, 2016 for other Pickering appearances on the ships.]


August 16 - The Pickering families all returned to their homes in Houston and Dallas and the two oldest grandsons left for Denver to begin their second year in university there.


August 23, 2007 - Vicky and John's 50th wedding anniversary.


August 31 - John and Vicky returned to Galveston with her cousin Lavoyda and husband Leonard Williams to celebrate the Williams' 49th wedding anniversary. John sang at their wedding. Lavoyda was from Farwell, Texas and took piano lessons from Vi Petty at the Petty's upstairs apartment near the Norman Petty 7th Street Studio. They enjoyed an evening of entertainment seeing the musical "The Night The Music Died" starring Kevin Kratzke as Buddy Holly, Ben Goldsmith as the Big Bopper, Vince Lujan as Ritchie Valens, and Joe Nolin as Dion. The musical was created by Mike Skiles and written by Steven Bebout and Mike Skiles. John was introduced before the play began and then visited with the cast and crew after the musical for pictures and autographs. Some of the cast members asked John if they were playing the characters like they were in real life. A men's trio sang "The Picks" backup vocal arrangements on "Maybe Baby" and "Oh Boy".


September - A Visa commercial played on TV with Buddy Holly singing "Take Your Time" with Norman Petty playing the organ.


September 3 - Labor Day, country singer/songwriter Glenna Bell was on the NPR station in Dallas, KNON-FM on cowboy-historian, Texas History Lee Powell's 5 p.m. show and with radio host Trevor Fought. Lee played Glenna's song on which John is singing backup vocals, "Can't Get You My Mind Off Of You". Glenna dedicated the song to John and Vicky and announced their 50th anniversary on the show and that John sang on the Holly songs.


September 5 - John was notified that he, along with his late brother Bill and friend Bob Lapham, "The Picks",  will be inducted into the 2007 New Mexico Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Albuquerque, NM on November 10, 2007. The Hall of Fame Awards Show will be at 5:00 pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM. The 2007 New Mexico Hispano Entertainers Association Awards Show will be held immediately after the event. John will present some memorabilia to be displayed in the NM Music Hall of Fame Museum. John asked friend Dick Stewart who is editor of the Lance Monthly internet magazine to make the induction for him.


September 11 - Lee Powell again played "Can't Get My Mind Off Of You" on the KNON-FM show and announced that John was going to be inducted into the 2007 NM Music Hall of Fame and Museum November 10th.


October 2007 - On YouTube John and "The Picks" are singing the song John wrote, "Buddy Holly Not Fade Away" on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_6a2R8H-kE (The Picks -Buddy Holly Not Fade Away Tribute.)

On http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5uq39Y6XDc John And "The Picks" are singing the song John wrote, "Forever 22" (The Picks Forever 22).

On http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyCzxFgzlSE "The Picks" are harmonizing with Buddy Holly on "True Love Ways" (True Love Ways ---Buddy Holly).

On http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sherry+davis+humble+heart "The Picks" are singing backup vocals with Sherry Davis of Dallas, Texas on "Humble Heart" ( Sherry David - Humble Heart - Buddy Holly). Buddy Holly and Jack Vaughan (of Clovis, NM a member of the Norman Petty Trio) are playing guitar. Lubbock friend Gene Medley is singing bass with the three "Picks".

On http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VC0LcAPMUiE "The Picks" are singing backup vocals with Sherry Davis of Dallas, Texas on "Broken Promises". (Sherry Davis - Broken Promises - Buddy Holly). Buddy Holly and Jack Vaughan (a member of the Norman Petty Trio) are playing guitar.

"The Picks" can also we heard on songs from "The Chirping Crickets" 1957 album, as well as "Listen to Me" and "Girl On My Mind" on YouTube.

November 1, 2007 - The American Association of Petroleum Geologist magazine The Explorer has an article on John Fame "Spotlight on...'Rockin' Member To Enter Hall! Rave On!". Houston's First Baptist Church First Edition "Rocket City Buzz" had an article on the upcoming Hall of Fame.

November 10, 2007 - "The Picks", John and Bill Pickering and Bob Lapham were inducted into the 2007 New Mexico Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The ceremony was held at the Roy E. Disney Theatre for the Performing Arts at the world-class uniquely designed and impressive National Hispanic Cultural Center. The beautiful campus is located along the banks of the Rio Grande in the historic Albuquerque neighborhood of Barelas. The Picks were inducted for the musical work they did in the summer of 1957 at the Norman Petty 7th Street Studio at Clovis, New Mexico for Buddy Holly and The Crickets, on "The Chirping Crickets" album as well as The Picks' recordings for Columbia Records, the Norman Petty Trio, and for various other artists including Terry Noland, Niki Sullivan, Gary Dale (Tollett), Sherry Davis, Ramona Locke, Rick Tucker, and Jim Robinson. The daily radio shows and numerous personal appearances of The Pickering Family Quartet - Mom (Beth), Pop (John M.), Bill and John in New Mexico in the 1940s also contributed to the award. The induction was made by the Lance Monthly editor, Dick Stewart of Sandia Park, NM. Singer/songwriter Sonny West (writer of Buddy Holly hits "Oh Boy" and "Rave On") was a special guest as well as John's wife, Vicky and daughters Paula and Lisa from Dallas, Texas. Bob's friends from Abilene, Texas, the Jim Roses' and the Tommy Estes' were also special guests. Michael E. Sanchez is President of the New Mexico Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

November 18, 2007 - New Mexico Music Organization: http://www.newmexicomusic.org/news.php?select=397 "NM Music Hall of Fame Awards".

November 21, 2007 - Michael E. Sanchez, entertainment lawyer and President of the NM Music Hall of Fame has a song he wrote, "Puno de Tierra" in the movie "No Country For Old Men" starring Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin.

November 23, 2007 - Lubbock Avalanche-Journal article http://www.lubbockonline.com/stories/112307/ent_112307031.shtml "Picks in NM Music Hall of Fame" by William Kerns.

November 28, 2007 - Holly music fans were very sad to receive the news that Sarah Holley (Mrs. Travis Holley) died in Lubbock. John had spoken to Sarah on the phone November 9th when he went through Lubbock on the way to the Hall of Fame induction . He enjoyed a visit with Travis Holley that day. Sarah's funeral was December 3rd.

December 1,2007 - Dick Stewart's Lance Monthly article http://www.lancerecords.com/news2.htm " 'Picks' Inducted into New Mexico Hall of Fame".

December 6, 2007 - Member of Congress, U.S. Representative Nick Lampson recognized "The Picks" "who have made their mark in entertainment history" with a "Certificate of Congressional Recognition" for "the recent acknowledgement (2007 NM Hall of Fame) of "The Picks'" place in music history honors a lifetime of support of music, serving as inspiration for generations of music lovers. Messrs. John Pickering, Bob Lapham, and Bill Pickering, have made their mark in entertainment history."

December 13, 2007 -Houston Chronicle article (by Arlene Lassin) on John and "The Picks", "Resident Makes a Hall of Fame" - http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/alief/news/5369007.html

December 28, 2007 - The Pickering family enjoyed Christmas and New Year's in Dallas and attended a concert by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

2007 proved to be an exciting year of 50th anniversaries plus the making of many new memories that were shared with friends and family.