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Articles - Diaries > Events of 2013


      Family and friends continued to celebrate into the New Year in Dallas after celebrating a Pickering's granddaughter's 16th birthday on Dec. 31, 2012. 

Jan 3, 2013 - Vicky played piano at the Alief Chapter of AARP for 30 minutes preceding the dinner. She also played "Happy Birthday" and "Happy Anniversary" when the songs were sung to members. She played background music when the raffle prizes were given out. At the end of the program she played "Auld Lang Syne". Harris County Precinct Three Commissioner Steve Radack was the guest speaker.

Jan 10, 2013 - World-famous artist, John Ross Palmer invited Vicky to his "Faces Book Launch & Birthday Bash" on Thursday, January 10, 2013 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the John Palmer Art Gallery & Studio, 1218 Heights Blvd. Houston, TX 77008. This is the launch of the much-anticipated completion of the "Faces" book. This incredible book documents the largest commission project in the history of John Ross Palmer's career - a collection of unique portraits honoring the loved ones, children, ancestors and soul mates of cherished art collectors. John's 39th birthday will be celebrated. This is John Ross Palmer's 11th published book and only the second-ever printed in an impressive Hardcover edition! A painting, by John Ross Palmer, of The Picks and Buddy is included in the book, as well as ones of ZZ Top Singer, Billy Gibbons, President George H. W. and Barbara Bush, and President George W. Bush and his twin baby daughters.  

      The party was a big success with the crowd enjoying a bar-b-que dinner with wine/champagne and birthday cake for John Ross's 39th birthday. The crowd viewed the artwork of John Ross Palmer that was being shown while he  signed the "Faces" book. Ryan Lindsey took pictures including one of Vicky and John Ross holding the book to the page with The Picks and Buddy. Vicky and friend Ada's picture are included in the book at the party on October 15, 2012 when John Ross presented the painting to Vicky.    www.JohnPalmerArt.com. [Note: See Jan. 22, 2013].

       Fifties music fan, Scott Dennin called from Fall River, MA to discuss the latest happenings in the 50s music world.

       Face Book friend and family friend of over 50 years, Niesie Slay (Denise Stewart) found some old music recordings and put the songs on www.soundcloud.com of her dad, the late Sonny Stewart and wife June, and the late Bill and John Pickering singing "(I'll Have A) Blue Christmas" and "Silent Night". Sonny is on a record playing guitar on "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". Brings back memories of knowing Sonny in the early 1950s when he lived with the Pickering Family in Lubbock and played guitar and sang with their family quartet on the radio and TV. John and Vicky found Sonny working at a radio station in Corpus Christi, TX when they married and moved there in 1957. Sonny was married to his lovely wife and singer, June. They renewed friendships in Houston when John and Bill were recording country music as the Pickering Brothers. They continued their mutual friendship with Ted ("Born To Lose") Daffan and wife, Bobbie Daffan. Ted was John and Bill's manager when they recorded on the Daffan label. Sonny played on the recording sessions. Bill died in 1985, Sonny in 1991, Ted in 1996 and John in 2011. We are happy to have their voices and music on recordings.

        Thanks to Niesie for including a picture of the Pickering Family Quartet (Mom, Pop, Bill and John) along with Sonny Stewart, her Dad. The picture was taken in the studios of KTRH in the early 1950s when KTRH was at the top of the Rice Hotel in downtown Houston. John was a student at John H. Reagan High School were he graduated in 1951 .In 1952 they moved to Lubbock where Sonny later met Sonny Curtis and taught him some guitar techniques.

Jan 11, 2013 - Fifties music fan, Jerry Schutts called from Knapp, WI to discuss the latest happenings in the 50s music world and the upcoming music venues including Clear Lake, Iowa and the Surf Ballroom.

     A cartoon in today’s Houston Chronicle seen in the “Rhymes With Orange” strip: The caption is “The Frustration”. A man is saying “I’ve also done some trucking down on Bourbon Street” (which may refer to the Grateful Dead song). Then it shows him and a woman sitting at a bar talking and the man says, “What I want to do is write songs. But I don’t have anything to write about – I’m a Lineman for the county and I drive the main road."

Jan 12, 2013 - Vicky chatted  with Face Book friends and musicians Buzzy Smith and Bill Harlan in the celebration of Ray Price's 87th birthday. Happy Birthday Ray. The Pickering Brothers enjoyed appearing on shows with Ray Price when they were recording out of Nashville and Houston in 1969 and the early 70s. The Pickering Brothers had released "Proud Mary" at the time on Stop Records. [See Dec. 16, 2013]

       Bill Harlan mentioned working with Van Howard. The Pickering Family Quartet was singing on the KICA radio when Van was also there in the 1940s in Clovis, NM. Van was still singing until his death October 2, 2012. He sang at Vicky's sister's church in the Dallas area. She sent Vicky 2 CDs that Van released,  "In The Presence" (c) 2002 and "Country Classics Remembered" (c) 2005.

Jan 14, 2013 - You Tube site has 4 stories of "Buddy Holly - The Last Day (4/4)"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFdWrwbxNms.  . .

In .      In one conversation it was reported that Buddy was making $2,000 a week on the tour in which he was killed. John Pickering had graduated from Texas Tech in June of 1957 with a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Geology and was hired as a petroleum geologist/paleontologist  with a major oil company and his salary per week was $110 less taxes and withholding. His voice was heard on 9 of the songs on the 1957 LP "The Chirping Crickets" and he was receiving no money for that and never did. The Picks were invited to be on the Ed Sullivan Show, but just before John flew out of Corpus Christi, TX he received a call that The Picks had been canceled from the show. It was 30 years before The Picks were given credit by the record company for their work on the LP, when the re-issue came out in 1987. John lived to be nine days from his 78th birthday and Buddy is forever 22.

Jan 15, 2013 - "American Pie" was heard on the Mike Berry radio show on Houston's KTRH. Vicky and John enjoyed being with Don McLean at a taping of an "Austin City Limits" show one time.  The Pickering Family had a radio show on KTRH in the early 1950s.

Jan 16, 2013 - In "USA Today" newspaper, Life Section there was an article by Edna Gunderson. @EdnaGundersen USA TODAY, titled "Van Zandt Fine-tunes '60s rock in 'Not Fade Away"." Filmmaker David Chase directed and produced the movie. "The coming-of-age drama chronicles the fitful evolution of a New Jersey garage band, the Twylight Zones, galvanized by the British Invasion. Music plays a huge role in the characters' lives and in the structure of Chase's story line." The movie is named for the 1957 Buddy Holly song and revived 7 years later by the Stones.

Jan 18, 2013 - Article in the Houston Chronicle: "On Top with 'Bottom' " by Andrew Dansby who interviewed Terry Allen. Terry grew up in Lubbock and was friends with Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, Jo Harvey Koontz Allen, and Jo Carol Pierce. They were a few years behind Buddy Holly. Terry married Jo Harvey Koontz in 1961. She who was also from Lubbock. Terry performed at Monigal's Mucky Duck on Saturday Jan. 19th.  Terry is a musician, singer, songwriter, sculptor (with works in the Houston and DFW airports and many other venues). Vicky's sisters Marilyn and Sherilyn went to school with Jo Harvey Koontz from grade school to high school. She would visit in their home. Jo Harvey is a successful actress. More success stories from the town of Lubbock.

Jan 22, 2013 - Many thanks to LHS Class of '55 grad, Joni McIlvain, who keeps the classmates (of Buddy Holly and musicians) in contact with each other by emailing all the current news submitted by the classmates each month.

          On Face Book was a picture of Vicky Pickering and John Ross Palmer, artist, taken at the Launch Party and Book Signing of his "Faces" release. John's painting of the portrait of The Picks (John, Bill and Bob) and Buddy is included in the book. The picture of Vicky and John Ross Palmer appeared in www.PaperCityMag.com . http://www.papercitymag.com/Parties/Archives/5964/The-John-Palmer-Art-Gallery-Faces-Book-Launch/  See Jan 10, 2013.

Jan 25, 2013 - Kevin Ray Adams, son-in-law of the Big Bopper, Jr. and Vicky corresponded on Face Book. Kevin was looking for guitar players to audition for a band he is forming. Vicky suggested he contact A. V. Mittelstedt, guitarist and recording  engineer in Houston who recorded and engineered The Pickering Brothers, The Picks, and John Pickering's solo work.

Jan 25, 2013 - "Houston Chronicle -  'Celebrities' " "It wasn't a Chevy, but a fine was levied. He didn't drive his Chevy to the levee, but 'American Pie' singer Don McLean did drive his Chrysler through a school zone in Maine and has been fined $400 for driving too fast. Judge Patricia Worth found McLean had been speeding in a school zone (43 mph in a 15 mph zone) in Rockport. But she lowered what would be a $515 fine if uncontested to $400. McLean immediately paid up."  Vicky and John and son, John enjoyed meeting Don McLean at an Austin City Limits filming of a show , a tribute to Buddy Holly and The Crickets music including the songs on which John, Bill and Bob - The Picks - were singing.

Jan 31, 2013 - Luncheon for the LHS Class of '55 grads and friends who live in the Houston/SE Texas area. They  always enjoy talking about the "good old days" at Lubbock High. Luncheons are held in several Texas cities each month. The 10 in attendance on this day traveled a total round-trip of 665 miles to have lunch together. The class of '55 will have a 58th Reunion in Lubbock in June - over 500 miles from Houston.

Feb 2, 2013Vicky and d.j. - Brian Wilson from Toronto corresponded through Face Book to his Buddy Holly Special radio show a "Buddy Holly Convention #31". He played many of Buddy's hits and had interesting facts about Buddy's life.  He said that Buddy was the most influential artist of any time (56 plus years as of 2013); 8 Top-30 hits in 11 months). Buddy had released 2 albums before his death and on this date over 160 albums have been released. ("The Chirping Crickets" LP was the only group-sound LP released while Buddy was alive.) Brian closed his show with a dedication to Vicky by playing John's tribute song to Buddy, "Forever 22".

        Vicky placed John's 2 Buddy Holly tribute song lyrics on Face Book and with addresses for the songs on YouTube - "Buddy Holly Not Fade Away" and "Forever 22. Thanks to MrRaymem for:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwaTgDTco2I     and  and and  

Feb 3, 2013 - The 54th anniversary of the 1959 plane crash and the death of Buddy, Big Bopper, Ritchie and Roger Peterson. Gary Busey performed a critically reviewed show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, before the fans gathered after midnight at the crash site in the field about five minutes airtime outside the Mason City, Iowa airport in the freezing snow.

        KPRC 950 Radio show "Your Livable Garden" with hosts Belinda Ann and Michael Shawn Kelly mentioned that it was the anniversary of Buddy Holly's death.

       According to Brian Wilson of Toronto, other shows included:

      1. - 1 p.m. EST in Toronto in a special one hour radio show on AM 740 on Zoomer Radio, Larry Jackson played among several songs, Don McLean's "The Day The Music Died" as well as Buddy's "Everyday" to remember Buddy and the trio who were killed on this day. Larry's Part One included discussions and music of Buddy, Ritchie, Big Bopper and also Eddy Cochrum singing "Three Stars" - a tribute song written immediately after the news of the plane crash. 6.AM 740 Toronto Gene Stevens and Murray Segal shows  6.AM 740 Toronto Gene Stevens and Murray Segal shows 6.AM 740 Toronto Gene Stevens and Murray Segal shows      Also

       Also on AM 740 Toronto are Gene Stevens and Murray Segal shows.

       Other shows included:

       2.  Excellent tribute by Mike Filey Podcast "Part1am740edited.mp3"  www.pogoplug.com ;

       3. A one hour, "RadioDevontribute.mp3 "Radio Devon..." at www.pogoplug.com;

       4. BBC Radio Devon with "Geoff Barber's Rock 'n' Roll Party" www.bbc.co.uk ;

       5. CBC Radio 2 8 - 11 p.m. George Stroumboulopoulos show "The Strombo Show" on www.cbc.ca/Strombo/radio ;

Feb 4, 2013 - Happy Birthday to Bob Lapham of The Picks.

        Vicky enjoyed a phone call from music fan, Scot Dennin discussing the story of Buddy and his death.

Feb 7, 2013 - Vicky performed a 30-minute piano program of love songs as the theme for the Alief TX Chapter of AARP to celebrate the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday. She also played "Happy Birthday" and "Happy Anniversary" to those celebrating those occasions. During the awarding of raffle prizes she played background music. Buddy Holly and The Picks songs "Oh Boy" and "True Love Ways" were included in her program. After the program of "Grandma's Boyfriend's Barbershop Quartet" she ended the meeting with "The Glory Of Love".

Feb 8, 2013 - Many thanks to Buddy Holly fans, Pat and Jim Schuman from Ohio, for sending Vicky a copy of Gary Clevenger's tribute book to Buddy Holly and his music that they purchased when they were at Clear Lake, Iowa at the Surf Ballroom February 2nd. This is the UK Edition of "Words of Love" edited by Peter Gibson and Tony Warren. There are several stories from classmates of Buddy Holly at Lubbock High School. Thanks to Gary for including John's tribute songs and memories of Buddy and the music and Vicky's memories of Lubbock High and Buddy.

          People all over the world are reading about LHS and the people who knew Buddy there. And Buddy was only one of almost 600 famous people from LHS, Class of ’55.

         A movie is scheduled for release in 2014 “Buddy Holly Is Alive And Well On Ganymede” – so guess the class of '55 is known throughout the Universe! The movie is from  a ’91 comedic science fiction novel by Bradley Denton.

Feb 9, 2013 - Congratulations to two of the Pickering's grandsons - Jacob was invited to join Beta Theta Pi - Men of Principal at Baylor University. His brother, Zachary was invited to join Sigma Pi Sigma at Colorado State University.

        Vicky enjoyed working a 1,000-piece puzzle of Elvis Presley that John had bought her about 3 years ago. One of the shirts Elvis was wearing was almost identical to one owned by John.

        Vicky talked to Pat and Jim Schuman in Ohio with thanks for the "Words of Love" book. She heard a good report from the 2013 Winter Dance Party weekend at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa held January 30 to February 2.

         Pictures were on Face Book of Elvis Presley when he was in the military. In 1958,  Elvis and John were serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood Texas in July and August of 1958. Elvis was a private taking his basic training before being shipped to Germany. John was an officer and visited Elvis' barracks around August 12th but Elvis was gone home to visit his mother in Memphis where she was ill with hepatitis and died on August 14th at age 46. Elvis had rented a home in Killeen where his parents lived when they visited him. Vicky and John drove by to see the house. It is a strange fact that two men whose voices were on sales of millions of rock 'n' roll records (Elvis, and John on Buddy Holly and The Crickets recordings), were both at Fort Hood Texas in the Army at the same time during a critical time of their rock 'n' roll careers.

         Vicky enjoyed email and Face Book exchanges with Gary Clevenger discussing "Words of Love".

         Vicky notified the LHS class of '55 of Gary's book and his continuing collection of memories from the LHS class of '55.

Feb 10, 2013 - Vicky Face Booked with Kevin Ray Adams, son-in-law of the Big Bopper, Jr. and he had contacted A.V. Mittelstedt concerning musicians and is in the process of forming a band. Looking forward to hearing the band.

         Vicky talked with Bob Pickering, Bill's son, and he was remembering when he met Big Bopper Jr. at the Little Bopper Nightclub in Katy, TX several years ago. At a later date, Big Bopper Jr was a patient of Bob who is a respiratory therapist. They enjoyed discussing their father's contributions to the music in the rock 'n' roll era of the 1950s.

Feb 13, 2013 - Article seen on Face Book by Randy Hendrix that he had seen on www.buzzfeed.com  . "50 Sure Signs That Texas is Actually Utopia". #17. Rock 'n' roll, then and now. Buddy Holly. Born in Lubbock, TX on September 7, 1936. Buddy Holly went on to become "the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll" (according to critic Bruce Eder) before his untimely death in a plane accident on Feb. 3, 1959. "Rave On", Buddy Holly (can be heard). Source: Signal-watch.com.

Feb 14, 2013 - Vicky had Valentine's Day lunch with 50 of the members of the Reagan HS Class of '51 in which John was a fellow graduate. She had dinner with 40 of the members of Phase 2, the widow's group at Houston's First Baptist Church, where John and Vicky sang and played piano for 38 years until John's death in 2011.

Feb 15, 2013 - A meteor exploded over Siberia and was felt at the town of Tyuman where the Pickering's granddaughter was born.

         Vicky met with the Shipley's Donut Bunch of friends who always enjoy stories of the Rock 'n' Roll of the 1950s.

Feb 18, 2013 - Vicky met with 3rd Monday Group of Seniors at the Black Eyed Pea Restaurant and memories of the 1950s are always discussed.

Feb 20, 2013 - Vicky meets with the Denny's Restaurant Breakfast Bunch each Wednesday morning and many subjects come under consideration including 50s music.

Feb 22, 2013Alex Orbison, son of rock ‘n’ roll legend West Texan Roy Orbison, was in Denton, Texas to accept an award on behalf of his late father from the University of North Texas. The late Roy Orbison, famous for such hits “Oh, Pretty Woman” and “Only the Lonely”, was honored with the university’s most prestigious award – the Distinguished Alumni Award. (Thanks to Megan Gray for the information.) (Note: See February, 2012 item.)

         The Pickering's friend, Ray Rush of The Roses, was a co-writer on the song "Pretty Woman".

         The U of NT is the alma mater of the Pickering's daughter, Paula, who graduated with a degree in computer software engineering and works for BlackBerry. U of NT is well-known for its degrees in computers and music. 

         Big Bopper Jr. son-in-law, Kevin Ray Adams and his stage band, Twisted Outlaw were the opening act at Cypress Saloon in Cypress, TX. Kevin Ray performed from 7:30 to 8:30 and the band was  the backing band for Chris Tinsley at 10:30.

Feb 25, 2013 - During a winter blizzard in Lubbock, Texas, fans were saddened to hear from William Kerns that crooner/D.J./educator Virgil Johnson had died on Sunday the 24th. Virgil Johnson and The Velvets were a successful singing group in the 1960s, honored as one of the top 10 doo-wop groups of all time. Johnson sang lead on on such songs as "Lana" and "Tonight (Could Be The Night)". Then Virgil went in to teaching at several schools in the South Plains area of Texas and was principal at Dunbar High School in Lubbock from 1984 until his retirement in 1993. He was known as "V.J. the deejay" at the oldies radio station KDAV-AM in Lubbock.. It is reported that Roy Orbison was instrumental in launching Virgil's music career. (Thanks for William Kerns, Glenys Young and Peggy Sue Garron for the information.)    Vicky and John were glad to have met Virgil in Lubbock at a music festival.

Feb 26, 2013 - Buddy Holly mentioned in a column by Ken Hoffman in the Houston Chronicle, "All the fun mail comes on Saturdays." "There's a classic Buddy Holly song called "Mailman Bring Me No More Blues." Soon that won't be a problem, at least on weekends, when the U.S. Postal Service stops delivering mail on Saturdays. The mailman hasn't brought me any blues - bills - in years, since I started paying them online."

       Vicky enjoyed communicating on Face Book with a member of the cast of of "Buddy The Musical". They have announced their 2013/14 UK Tour. The "Buddy" musical is the most successful rock 'n' roll show in the world - now in its 25th year. They said they had just been talking about The Picks. Hope it was good, boys!

Feb 27, 2013 - Happy Birthday to a Pickering daughter, Paula.

          Raucous Records has released a new Holly 4-CD. "Buddy Holly - The King Of Tex-Mex" Nine of the songs that are included were on the original "The Chirping Crickets" LP in 1957 and have The Picks harmonizing with Buddy. Not too many of Buddy's songs have a Tex-Mex sound so there may be discussion on the title of the CD. The 4-CD set features 61 tracks originally released between 1956 and 1960, making Holly a true Rock 'n' Roll legend. These songs are possibly public domain outside the USA.

Feb 28, 3013 - John W. Pickering b. 03-08-1933; d. 02-28-2011. Many thanks to friends and fans of the music who sent messages and phone calls remembering John.

Mar 4, 2013 - Fans were sorry to receive the news that classical guitarist from Lubbock, Susan Grisanti had died. She often performed at the Buddy Holly Center.

Mar 5, 2013 - Neale Hobday of The Buddy Presley Band in London, England contacted Pick Records to say that their band is influenced by the backup harmonies of The Picks on Buddy Holly solos and use them in their programs and recordings. Many thanks to the band.

Mar 6. 2013 - (On the Guestbook) Neale Hobday on March 6, 2013 at 1:25 AM said: I Manage a band here in London England called The Buddy Presley Band the show is Half Buddy half Elvis Tribute we based the whole show and band on The Picks harmony vocals, i would love to thank John,Vicky, Bill and Bob for making the most beautiful music we have ever heard our show is dedicated to you all, thanks America for the best music!!!! love you all, Neale ...

Mar 7, 2013 - Happy Birthday to a Pickering son-in-law, Terry.

       Vicky performed piano favorites at the Alief TX Chapter of AARP with songs with a St. Patrick's Day theme and a Texas theme since the program was "Flags of the Republic of Texas (1836 to 1845 and during Statehood 1845 to 2013) and Houston is enjoying it's 21 day World's Largest Indoor Rodeo. Guest speaker was Gary McHenry a Lifetime Member of Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Vicky entertained with "The Yellow Rose of Texas, Deep in the Heart of Texas, and I've Been Working On The Railroad (UT fight song "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You)" among other songs.

Mar 8, 2013 - Remembering the late John W. Pickering of The Picks. b.03-08-1933.

Mar 9, 2013 - Happy Birthday to a Pickering daughter, Lisa.

      On Sirius XM Radio, Alex Ward ran some of the interview he did with John Pickering at Clear Lake in 2009, at 10 PM CST on his "Pink & Black Days" show. Thanks Alex and to Pam Shannon Ross for the information.

Mar 10,  2013 - Vicky played several piano selections at Houston's First Baptist Church for a Life Bible Study Class.

Mar 13, 2013 - February/March 2013 issue of AARP The Magazine Puzzle page 68 "You've Got Male!" names "Buddy" as a man's name that can be used as an everyday word.

Mar 14, 2013 - Vicky entertained the residents and guests of Home Sweet Home Residential Care in Houston by playing the keyboard and leading a "sing-a-long" of favorite songs. They program was followed by cake and ice cream to celebrate birthdays of the residents. The sponsor is the Alief Chapter of AARP.

      SXSW 2013: Finding the spirit of Buddy Holly at South by Southwest. Article by Correspondent Billy Altman of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Posted on Face Book. Buddy Holly Educational Foundation event at SXSW. 


Mar 23, 2013 - The Houston/SE Texas LHS Class of '55 (aka Buddy Holly's graduating class) met today at the Black Eyed Pea Restaurant in The Woodlands, TX with 12 in attendance. Discussions centered on the upcoming 58th reunion in Lubbock in June. The next Houston meeting will be in May. Also discussion of interviews members have submitted to Gary Clevenger for his revised version of "Words of Love".

Mar 24, 2013 - Article in the Houston Chronicle by David Barron mentions Buddy and the Big Bopper. "Houston's golden oldie. Radio host Paul Berlin has entertained listeners for 65 years. He continues to host a 2-hour radio show on Saturday nights playing golden oldies." "In 1958, Paul was one of nine disc jockeys recruited tor a tour of miltary bases in Europe. He took a record he had received from a disk jockey and fledgling performer from Beaumont, Texas. The song was 'Chantilly Lace' which spent 22 weeks in the Top 40 for J.P.Richardson, the Big Bopper who died in the 1959 plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly." Paul signs off his show with Charlie Shaffer's piano medley of "We'll Meet Again" and "I'll Be Seeing You." John and Bill enjoyed knowing Paul Berlin since they were singing and recording in the Houston area in the early 70s.

       Houston Chronicle writer, Ken Hoffman, reports that John Fogerty has a new CD out called "Wrote a Song for Everyone" on which he sings duets with rockers and country stars of his most famous songs, like "Proud Mary" and "Bad Moon Rising."

      In 1969, John and Bill, as The Pickering Brothers, recorded the first country version of "Proud Mary" on Pete Drake's Stop Records label at Music City Recorders. Elvis' Scotty Moore was the engineer. Some of Elvis' musicians played on the song including D.J. Fontana.

       In 1987, John, Vicky and son John met John Fogerty in Austin at the "Austin City Limits" filming of a tribute to Buddy Holly and The Crickets.

    Also at the Austin City LImiits filming Kris Kristofferson told John he had just seen the 1987 reissue of "The Chirping Crickets" LP with their names listed as backup singers. He said, "I learned to sing harmony listening to you guys." Pointing to the Crickets, Kris said, "For 30 years I thought those b___ did the backup singing!" Kris signed John's LP, "You guys showed us the way." Kris was MC of the show and introduced John as a member of The Picks.

Mar 29, 2013 - Vicky enjoyed the new Face Book page "Buddy Hollys Life".

Mar 30, 2013 - On Houston radio 97.1 Country Legends, heard Mac Davis' recording of "Texas In My Reaview Mirror" with mentions of Lubbock, Buddy and his songs.

Apr 3, 2013 - Happy Birthday to Vicky.

Apr 8, 2013 - Happy Birthday to a Pickering granddaughter, Rylie.

         Vicky performed piano selections before the Alief Chapter of AARP Dinner. An entertaining program was presented by Country Music singer, Donna B - The Ebony Cowgirl. A.V. Mittelstedt engineered some of Donna B's songs on her CDs.

Apr 8, 2013 - The Buddy Holly Center has joined the "Don't Mess With Texas"  "CANpaign". Stop by and snap a picture with the cool "Oh Boy, Trash" can! Buddy, The Picks and Sonny West would appreciate this program. The "Don't Mess With Texas" program started in 1986 with blues musician Steve Ray Vaughan.

      Sherilyn West saw on Jeopardy: The Final Jeopardy question (4/9/2012), in the category "The Hollywood Walk of Fame" was "His widow Maria Elena and Gary Busey were on hand when his star was dedicated outside Capitol Records in 2011." No one answered the question "Who was Buddy Holly?"

Apr 10, 2013 - On "The View", guest host Ali Wentworth asked guest Paul Anka if it was true that he had planned to be on the plane with Buddy Holly that crashed on 2-03-59. Paul then discussed the tour and friendship with Buddy. Buddy recorded Paul's song, "It Doesn't Matter Any More". Other information can be found on this web site for the plans Paul and Buddy had for the future. http://www.ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/Paul+Anka+Vegas+years/8210198/story.html .  ... 

Apr 12, 2013 - Buddy Holly and The Picks sing "Peggy Sue and Rock-A-Bye Rock" on CD of various artists titled "Elvis Presley" LEPC216.  Also on "Simply Rock 'n' Roll Love Songs" Simplycd079.

        LHS grad and classmate of Buddy Holly, Sonny Dunn, called to say that a TV special featuring Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Fats Domino was shown on RFD-TV at 11 p.m. in the Livingston, TX area. Between 1955 and 1959, music underwent an incredible evolution. Teenagers across the nation were turning up the radio as local disc jockeys introduced them to an exciting new sound - Rock 'n' Roll!  The

       The LHS class of '55 was in the middle of the rock 'n' roll evolution. Oh Boy!

       Top Ten Musicians Who Never Won A Grammy.10. Buddy Holly. Buddy Holly died in 1959, the year of the first Grammy Awards ceremony and was therefore never eligible for a Grammy. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Holly #13 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. —XFINITY Entertainment Staff (AP Photo) 

Apr 15, 2013 - When friend Andy got in his car today, he heard Buddy Holly singing on the radio.

      A friend said he could not decide if he wanted to listen to the Rolling Stones FROM the '60s or the Rolling Stones IN their 60s.

Apr 17, 2013 - On TV on a Discount Tires commercial has been heard the theme of CCR/John Fogerty's song, "Proud Mary". The singer is singing "rolling on the river, rolling on the river...".

       On the "Mike and Molly" TV Show actor Reno Wilson sang "Proud Mary" and did a dance routine like Tina Turner.

       John and Bill, The Pickering Brothers, recorded the first country version of "Proud Mary" in Nashville on Stop Records label in 1969. John met John Fogerty in 1987 at an Austin City Limits recording.

Apr 23, 2010 - Des Larder has on Face Book a CD cover page for "Buddy Holly Session Man" MP3; DLCD- 2990. Of the 21 artists listed, John and Bill Pickering knew almost all of the artists during their Lubbock/Clovis days. They sang backups for Gary Dale Tollett, Buddy Holly, Jim Robinson, Norman Petty Trio, Rick Tucker, Sherry Davis and possibly some of the other artists listed whose names will be included in the book John wrote before his death. The book will be published soon.Thanks to Des Larder for creating the page.

Apr 26, 2013 - George Jones, 81, country singer died. "In 1956 Buddy Holly and the Two-Tones (Sonny Curtis and Don Guess) kicked off a 14-date country and western tour in Little Rock, AR. They were bottom-billed on a line up that included George Jones." From: Buddy Holly I The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Apr 27, 2013 - Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion radio show was a fund-raiser for the show in Houston. Joe Ely was featured at the beginning of the 2-hour show singing, "Right Where I Belong". In Lubbock, the show was a live show featuring The Flatlanders - Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock and guests Travis Holley and Peggy Sue.

Apr 28, 2013 - In the Houston Chronicle is a several page story on Willie Nelson by Andrew Dansby. Willie will be 80 on Arpil 30th. In 1969 or early 70s, John, 36 and Bill, 42 of "The Pickering Brothers" performed with Willie, 36 in Houston. They sang their Stop Records release, the first country version of "Proud Mary". In those days Willie was wearing a 3-piece dress suit with white shirt and tie. The Pickering Brothers wore western suits.That was the style of the day. Those were the Bill Bailey, Arch Yancy days at KIKK radio in Houston.

Apr 30, 2013 - Welcome back to Houston Radio KPRC Walton and Johnson! In a discussion of Gary Busey, W&J mentioned the "Buddy Holly Story" movie.

May 2, 2013 - Vicky played a piano program before the dinner at AARP and at times during the program. The entertainer was famous Houston pianist, Rob Landes. Rob is known world-wide for his piano talent. He played selections from various decades and occasions like the Oscars. At age 4 Rob performed on the Art Linkletter Radio show. Vicky and Rob have a mutual friend in the late Newell Dixon, Jr. who played in the Houston Symphony.

May 3, 2013 - Thanks to Robin Clayton of WLRC for the comments: Robin Clayton WLRC Walnut MS on May 3, 2013 at 11:30 PM said: Good To see Southern Gospel Harmony represented in Musical Forms that went around The Globe. Like Sand Mountain
Alabama's Louvin Brothers Sacred Harp Phrasing Influencing The Everlys Them Paul and John in Britain. Then Texas Boys Who were Discipled Musically by a Vaughan Quartet Man Who Shared Stages with Stamps Baxter Shaped Note Men
Whose Expert Harmonies Backed Buddy Holly in a Region That Produced Columbia Record's Millions Selling Chuck
Wagon Gang doubtless catapulted Shape Note Gospel Harmony Into Worldwide Rock and Roll. The Harmony was perfected.No Wonder Buddy Holly Picked The Picks.

May 17, 2013 - Thanks to Paul Hunter for his comments: Paul Hunter on May 17, 2013 at 6:22 AM said: I heard "Goin' Down to the River" in1971 (1971?) on Houston radio: KIKK? Pacifica? Bought it at a hole- in-the-wall country gospel record store. One of my favorite records from that era. Nice to see that they are remembered on this web site. Still have the 45. Hunter@dcccdedu "

       Thanks Paul for your comments. It was KIKK radio in the late 60s and early 70s that was playing The Pickering Brothers music. You probably bought the 45 at Don's Record Shop in Bellaire, TX.

May 19, 2013 - Vicky Pickeirng's second grandson, Landon Kyle Rees, graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver at the 9 a.m. outdoor commencment ceremonies held at the University Softball and Soccer fields. His is the second class to graduate with University designatioin at the school. His brother, Garrett was in the first class in December, 2012. It was a beatutiful setting with the Denver skyline and the Rocky Mountains in the background. There were almost 1,900 grads. Landon majored in Accounting. The family celebrated with dinner at the White Fence Farms in Lakewood, CO and a party back at the boy's house.  Congratulations Landon! John Pickering would have been proud to see his second grandson graduate from the University.

May 24, 2013 - Happy 27th Anniverary to Paula and Terry Robinson, Jr.

         The Austin Chronicle Friday May 24, 2013 by Robert Faires, "Is There Life After Lubbock?" starring Jaston Williams, Joe Ely and Jo Carol Pierce. "All belong to that curious breed of Texans who survived life in the Panhandle and went on to make names for themselves in the arts. (See also Buddy Holly....)". On stage at the Galveston Grand 1894 Opera House, November 8. 2013.

        Joe Ely performs many Buddy Holly songs in his personal performances.

May 27, 2013 - Gene W. Evans, 71, of Livingston, TX died. He was born in Littlefield, TX, near Lubbock. According to the obituary "Gene enjoyed music. He was not only a singer/songwriter, but he also was a guitarist and played numerous other insturments. He played with Buddy Holly and the Crickets, and was friends with Waylon Jennings. Gene also played with Paul McCartney in Europe and wrote songs for Jeannie C. Riley." John and Bill Pickering probably knew Gene since Bll was a friend of Waylon Jennings when working at KLLL, Lubbock.

May 31, 2013 - Enjoyed seeing John Fogerty on "The View" and hearing him sing "Proud Mary". The Pickering Brothers recorded the song in Nashville in 1969 on Stop Records label, the first country version.

Jun, 2013 - As seen in The Alief ISD Communicator, Alumni Spotlight, "Budewig namesake introduces fellow Bear at Alief ISD Service & Retirement Banquet".  Retired HFD Firefighter, Gary Budewig, namesake of the Budewig Intermediate School, announced the recognition of fellow classmate class of '76, Sabrina Wittlif-Espinosa for her 25 years of service to the district. Gary Budewig was one of the first responders to the Pickering's home when John was found unconcious 2-28-11.

Jun 6, 2013 - Vicky played a piano musical selection of Wedding, Anniversary and Love Songs to commemorate the June weddings and anniversaries of members of the Alief Chapter of AARP.

Jun 6 - 8, 2013 -  Jay Perry Richardson, aka Big Bopper Jr., was in surgery in Houston for a heart pump installation. Even though J.P. never knew his dad  - he was born 2 months after the plane crash - he has impersonated him for many years.[Note: See July 24, 2013, July 29, 2013 and August 21, 2013.].

Jun 9, 2013 - Vicky was looking through her record stacks and saw the 1974 Paul Anka United Artist "Anka" with "It Doesn't Matter Anymore". Recorded by Buddy Holly, this song was #13 as a posthumous hit on BillBoards Hot 100 Charts in early 1959 - shortly after Holly was killed in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959. Backed with "Raining In My Heart". Holly had a US Top 20 hit and featured the orchestral backing by Dick Jacobs. John and Vicky always thought it was strange that the song that was a hit after Buddy died was "It Doesn't Matter Anymore". Kind of like a voice from eternity singing to us. 

Jun 13, 2013 - While shopping in Katy, TX,, Vicky heard Bobby Darin's 1958 "Queen of the Hop" - "You can talk about your Peggy Sue..."

          Vicky also saw, when shopping, Mo's Place in Katy, TX. The country music honky tonk was once owned by Big Bopper Jr.

          Vicky presented a 30-minute piano music program at Houston's First Baptist Church Phase 2 (Widow's Group) Dinner. The dinner was to honor the memories of June weddings and anniversaries of the ladies, Vicky played love songs and wedding selections from the decades that were included in the ladies weddings."True Love Ways" was enjoyed by all. The 45 ladies ar the dinner had been married a total of 2,075 years.

          Vicky displayed her wedding dress from her marriage to John on August 23, 1957 in Lubbock, Texas as well as photos of the bride and groom and wedding party. At Vicky's wedding, John sang "(I'll Be Loving You) Always". Their wedding took place between The Picks backup vocal recordings of "Oh Boy" in July and the other 8 songs recorded in October for "The Chirping Crickets" LP - the only group-sound LP released while Buddy Holly was alive. The two other members of the trio, The Picks, Bill Pickering and Bob Lapham, were in the wedding party.

June 17, 2013 - Hubert J. "Sam" Kelly, LHS Class of '55 reported in the class newsletter tha he was born in Elma, Iowa, 50 miles from Clear Lake, Iowa near where Buddy Holly was killed in 1959. His family had moved to Lubbock and he attended school with Buddy.

Jun 18, 2013 - Thanks to Marilyn Brown for telling Vicky about a CBS film review. Vicky sent correspondence to David Morgan, Senior Producer of CBSNews.com in reference to "Twenty Feet From Stardom" a movie on backup singers stories. Vicky gave David information on the backup work "The Picks" did in their careers. This is a 2013 documentary showing the world of backup singer. First released Jan 17, 2013. Directed by Morgan Neville.

June 21, 2013 - Vicky heard "Everyday" on TV on a March of Dimes commercial.

June 21-22, 2013 - Lubbock High School Class of '55 58th Reunion in Lubbock. Vicky and Buddy Holly were among the graduates in this class of almost 600 students.

Jun 26, 2013 - The Radio Gawds, Walton and Johnson,  at midnight on Houston radio KPRC were heard discussing a news item from Lubbock and they mentioned that the Buddy Holly Center was in Lubbock.

          A comment seen on Face Book, "If it weren't for Elvis, I would not have a job!" - Buddy Holly

Jun 28, 2013 - As Vicky drove to Dallas, she listened to the CD "Rock Around The Clock" Rhino 2006. Heard Buddy Holly singing "That''ll Be The Day", Richie Valens singing "La Bamba" and heard the name "Peggy Sue" in "Splish, Splash, I Was Taking A Bath". Holly and 50s music continues to be heard in 2013.

Jun 30, 2013 - Kathi from Canada reported that the Huron County Playhouse on Ontario's West Coast will be presenting "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" July 17-27.

July 10, 2013 - Happy Birthday to a Pickering grandson, Garrett.

Jul 11, 2013 - At the Alief Chapter of AARP, the Pickering's friend, Retired Lt. Col. Ervin F. Rees, 89, was the guest speaker, giving a program on his military service in 4 wars - WW II, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War.  Th

       Thanks to Lt. Col. Rees for his service.

July 16, 2013 - An article written about the Pickering's grandson, Landon, following his graduation from Metro State University of Denver, and upon his arrival in New Zealand, after an 18-hour, 7,500 mile flight from Dallas, TX. Written by Chris Davis, "The Things Landon Carried".   I had been in New Zealand for little more than 24 hours when I was again in a car with a Kiwi whom I had known for less than one day, headed for the airport. There, with any luck, my good friend – er, “mate” – Landon would be waiting curbside with two armfuls of baggage and a smile, his pterodactyl-like arm extended upward for a high five. What we saw instead was a man who had been up for days straight, only a day pack on his back and a guitar case in his hand. I believe his first words in New Zealand were “They lost everything.”   

        The things Landon carried on his back and in his hands were what mattered – an heirloom electric guitar and a computer to stay in touch with family. [Note: The guitar was a handmade by Sonny West Guitar.] Landon's luggage arrived the next day.

July 23, 2013 - Vicky again heard "Everyday" on TV on a March of Dimes commercial. 

July 24, 2013 - Big Bopper, Jr. is still in the hospital recovering from his heart pump implant. Continued prayers are asked for him. [Note: See June 6, 2013, July 29, 2013, and August 21, 2013].

           On Face Book, Shawn Nagy responded to Vicky's question concerning the "Norman Petty Studios - The DVD Documentary" soon to be released saying that the interview of John Pickering and Bob Lapham was taped over, so their telling of their memories and history of the studio will not be included. What a loss since John knew Norman and Vi Petty since he was 7 years old. It is good that the memories are in the manuscript that John left upon his death. 

Jul 25, 2013 - Happy Birthday to the Pickering's daughter-in-law, Kathy.

Jul 29, 2013 - Sting Ray Anthony visited Big Bopper, Jr., Jay P. Richardson in a Houston, TX hospital. [Note: See June 6, July 24, 2013 and August 21, 2013].

 Aug 1, 2013Bill Nash, nationally known recording artist, singer, songwriter and Diretor of Champions Kids Camp  presented a musical program at the Alief Chapter of AARP. John and Bill Pickering knew Bill Nash and the Nash Family Singers in the Texas Rio Grande Valley and in Houston. They came from the same musical background performing with their family's musical groups. Vicky recenlty pulled the LP of "Bill Nash" recorded in the 1970s from her record collection.

 Aug 7, 2013 - Vicky received an article from LHS classmate Joni McIlvain entitled "Proud To Be A Texan!!!". Included in the "larger-thn-life legends . .  Buddy Holly. " And, "Texas has the largest college campus in th USA at Texas Tech in Lubbock."

Aug 8, 2013 - The Pickering's daughter, Paula and husband Terry, enjoyed the evening at the Grapevine (TX) Opry seeing the Rankin Brothers perform an outstanding show. They included their Buddy Holly segment and performed "Oh Boy". Paula had previously seen the Rankins in Branson, MO.

Aug 11, 2013 - Lubbock High School classmate of Buddy Holly and Vicky Pickering, Carole Powell Passmore, sent this web site with Buddy Holly mentioned. http://yeli.us/Flash/Fire.html  .  . .  

          "We Didn't Start The Fire" by BIlly Joel.

Aug 13, 2013 - As Vicky was leaving Flower Mound, TX, she heard a program on Radio Station KBBW 1010 AM out of Waco, TX. The program was a repeat of a sermon by the late Pastor Lester Roloff of Corpus Christi, Texas. John and Vicky performed on Pastor Roloff's radio program in the early 1960s in Corpus Christi, TX. John sang and Vicky played piano. Pastor Roloff was killed in a plane crash 11-02-1982. The Pickerings were friends of the late Lynn Roloff of Houston, nephew of Pastor Roloff.

Aug 17, 2013 - Vicky received in the mail from Civic Lubbock, Inc. and the City of Lubbock an invitation requesting the pleasure of her company at an Appreciation Reception to honor all individuals responsible for the remakable transformation of the J.I.Allison House. It will be on Thursday, September 5, 2013 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Buddy Holly Center.

Aug 19, 2013 - Vicky called her regrets to the Buddy Holly Center for the Appreciation Reception.

Aug 20, 2013 - Alan Price on www.alansgoldenoldies.com interviewed Kenny James (actor as Buddy Holly) and Sting Ray Anthony (actor as Ritchie Valens)  and a singer from "Shake, Rattle and Roll" on their upcoming show at the Liberty Orpy, Saturday, August 24th.

Aug 21, 2013 - Jay P. Richardson, aka the"Big Bopper, Jr.", age 54, died in Houston, TX  at  approximately 3:30 a.m. following surgery for a heart pump installed on June 6th. Jay was born on April 28, 1959, 84 days after his father's death on Feb. 3, 1959 in the plane crash with Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and pilot, Roger Peterson. In 1991, Jay opened the Little Bopper Night Club in Katy, TX, a suburb of Houston.  It is reported that Jay, in addition to his singing, enjoyed playing poker and cooking.

         Another person has joined the group in Rock 'n' Roll Heaven and Jay P will be united with the father he had never seen but often impersonated.  [See June 6, July 24, and July 29, 2013].

         William B. Davis stated on Face Book "You are all invited to a rock 'n' roll party in Heaven. Date still to be determined."

         Sting Ray Anthonay was interviewed by Alan Price on the www.alansgoldenoldies.com show with a tribute to Big Bopper, Jr. He is creating a video for the memorial service on August 31st.

Aug 23, 2013 - Vicky and John Pickering were married on this date in 1957 which occurred between the recording of The Picks' backup vocals on "Oh Boy" and "Maybe Baby". They shared 53 and a half years together before John's death.

         Heard from Ron Canada of Springfield, MO that Terry Fator, "America's Got Talent" winner, singer, comedian and celebrity impressionist includes Buddy Holly songs in his Las Vegas Act. http://terryfator.com/  .  

Aug 24, 2013 - Three ladies of Buddy Holly's Lubbock High School Class of '55 classmates in the Houston area were rockin' and rollin' all day long at the Liberty Opry. Carole Powell Passmore, Amber Reed - widow of Bobby Hughey, and Vicky Billington Pickering attended the sold-out musical "Buddy Holly - Ritchie Valens" at the Liberty (TX) Opry on the Square. The Best Live Music Show in Texas! Saturday 8/24/2013, 2 p.m. Matinee. The excellent Liberty Opry Band opened the show followed by the ladies of "Shake, Rattle & Roll" singing 50s songs. Kenny James  protrayed Buddy Holly and Sting Ray Anthony performed as Ritchie Valens. Emcee was Alan Price of Alan's Golden Oldies Internet Radio.  www.alansgoldenoldies.com Susan Price was working the CD table. Alan introduced Vicky, Carol and Amber. Sting Ray asked Kenny where Vicky was in the audience during his set. After the death of the Big Bopper Jr. on the 21st, tribute songs were included in his memoryCarole Passmore was in homeroom with Buddy at LHS and double-dated with Buddy Holly and Echo McGuire; Amber Reed whose late husband, Bobby Hughey was a friend of Buddy and he also sat in with Buddy as a drummer. Vicky Pickering was also a classmate and married to backup singer John. The program was excellent and included all types of music and recognition of the military service men and women in attendance. It was the 1950s in little town Americana style for 3 and a half hours. Vicky presented Kenny and Sting Ray with 2 CDs "Buddy Holly & The Picks - The Voices of The Crickets" - 24 songs including 3 by The Picks, and "Buddy Holly & The PIcks "In 2000 AD".  After pictures were taken and autographs signed, Carole, Amber and Vicky were invited by Kenny and Danielle James to be their guests at the cast dinner party at Tony's Barbecue and Steakhouse in Liberty. They enjoyed sharing their memories of Buddy and the musicians they knew in high school. The girls of Lubbock High had a fun day of rockin' and rollin' back in the 50s.

           Vicky enjoyed hearing Kenny James sing "Oh Boy" and "Maybe Baby" since John had sung on the original Buddy versions. She also enjoyed Kenny's performing songwriter Sonny West's "Oh Boy" and "Rave On".

           Vicky purchased Sting Ray Anthony's CD "What Ever Happened To Rock & Roll". www.StingRayAnthony.com .

           Vicky was glad to see and visit  with Jim "Black" Blackstock and his wife, Donna. Jim was a  popular country D.J. in Houston for many years, including the days The Pickering Brothers were recording in the early 70s in Nashville. Donna and JIm won a "Shake Rattle 'n' Roll" tee shirt for knowing that "All Shook Up" was the #1 song for 1957. They also won a CD for being the first couple to dance, when Sting Ray sang "Oh Donna".

Aug 31, 2013 - The Memorial Service for Jay P. Richardson aka the Big Bopper Jr. was held at Memorial Oaks Funeral Home in Houston, TX at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. The service was very moving and beautiful. Randy Steele, friend of Jay,  and musician John Mueller spoke. Randy recognized the family and some of the guests. A video was played with music from Jay and his father, the Big Bopper among other musicians. As was played at his father's funeral, "When The Saints Go Marching In" by Fats Domino was played followed by "Amazing Grace" by Elvis Presley. Randy read from a Bible in Isaiah 4 and Romans 8 that had been sent to Jay sometime in the past by Connie Valens, Ritchie's sister. Randy ackonwledged messages sent from Larry and Travis Holley, Bob Hale, and Connie Valens A large picture of Jay and his "Big Bopper, Jr." leopard jacket were displayed at the front of the room surrounded by many beautiful floral contributions. The chapel was filled with family and friends including Jeff Nicholas (President of the Clear Lake, Iowa Surf Ballroom where Jay's father performed at his last show before the plane crash on 2-3-1959); Wes Daily (owner of Glad Music Company who recorded many of Jay's fathers records); Vicky Pickering (owner of Pick Records, Inc.and widow of John of The Picks.)  and Joseph Anthony, friend of Jay's an entertainer and Elvis impersonator. Expressions of love were given to the family. Jay will be missed.

           The late Bill Pickering's son, Bob, knew Jay at the Little Bopper Night Club many years ago, and was the respiratory therapist when Jay was in the hospital at a earlier time.

           Later in the day, Vicky enjoyed a nice telephone call with musicians Kenny James and wife, Danielle from Tennessee.. Good times discussing the music industry. Kenny and Danielle also wanted to get a report of Jay's memorial service.

Sep 1, 2013 - On Buddy Holly Life FB site, a picture of an autograph Buddy wrote to "Carroll" was shown. LHS 1953 yearbook from Buddy Holly's "Lubbock High School". Message and Signature. "Carroll I've enjoyed being your friend this year and im looking forward to a long friendship (signed) Buddy Holley. "   "" I  This was This C

         Carroll Caddel was the only "Carroll" in our class to use the first name Carroll.  [Note: LHS Class of '55 was sorry to receive news on 9-11-13 that Carroll Caddel has died.]

Sep 3, 2013Happy Birthday to the Pickering's son John. Vicky and son John "went back to the 70s" by returning to the neighborhood Jack-in-the-Box restaurant where they would go 41 years ago when John was in kindergarten. The current one is down the street from where the original one was located. John's dad and his uncle Bill were recording in Nashville and Houston back in the 70s as The Pickering Brothers.

        Thanks to D.J. Alan Price of www.alansgoldenoldies.com for playing the Pick Records version of "Everyday". An alternate version of the Buddy Holly and The Picks song and "What might have been if. . . "

Sep 4, 2013 - Best wishes for a speedy recovery from surgery in Lubbock for Maryline (Mrs. David) Bigham; and Peggy Sue Gerron from an automobile accident in Lubbock.

Sep 5, 2013 -  Alan Price on www.alansgoldenoldies.com played Buddy Holly and The Picks singing "Oh Boy" from the 1957 LP "The 'Chirping' Crickets".

          At AARP Chapter dinner, Vicky presented a piano program of Buddy Holly/Crickets/The Picks songs to honor Buddy's upcoming birthday. Members were encouraged to sing-a-long.

          An Appreciation Reception  was held in Lubbock to honor all individuals responsible for the remakable transformation of the J.I.Allison House at 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.at the Buddy Holly Center. (See Aug. 17, 19, 2013). Vicky sent regrets that she could not attend.

         The Clovis (NM) Music Festival was held from the 5th to the 8th. Artists will include Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers and George Tomsco of The Fireballs. In 1970, The Pickering Brothers recorded a country version of the Righetous Brothers "You've Lost That Loving Feeling". The Picks and Pickerings have been friends with George Tomsco many years.

Sep 6, 2013 - There was a "Buddy's 77th Bithday Bash Celebration" at the Buddy Holly Center. There was a Ribbon Cutting for the opening of the J.I.Allison's childhood house where "That'll Be The Day" was written. (See Aug 17, 19th and Sept. 5th). The Crickets - J.I., Sonny Curtis and Joe B. were in attendance.

Sep 7, 2013  -  Britain's Biggest Ever Band "Rave On" at least 2,267 guitartists. www.guitarsonthebeach.co.uk . At Lyme Regis Rocks. Face Book: Guitars on the Beach. 5 p.m. on 9-7-13. Singer, Songwriter, performer Sonny West was invited to attend and perform the song he wrote, "Rave On". Thanks to Geoff Baker, Pete Carroll amd Brian Wilson for the information.

         Buddy Holly was born on this date in 1936. Happy 77th on the 7th.

         In Lubbock at the Texas Tech/Stephen F. Austin football game, the fans were treated to a halftime show by the TTU "Goin' Band From Raiderland". It was announced that "Today, Lubbock's own Buddy Holly would have celebrated his 77th birthday. The "Goin' Band" will celebrate him by playing 'Peggy Sue' and 'That'll Be The Day' in his honor." The band formed the shape of Buddy's glasses.

Sep 8, 2013 - Page 2 Houston Chronicle "Celebrities" "Holly Center marks Buddy's 77th birthday". Article includes the opening of the Jerry Allison home in Lubbock.

           On the ABC TV station in Houston, during the news, on the crawl space was a mention of Buddy Holly. "Buddy Holly celebration was held in the hometown of Lubbock on what would have been his 77th birthday." It was shown several times during the 5 p.m. newscast. 

Sep 11, 2013 - Vicky was sorry to receive the news that an LHS Classmate that she had known for 70 years, since 1st grade, had died. (See Sep 1, 2013).

Sep 12, 2013 - During the Texas Tech University vs TCU football game in Lubbock, a TV annoucer said, "Buddy Holly was a Rock Star from Lubbock but he was not going to be the only Star - Freshman Walk on Quarterback Baker Mayfield will probably be a Star.."

          Reported by fan Jack Miller, "During the TCU/Tech game tonight, after one of the commercials, I was very pleased to see Buddy's statue on the screen as the announcer mentioned that Lubbock, Texas is the hometown of Buddy Holly. This was on ESPN nationwide".

 Sep 13, 2013 - Holly music fans, Randy Steele and Randy Hendrix, posted on Face Book a video of the 1953 Grouco Marx TV show featuring Ramiro Gonzalez-Gonzalez (aka Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez) as a featured contestant. In Mr. Gonzalez-Gonzalez routine he said he could do a dance and named "La Bamba" as one of the songs. Ritchie Valens was about 13 years old and 5 years later recorded the song.

Sep 15, 2013 - Brian Wilson shared on Face Book "Who Runs Omaha's Mysterious Radio Station? No One Seems To Know." By Russell Hubbard. "The ghost staion of Omaha is a mysterious radio signal at 1490 AM that plays a continuous loop of Buddy Holly . . .". www.omaha.com/article/20130915/NEWS/130919133.

Sep 16, 2013 - www.alansgoldenoldies.com played Buddy Holly's original version of "Annie's Been Workin' On The Midnight Shift" at 2.59 p.m. "Buddy Holly Lives On On Alan's Golden Oldies.

        It is interesting to hear Buddy's original version and The Picks alternate version of the song.

         Rob Tucker's "Memory Lane Magaezine" Movie Poster Music mentoned Buddy Holly on www.alansgoldenoldies.com .

Sep 17, 2013 - On You Tube, "La Bamba" movie version of "Oh Boy". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tff8fPuVEik&feature=youtu.be 

Sep 18, 2013 - Vicky was looking through her Lubbock High School 1953 Annual when she was a sophomore and was reminded that Bob Montgomery (of Buddy and Bob) had signed her annual. "Lots of luck and happiness to one of the cutest and sweetest girls I know. A friend always, Bob Montgomery".

Sep 19, 2013 - Pickering's friend  Lt. Col. Ervin F. Rees USAF Retired,89 story on Fox News 26, Houston, TX. Thanks to Ned Hibbard, Reporter.

     http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/23481282/2013/09/19/war-veteran-bumped-from-prime-parade-spot. .

Lt. L      Lt. Col. Rees USAF Retired is the father-in-law of the Pickering's daughter, Lisa, and grandfather, with them, of 4 grandchildren.

Sep 21, 2013 - Lt. Col. Ervin F. Rees USAF Retired, 89 was the Co-Grand Marshall with the Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, at the Alief International Parade that was held on Bellaire Blvd. in Alief, TX. 

 Sep 22, 2013Another building in downtown Houston was imploded on Sunday the 22nd. The building that last was a Macy's and formerly a Foley's Department Store will be imploded. shortly after sunrise. John's mother, Beth Pickering enjoyed working in Foley's in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Pickering Family would perform their early morning and/or noontime radio music shows on KTRH radio where the studio was located on the top floor of The Rice Hotel, hence, the call letters K-TRH.Then Beth would go to work at few blocks away in downtown Houston at Foley's as a sales lady. 

Sep 26, 2013 - The LHS Class of '55 and friends Lunch Bunch met at Kelley's in Stafford, TX for lunch and lots of talking. Classmates rememberd classes they had with Buddy Holly. Amber brought a newspaper clipping of the Liberty Opry show with Kenny James and Sting Ray Anthony. Vicky showed pictures of the 3rd grade class at George R. Bean Elementary School in Lubbock to try to identify all their classmates. Vicky handed out a spread sheet she had made with the names of their LHS Class of '55 classmates who are deceased. Out of about 600 classmates, 211 are deceased. She also made a spread sheet of all the classmates.

     In the Houston Chronicle Weekend Entertainment section "Preview"  "Rock 'n' Roll rules at The Grand This October" '"What's old is new again at The Grand" Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story, Oct. 25-26.  A high-energy celebration of musical legand Buddy Holly will have audiences dancing in the aisles as the musical is presented."  At The Grand 1894 Opera in Galveston.  p. 12. www.chron.com [See October 25-26, 2013]

 Sep 27, 2013Happy Wedding Anniversary to Kathy and John V. Pickering.

         Operation Military Appreciation presented by Occidental Petroleum         At each home game, the Astros honor veterans who have served in combat and/or military members who are currently serving our nation by providing 4 complimentary game tickets hosted in special patriotic-wrapped seats behind home plate. The tickets include food/beverage and the honorees are introduced to fans in a special in-game salute and are recognized on Minute Maid Park's video board. We are honored to partner with Occidental Petroleum on this community outreach and are delighted by Astros fans warm and enthusiastic welcome for each military honoree.

          """]Lt. Col. Ervin F. Rees USAF Retired was honored by the Houston Astros Organization and the fans attending the game between the Astros and New York Yankees. Lt. Col. Rees received a standing thunderous ovation when his face appeared on the giant video board. He received many salutes, handshakes, thank yous, and pictues taken. Also at the game, the Astros retired former player, Andy Pettitte's uniform and number. A fireworks display followed the game. [Note: Andy Pettitte pitched a complete game as his last game in his career on Friday, Sept. 28, 2013 in Houston.]

          Vicky Pickering is compiling a history of Lt. Col. Rees' military service.

Sep 29, 2013 - On Sunday afternoon, with friends Ada and Andy, Vicky attended a birthday party for a friend, Ryan, at the John Ross Palmer Art Gallery & Studio in the Houston Heights. Everyone enjoyed viewing the art exhibit of "Refuse To Struggle" with the work of John Palmer, Sonya Cuellar, Ryan Fugate, Lan Norwood, and Anita Varadaraju. www.johnpalmerart.com . Vicky was pleased to meet local mosaic artist Chris Silkwood. [See October 4, 2013 for more on Ms. Silkwood.]   .  .    .

        John Ross Palmer painted a picture of Buddy Holly and The Picks and presented it to Vicky at an earlier date and included it in his book "Faces". [See: October 15, 2011]. 

Oct 2, 2013 - Musician and actor, Charles Estene Puskar III (aka Chip Estene) was seen on "The View" promoting the TV show "Nashville" where he plays the character "Deacon Claybourne". In the early 1990s, Chip played the title roll in the musical "Buddy" in London where he performed before the Queen. A picture was shown of Chip with President George H.W. Bush and Barbara who attended a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Oct 3, 2013 - Vicky presented the piano program for the Alief Chapter of AARP dinner meeting. Musician Pat Gavin was the entertainer for the program.

       Happy Birthday to a Pickering's grandson, Zachary.

Oct 4, 2013 - Mosaic Artist Chris Silkwood was seen in a story and picture including 2 art pieces in the Houston Chronicle "A Broader Brush for Houston" by Andrew Dansby. Ms. Silkwood's art works can be seen at the Winter Street Studios in Houston. [See Sept. 29, 2013]. [See Oct. 7, 2013]

Oct 7, 2013 - Vicky corresponded with Andrew Dansby and Chris Silkwood and was invited to the 2nd Saturday Open Studios at Winter Street @ Winter Street Studios on Saturday, Oct. 12th. [ SeeS [[[[ SEe

Oct 8, 2013 - Vicky received an email from a LHS Class of '55 grad, Don Adamson. He said he and Buddy and Bob Montgomery were very close friends going back to Jr. High. He sang with them and a few other of their friends (Don Guess, Tinker Carlin, et al) during some of the "garage" sessions they had at Buddy's house. Don left Lubbock in 1955 and didn't return until the 50th reunion of his class of '55.

OCt 9, 2013 - Happy Birthday to a Pickering's grandson, Landon.

Oct 10, 2013 - Vicky played piano selections for the Houston First Baptist Church "Phase 2" dinner party. She was glad to have a reunion with longtime friend, Selma Smith, pianist, who accompanied the singer for the program. Selma is 91 and still playing the piano.

Oct 13, 2013 - Ad in the Houston Chronicle for "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" live on stage at the Galveston Grand 1894 Opera House.

Oct 14, 2013 - Kathryn Hall called Vicky to say she saw the ad in the Sunday Houston Chronicle for "Buddy". Vicky found the ad and printed out the Press Release.

Oct 15, 2013 - Vicky exchanged correspondence with artist, Roberto Parada who has a beautiful painting of Buddy Holly in the book "Legends, Icons, & Rebels". The book is authored by Ronnie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Jared Levine, and Sebastian Robertson. The book includes proflies of 27 carefully selected and thoughtfully presented musicians.

         John V. Pickering purchased tickets for himself, wife and Vicky to attend the Saturday night "Buddy" musical in Galveston.

Oct 20, 2013 - Vicky presented a musical program in the Houston's First Baptist Church Covenant Keepers Department. After playing several familiar old hymns, she presented a story taken from the Internet, "The Christmas Scale". https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?v=10200190687000105.  

Oct 21, 2013 - Vicky completed selecting her piano program to present at the Alief Chapter of AARP on December 5th. She turned in the song list to the President at the AARP Board meeting for printing to be done of the lyrics. She will also present the program at the AARP Service Day at the Alief Nursing Home in December.

Oct 22, 1013 - Vicky attend the Reagan High School Class of '51 lunch. Class mates have many memories of John performing at their class functions. on the radio in Houston and class reunions.

            Happy Birthday to a Pickering's grandson, Jacob.

Oct 25-26, 2013 - "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" was presented at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston. "He shot like a rocket on to the music scene in 1955 at age 19 and by his untimely death at age 22, Buddy Holly changed the face of popular music forever." [See September 26, 2013].

      John Pickering's Buddy Holly tribute song is titled "Forever 22". "He is 22 and going on forever."

Oct 26, 2013 - Several of Buddy Holly's classmates from LHS '55 met for lunch at Strack Farm Restaurant in Spring, TX.

       Following the luncheon, Vicky, son John and wife, Kathy attended  the "Buddy" musical in Galveston. It was a very good show with lots of energetic music. Excellent musicians and actors. The Pickering's enjoyed visiting with Todd Meredith (Buddy) after the show

Oct 27-28, 2013 - Pat and Jim Schuman, Holly music fans from Ohio called Vicky that they were in Houston for the International Quilt Festival. Plans were made to get together before and during the Festival. They enjoyed lunch at the Tejas Mexican Food Restaurant in Alief, TX on the 28th.

Oct 29, 2013 - Vic Flick and his '61 Strat

      This was on Pawn Stars this week. A '61 Strat, and the guy that owned it - Vic Flick, who played one of the most iconic guitar riffs in movie history. Not only that, but Vic was a studio musician and played on hundreds of popular songs. 
In a discussion of Vic's '61 Strat they mentioned people who had played them and mentioned Buddy Holly.
Oct 30, 2013 - Marilyn Brown sent a picture of TT Football Coach Kliff Kingsbury when he was a member of the football team (1998-2002), catching a football in front of the Buddy Holly Statue at the original location.

Oct 31 - Nov 3, 2013 - Pat and Jim Schuman were in town from Ohio. They had a booth at the International Quilt Festival at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. Vicky spent a day with them at the Festival.

Nov 1, 2013Happy Anniversary to Lisa and Craig Rees.

      Vicky attended a music performance with friends at Andy Knight's church - Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Houston.        Beginning on Friday November 1, 2013, The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany will be hosting a series of Friday night concerts in our acoustically alive sanctuary/nave. The first of these features The MISHIMA STRING QUARTET presenting MOVIE STARS, a program of classical pieces that have been featured in popular movies. """""  "

Nov 7, 2013 - Vicky performed piano selections at the Alief Chapter of AARP dinner. For Thanksgiving season she led and told the story of 2 Thanksgiving songs - One,  "Over The River and Through The Wood to Grandfather's House We Go" which was a poem "A Boy's Thanksgiving Day" by L.M.Child.  Second "One Horse Open Sleigh" whch was written by James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893) and published  in the autumn of 1857. Even though it is now associated with the Christmas and holiday season, it was actually originally written to be sung for American Thanksgiving... .  

          Vicky enjoyed correspondence with performer Kenny James who had returned from a show in NM where he performed as Buddy Holly.

Nov 8, 2013 - "Life After Lubbock" was performed at The Grand 1984 Opera House in Galveston. Jaston Williams of "Greater Tuna" and musician Joe Ely performed with a lot of music and laughter. [See  www.thegrand.com. ] Joe Ely performs an exciting "Not Fade Away".

Nov 9, 2013 - Vicky with  friend and artist, Aneile Abraham attended the Open House at Winter Street Art Studios in Houston. Mosiac Artist Chris Silkwood is a friend of artist John Ross Palmer who painted a picture of The Picks And Buddy. The former industrial building next to a railroad track has been converted into a beautiful building housing over 100 artists.

Nov 10, 2013 - At Houston's First Baptist Church Covenant Keeprs Bibile Study Department, Vicky presented the story of 2 Thanksgiving songs - "Over The River and Through The Wood"  (c) 1844 by L.M. Child; and James Pierpont's "One House Open Sleigh" (c) 1857 which became probably the most popular Christmas song, "Jingle Bells".

    Following a point in Pastor Gregg Matte's sermon on Turbulence and flying with instrument ratings, Vicky related the story of Buddy Holly, Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens plane crash possibly due to pilot error in instrument flying in a storm.

Nov 14, 2013 - Vicky performed piano selections celebrating the Thanksgiving Season. [See Nov. 7, 2013]. at Houston's First Baptist Church Phase II Dinner.

Nov 20 2013 - The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain called the "Ukes" presented a program in Houston at the Cullen Theater in the Wortham Center. . They perform Buddy Holly's "Everyday".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy1XyCwAWmg  - Kitty Lux sings Buddy Holly's "Everyday".

Nov 26, 2013 - Vicky has been seeing an unusual commercial for Southern Comfort with a karate dancer. Background music is the beautiful song, "I'm A Fool To Care" written by Ted Daffan in 1940. He also wrote "Born To Lose". This commercial uses Les Paul on guitar and Mary Ford singing the song. Beautiful version of Ted's song. It was a privilege to be close friends to Ted and wife Bobbie in Houston. Ted managed and produced John and Bill when they sang as The Pickering Brothers. It was a magic time in their musical careers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL4N2CSsAlU 

Nov 29, 2013 - Holly fans from Canada, Kathi and Dennis, heard John's song "Forever 22" as they were listening to their MP3 player as they were driving in their van.

Dec 2, 2013 - Vicky presented a piano Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long Music Program at Home Sweet Home for Seniors with members of the Alief AARP Chapter.

        Vicky and family were very sad to receive word that longtime friend of the Pickering Family, Bev Lowry died this day. Bev was a wife, mother, singer, pianist, songwriter, motivational speaker and professor at Liberty College in Lynchburg, VA. She was the mother of Christian comedian and singer, songwriter Mark Lowry. The Pickering Family would sing at Berean Baptist Church in Houston in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Bev would sometime play piano for them and/or Bill and John.

Dec 5, 2013 - Vicky presented the program for the Alief Chapter of AARP dinner. Vicky played piano and presented a Sing-A-Long of Christmas Carols program. She presented the story of "The Christmas Scale" and the article from the Dallas Morning News from Christmas Eve, 1996 with a story about her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. Vicky has been elected Publicity Chairman as well as Music Chairman for 2014. Vicky's cousin who took lessons from Vi Petty will celebrate her birthday at the meeting with her husband and daughter.

Dec 8, 2013 - Vicky attended the Kingsland Baptist Church of Katy, TX for the Christmas Music program "Here With Us". The late Bill Pickering's son, Bob, sang in the choir. Vicky visited with Bob and his wife, LuAnn. Bob gave Vicky a CD/DVD of last year's performance, "Refuge Live" - "But let all who take refuge in You be glad..."

       Vicky invited artist friend, Aniel, to attend the Open House at the John Palmer Art Studios in the Houston Heights from 2 to 4 p.m. John Palmer gave Vicky a copy of his "Faces" book to give to Aniel. John and his friend Ryan signed the book for Aniel. The book contains a painting by John Palmer of The Picks and a photo of Vicky.

Dec 10, 2013 - Vicky heard songwriter Mark Lowry's Christmas Song, "Mary Did You Know?" on Sunny 99.1 F.M. Houston.   

        Buddy Holly was mentioned in the January 2014 issue of Texas Highways magazine. In "The Texas Top 40 Travel Destinations" Lubbock is #40 "The great Buddy Holly was born there - There's a music center in his memory . You can visit his grave in the City of Lubbock Cemetery." By Corey Trevathan of Mineral Well, TX.

Dec 11, 2013 -  An answer on Jeopardy TV show "Buddy rocked into the world as Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock in this state. Answer: "What is Texas?"

        Vicky played Christmas Carols on the piano before Christmas dinner at Houston's First Baptist Church Phase II widows group. The group then attended a "By Invitation Only" performance of the choir's "Celebration". 18,000 tickets have been sold to the production for the weekend.

Dec 16, 2013 - Music fans were sad to receive the news that country music legend and Country Music Hall of Famer,  Ray Price, had died at age 87 in Texas. A memorial service was held Dec. 28 in Richardson, TX at the Canyon Creek Baptist Church. John and Bill Pickering, performing as The Pickering Brothers in country music, sang on shows with Ray Price in the Houston area in 1969 and 1970s when they had "Proud Mary" on the charts.

       Vicky attended a Christmas Party and special guest was John Ross Palmer, artist of painting ot Buddy and The Picks.

       Vicky attended the Alief Chapter of the AARP Christmas Party at Tejas Restaurant in Alief, TX. She read the article from the Houston Chronicle with her story of her memories of Route 66 throughout the years.

Dec 19, 2013 - Daughters and their husbands attended the Christmas Music Show of the Rankin Brothers in Garland, TX. They enjoyed visiting with the Rankin family and the cast of the musical. The Rankin's do a great Buddy Holly segment in their regular show.

Dec 22, 2013 - Vicky enjoyed an early Christmas celebration with son John and wife, Kathy.

Dec 23, 2013 - Jan 2, 2014 -  Vicky enjoyed visits with family for the holiday season. The family enjoyed a visit to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and a beautiful Christmas display from the White House in 2001.

Dec 25, 2013 - Merry Christmas to all.

Dec 31, 2013 - Happy Birthday to the Pickering's granddaughter, Jansen.

          Happy New Year's Eve to everyone.

If you are looking for gospel or secular music to perform and/or record, please contact Vicky Pickering at John Pickering Music Company % Pick Records, Inc. 281-498-5249. John had written many songs that are in his catalog.