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Articles - Diaries > Events of 2009

 Jan 4, 7, 2009 – Talked with Johnny Rogers and plans for Surf Ballroom at Clear Lake, Iowa in February.

Jan 4, 2009– A BBC show used the title of John’s tribute song, “Forever 22”. Emailed Geoff Barker about show on 1-10-2009.
Jan 4, 2009 – Started reading “What Ever Happened to Peggy Sue”.
Jan 5-6, 2009 – Email and discussion of Holly music with author Patrick Taylor author of “An Irish County Christmas”.
Jan 7-8, 2009 – After 5 years, the Pickerings had a visit in Houston with Theo and Cindy Dasbach from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum in Clarksdale, MS. They attended the Lubbock High School Class of ’55 Houston area luncheon. The museum includes a section on The Picks.
Jan 12, 2009 – Sent flowers to Laurie Lietz at the Surf Ballroom.
Jan 13, 2009 – Sent the DesMoinesRegister.com an answer to their video about “The Picks” and comments.
Jan 13, 2009 – Friend Barnard heard “Maybe Baby” in San Antonio Mall.
Jan 18, 2009- Emailed with Kyle Munson of the
Jan 23, 2009 – Making all preparations for trip to Clear Lake, Iowa in a winter blizzard by auto. Emailed Bill Bennett of “Morning in America”.
Jan 25, 2009- Left Houston in 81 degree weather for Clear Lake, Iowa and the Surf Ballroom. Took I-35 from Dallas to Clear Lake, Iowa. Over night in Flower Mound, TX.
Jan 26, 2009– Left Flower Mound, TX at 8 a.m. in 43 degree weather. In Oklahoma windshield freezing up in 34 degrees. Stopped for night at 5 p.m. at Tonkawa, OK in 20 degrees winter blizzard. We got to see a lot of snow and Black Ice on the roads.
Jan 27, 2009 – Left Tonkawa, OK at 9:30 a.m. in 18 degrees. Wichita KS icy freezing rain. In winter blizzard all day. Arrived at Clear Lake, Iowa minus 2 degrees. Dinner with Jim and Pat Schumen from Ohio. Sherry Davis’ daughter, Sarada called to talk about her mother and the Clovis music recordings. The Picks sang on Sherry’s “Broken Promises” and “Humble Heart” which can be found on YouTube.
Jan 28, 2009Clear Lake minus 22 degrees! The Fifty Winters Later at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa will be the 28th to Feb. 2nd. Breakfast with the Dehon’s from Canada; Bob and Kathy Hale from Chicago; Skelio and Terry and John from Liverpool; Dave Wilkins from England; June Willis. To Surf and met Laurie Leitz. John on TV in lobby being interviewed on “The Definitive Story” DVD. Played all week. To Surf for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction of the Surf as a Historic Building. Saw Maria Elena, Connie Valens Lemos and husband John, CEO of HoF; Surf CEO, and Alan Clark. Days events included Gift Shop open, Educational Program, Souvenir Personalized Portraits, Welcome Reception, Winter School Dance Party and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Landmark Series Dedication followed by the Evening Concert with Jason D. Williams, the Whitesidewalls. To Surf Concert. Saw Pat Boyle and Randy Steele. The festivities are being filmed by PBS TV.
Jan 29, 2009 - Connie from Texas Tech University called, Laramie Adams from the Texas State Senate Offices called, and friend Scot Dennin. 15 degrees in Clear Lake. Tommy Allsup, rumors that Paul McCartney would appear but he did not. Days events: Gift Shop, Education Program, Dance Lessons, Portraits, Concert Alan Clark and The Classics featuring Ritchie Lee, US Postal Service-Clear Lake Surf Ballroom Station, Memorial Site Tours, Symposium with Maria Elena and Terry Lakona, Symposium with Valens Family, Concert with The Comets, Johnny Tillotson, the Tymes, Dodie Stevens, Tommy Allsup and Johnny Rogers and Kevin Montgomery. Hosted by David Somerville. Carl and Dorothy Bunch arrived at the Pickerings hotel with Allsup and the Valens family and many fans. Had long talk with Randy Steele. Saw Randy and Steve from Australia.
Jan 30, 2009 – Very cold and snow on the ground. Interview in the hotel with Alex Ward from Memphis, met his wife and associate and his wife. Vicky emailed Grigg’s message board of activities each day. Visit with friends and fans. To Surf and saw Alan Clark. Addressed and signed commemorative cards to send family and mailed. Days Events: Gift Shop, Educational Program, Multimedia Stage show – Blue Moo: Jukebox Hits from Way Back Never, Portraits, British Buddy Holly Luncheon, Concert Alan Clark and the Classics Tribute to Eddie Cochran, US Postal Service Station, Memorial Site Tour, Symposium J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, Jr., Wedding Renewal Ceremony by Carl Bunch, Symposium Wanda Jackson, Bobby Vee, The Crickets. Traditional Sock Hop Concert by John Mueller’s Winter Dance Party and Big Bopper, Jr. and Sting Ray Anthony, and the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with the Killer Vee’s, Jimmy Clanton and Shirley Alston Reeves of the Shirelles.
Jan 30, 2009 - John and Vicky went to the crash site late in the afternoon just before sundown where she taped John singing his 2 Holly tribute songs, “Buddy Holly Not Fade Away” and “Forever 22”. Left framed copies of the songs at the crash site. 0 degree wind-chill. Lot of snow and cold wind. Very sad and lonely place. The songs can be heard on YouTube and www.myspace.com/thepicksbuddyholly. Enjoyed meeting fans including Ian Leach from Canada. Richard-Tsong-Taatarii of MinneapolisStarTribune.com filmed a video of John’s interview at the crash site and songs. Zero degrees. Met man whose family owned the land where the Big Bopper’s body landed. Woman came to the sight and they saw her later and she was from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. At hotel visited with Kenneth and Shirley Broad and David Bigham. Talked to Kevin Montgomery, John Mueller, and Ray Anthony. Saw Bobby Vee at the Surf and he greeted John with “Hello John!” And stood and talked. Pickerings sat in the reserved section with the family and artist including Maria Elena and her 4 body guards and the Valens family including Rosie, Robert’s ex-wife, and the Jerry Dwyers and Bob Hale’s.
Jan 31, 2009 – Days Events: Gift Shop, Record and Memorabilia Show, Memorial Site Tours, Symposium with Bob Hale and people from the final Concert of the Winter Dance Party Tour. US Postal Service, Fanfare, Concert with Alan Clark, Symposium “Clovis Days”. It was an insult to John Pickering that he was not included in the panel of people since he was involved with the Norman Petty Studio for several years and his family was friends of the Petty’s. Symposium “The Last Tour” with Tommy Allsup and Carl Bunch and Bob Hale. Concert Bobby Vee, The Crickets, Johnny Preston, Chris Montez and Pat DiNizio, Wanda Jackson, Brian Hyland, Peter and Gordan and The Fireballs. John and Vicky sold records and sat next to Carl and Dorothy Bunch.
 BBC Radio2, and 2/10/2009.
Jan 31, 2009 – Record Show at Clear Lake. Met Danny White and he gave John a copy of his new book, “The Last Rock and Roll Show”. Met Liz Harris and Lou Holly, editor and publishers of the new nostalgia magazine, “Keep Rockin’”. Met record dealers, Jeannie and Michael Flaherty. Saw friends Don Larson and wife. Pat Boyles and Justin Wellard, David Bigham and 3 men. Bobby Vee given a Rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame plaque.
Jan 31, 2009  John interviewed by Edward F. Perry, Jr. on 95.9 WATD-FM Marshfield, MA.
Jan 31, 2009 – Gary R. Chron www.babybomerradio.com Wrightwood, CA.
Feb 1, 2009 – Days Events: Gift shop, Keynote Speech John Goldrosen “50 Winters Later”, Symposium on Chicano Rock, Record and Memorabilia Show, Symposium, Symposium, . Everything dismissed for the Super Bowl at the hotels and restaurants.
Feb 2, 2009 – Days Events: Gift Shop, US Postal Service, Concert, Exhibit/display: “Special Tribute Collection” which included the Lubbock TX High School book with Buddy Holly and Vicky Billington Pickering’s pictures in it. “Rave On” Art Exhibit, Craig Kienast Photo Display, Clear Lake Arts Center Film Festival. People went to the crash sight in minus 3 degree weather about 12:30 a.m. and built a bonfire.
Feb 2, 2009 – John was interviewed by phone in the quiet of his car in the parking lot of the Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake, Iowa by Ned Hibbard on Fox News 26 Houston TX in -4 degrees winter blizzard.
Feb 3, 2009 - 50th anniversary of the plane crash at 1:20 a.m. Left Clear Lake for Emporia, KS.
Feb 4, 2009 – Emporia, KS to Oklahoma City, OK with a side trip to Ponca City to visit the town where our daughter-in-law lived as a youngster. In OKC visited the Memorial Site where Vicky’s cousin by marriage, Claudette Meek was killed in the bombing.
Feb 4, 2009Bob Lapham’s birthday. In early 2009, Bob Lapham released his fifth published book a novel, Ethan’s Keys. It is edgy fiction bulwarked by religion ("looking for Christ in all the wrong places") but also including themes such as adventure, adultery, homosexuality, romance and murder. See http://www.ethanskeys.com. Other books by Bob are Twenty Years of Life Begins at Forty, What Made Wyatt Urp, The Wild Blue and Family Too, and Meet Me At The River Buddy Holly
Feb 5, 2009 – OKC, OK to Flower Mound, TX.
Feb 8, 2009 – To Houston.
Feb 9, 2009 – Various articles in the paper and on TV about the week in Clear Lake.
Feb, 2009 – In “Texas Highways” “Speaking of Texas – History And Culture with A Travel Twist” is “Buddy Holly Remembered” and a picture of the statue in Lubbock p, 9.
Feb, 2009 – John honored as an Alumni by the Houston, TX Reagan High School. Texas Tech University honored John in TT News.
Feb 10, 2009 – “Buddy Holly Memorial Collection” released with 6 songs with the Picks on vocals.
Feb 15, 2009 - Found Richard-Tsong-Taatarii of MinneapolisStarTribune.com video of John’s interview at the crash site.
Feb 23, 2009 – Bob and Mary Lapham and John and Vicky Pickering and family members and friends were at the State Capitol of Texas where a resolution was read into the records of the Texas State Senate by Senator Duncan of Lubbock honoring The Picks for their contribution for over 50 years in music and artistic endeavors in Texas. http://www.senate.state.tx.us/avarchine/ Click on “Feb 23 Senate Session”. Then advance to 26.09 minutes. The story was picked up by the media across the USA. Followed by a visit to Hut’s Hamburgers for a Buddy Holly Hamburger.
Feb 24, 2009 – To Canyon Lake, TX near New Braunfels to visit world famous writer, artist, photographer, Paul Heildelberg where he interviewed John and took photos and videos for his web site:
Mar 3, 2009Alex Ward of radio in Memphis Sirius 1 (XM) March 31 and April 5. Interviewed John and Vicky in Clear Lake, Iowa in February. Alex’s show is “Pink and Black Days”. www.alexward.us.
Mar 3, 2009 – Pickerings were told that J.I. Allison said 10 years ago he didn’t know who did the yell on “Oh Boy”. (It was Bill Pickering of The Picks.)
Mar 3, ­2009 - Terry Stewart of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame said he would like to put John’s book in the R&R Hall of Fame and have a book signing party.
Mar 3, 2009­­ – Learned that Pat Holley’s first husband was J.E. Weir who went with Larry Holley to identify Buddy’s body after the plane crash. John’s step-sister, Lucy, was married to J.E.’s nephew, David.
Mar 8, 2009 – John’s birthday. Reading Bob Lapham’s new book “Ethan’s Keys”.
Mar 13, 2009 – Friends called who saw “The Picks” on Houston’s Fox TV.
Mar 15, 2009Lubbock Avalanche-Journal had a Buddy Holly special with John Pickering and The Picks interviews and the story of the Senate Resolution.
Mar 16, 2009– Found CD ”The Buddy Holly Story” with “Buddy Holly Not Fade Away”, John’s tribute song, and 3 Picks songs.
Mar 17, 2009 – Friends had heard that “Oh Boy” was on “Dancing With The Stars”, John called songwriter, Sonny West. Was on DWTS  “dance off” again. Danced by Steve Wozniak of Apple Computers. Sonny going to Spain to perform.
Mar 23, 2009– Scott sent CDs of Karla Bonaff and information.
Mar 26, 2009 – Meet with LHS Class of ’55 in Houston area every two months for lunch.
Mar 31, 2009 - Alex Ward of radio in Memphis Sirius 1 (XM) March 31 and April 5
Apr 3, 2009Vicky’s birthday.
Apr, 2998 – In “Texas Highways” “Talk to TH” is “Buddy’s Buddies” a comment from Vicky on the story in the February issue.
Apr 3-5, 2009 - Austin Record Convention. Met up with Jeannie and Michael Flaherty that they met in Clear Lake in February. Jeannie’s birthday was the 1st. Her great-uncle is Don Gibson.
Apr 5, 2009Alex Ward of radio in Memphis Sirius 1 (XM) March 31 and April 5
Apr 6, 2009 – Jeannie and Michael called from Premont, TX where they had found a Pickering Brothers “Going Down To The River”.
Apr 7, 2009Buddy Holly and the Crickets – The Definitive Story” released in U.S.A. John has interview on the show.
Apr 10, 2009 – Friends call to say they still see the re-runs of son, John V. Pickering on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” that aired April 10, 2001.
Apr 14, 2009 – Peter Carroll of Scotland set up www.myspace.com/thepicksbuddyholly.com w/CDs and photos.
May 18, 2009– CD set “The Bee Gees and Friends” has John and Bill Pickering of The Picks (aka The Pickering Brothers) on the second song on disc one, “Words”. Several musicians who worked with Elvis are on the Pickering Brothers record. Scotty Moore was the engineer in Nashville.
May, 2009 – CDs “Fabulous 50’s – Various Artists” KBOX. The Picks on 4 songs with Buddy Holly.
May, 2009 – CD “Rock and Roll Love Songs – Various Artists”. The Picks on 3 songs with Buddy Holly.
May 26, 2009– CD set “Rock ‘n’ Roll Legends Good Rockin’ Tonight” has The Picks as #1 song on the CD with Buddy Holly and The Picks “Love Is Strange” from England.
Jun 2, 2009 – A friend reported that a British Radio Station played a “Buddy Holly and The Picks” overdub. Upchucky.com #15 Buddy Holly and The Picks as voices of the Crickets “Oh Boy”
Jun 3, 2009– Sharon and Bill Griggs 5th anniversary.
Jun 17, 2009Bill Griggs birthday.
Jun 20, 2009To Atascocita “The Tin Roof” and John sang with A.V Mittelstedt, Ed Fontenot and band “Good, Bad, and Ugly”.
Jun 23, 2009Jerry Schutts called about the PBS Clear Lake Program. He mentions John in an article he wrote for the October 2009 “Keep Rockin’” magazine “From Keep Rockin’ Readers Observations of 50 years later. Story and Photos by Jerry Schutts.
Jun 23, 2009 -  Australian friend Tasso made arrangements for Kevintrask@bigpond.com to interview John.
Jul, 2009 – In “Texas Highways” “Talk to TH” is a Reader Recommendation from Vicky called “Not Fade Away” for Hut’s Hamburgers in Austin.
Jul 24, 2009– Writer, Dawn Lee Whitfield came to the Pickering’s home and interviewed them for “Keep Rockin’” December 2009 magazine 4-page article, “Breaking Free from the Shadows: the Story of John Pickering, The Picks, and the Legendary Buddy Holly.”
Aug 7, 2009 – “Oh Boy” was played on the news on FOX News television. Quote from Charles Miller on Rockin’ 50s message board, “I was really very pleasantly surprised to hear the strains of Buddy Holly’s version of “Oh Boy” wafting through the nonstop news babble on FOX News television this morning. They use all sorts of music in their morning programming, and today they cut-in with “…stars appear and-uh shadows are-uh fallin’” and it made me smile.” It was actually The Crickets version of “Oh Boy” of course.
Aug 26, 2009 – Bill Pickering’s wife, Carolyn Pickering Landry died.
Sep 7, 2009 – “Vicky John Pickering” on Facebook.
Sep 7, 2009 – The Picks not invited to the Clovis Music Festival or the Lubbock Buddy Holly Center for the Holly birthday remembrances.
Sep 7, 2009 – A Roger Peterson video showing the newly installed memorial for the pilot of the plane in the Holly crash is shown by Jerry Dwyer and wife. The camera shows John’s framed tribute songs sitting at the original memorial.
Sep 16, 2009 – Dawn Lee Whitfield sent the Pickerings an advance copy of “Keep Rockin’” for October, 2009 with a mention by Jerry Schutts and his Clear Lake report.
Oct 9-11, 2009 – Set up booth at the Austin Record Convention. Saw music fans from around the world including Larry Sisson from Fort Worth, TX who gave John 2 records – Columbia The Picks “Moondreams” and Stop The Pickering Brothers “Oh Boy”; James Dixon who had given John a Niki Sullivan record; visited Mark Clause of “What You Been A-Missing”. Saw Ralph from Ralph’s Record Shop in Lubbock.
Oct 15, 2009International Quilt Festival where Vicky’s sister from Lubbock had a project accepted to hang at the festival.
Oct 25, 2009 – Had a booth at the Houston Record Show and saw a lot of music fans and writer, Dawn Lee Whitfield.
Oct 27, 2009 – CD “Elvis and Friends – The Beginning of Rock ‘n’ Roll” CD has 2 Buddy Holly and The Picks songs “Peggy Sue” and “Rock-A-Bye Rock”. John and Elvis were at Fort Hood, TX in 1958.
Nov 9, 2009 – “Keep Rockin’” Magazine December issue arrived with John and Vicky’s interview. Thank you Dawn, Liz and Lou.
Nov 23, 2009“Buddy Holly Not Fade Away - The Complete Studio Recordings and More.” 6 CDs, retailed for about $100. The Picks on 9 songs. The balance of their work with Buddy, approximately 60 songs, was not included on this project.
Nov 30, 2009Jerry Naylor on James Robison TV Show.
Dec 4, 2009Snow in Houston 2 years in a row set a record!
Dec 13, 2009Houston Record Convention.
Dec 25, 2009 – Book to John – “This’ll Be The Day: The Life and Legacy of Buddy Holly - The Day The Music Rocked On!” by Maury Dean. Mentions The Picks.