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Articles - Diaries > Events of 2015


Jan 6, 2015 - Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet, The Porcupine Dentist, corrects porcupines misaligned teeth. One of the porcupines is named "Peggy Sue". [See posting for 3-30-2016}.

Jan 16, 2015 - On the Michael Berry radio show on KTRH Houston, Michael menitoned musicians who might not have been successful if they had lived to adulthood. He included Buddy Holly in his discussion.

Jan 23, 2015 - Kathryn (Kathy) Jean Landers Pickering (Mrs. John Victor Pickering) died after a 5-year battle with metastasized stage four invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer. Kathy had faced her disease with much courage and fought it very hard. She is greatly missed by family members and many friends.

Jan 25, 2015 - Bill Pickering of the Pickering Family Quartet, The Picks trio, and the Pickering Brothers duo, died on this day, January 25,1985 at age 57.

Jan 26, 2015 - Visitation with the Pickering/Landers/Massaro families and friends at Memorial Oaks Funeral Home was Monday, January 26, 2015 from 6 - 8 p.m. 

Jan 27, 2015 -  Memorial Service was conducted celebrating Kathy Pickering's  life on Tuesday, January 27, 2015. She will be missed by her husband, John Victor Pickering, and mother-in-law, Vicky Pickering. She was preceded in death by her father-in-law, John W. Pickering.

         The chapel in which Kathy's Memorial Service was held was the same chapel in which Jay Richardson, aka the Big Bopper Junior, services were held on August 31, 2013. (See details on 2013 Page.) A recording of John W. Pickering singing "True Love Ways" was played at Kathy's service.

          Vicky recently sent Gary Clevenger her memories of the Crickets for his upcoming book about the "Crickets".

Feb 3, 2015 - 56th Anniversary of the deaths of Buddy, Bopper, Ritchie and Roger.

        In Houston Chronicle page E-4  "Looking Back, 1959: Rock 'n' Roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. 'The Big Bopper' Richardson died in a small plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa."

         Comment from DJ who played The Pickering Brothers records in Houston in 1969 and 1970's on KIKK radio:
Jim Blackstock (aka Jim Black) "To drive across north-central Iowa this time of year and see the rows of dead, frozen cornfield stubble. It's just eerie. Replay the night, 2/3/59; the highs and joyous laughter with all that great music in the warm confines of the Surf Ballroom, followed by a cold, but happy ride down the road to the Mason City Airport; the excitement of taking off, knowing they would be ...in a nice warm hotel room, hours ahead of the bus; Then a few minutes later, the horror of a small plane unable to level off or gain altitude, then the wing touching down in that cornfield, just a few feet from a barbed-wire fence, then the cartwheeling, collapsing little plane cabin, and being slammed to the cold, hard ground. Then the fear, the cold, and the pain, just fading out. And waking up in Heaven. Talk about ups & downs, and ups again. And the kids at the show that night. They all went home, talking about all the acts, and the music; What fun it all was, not knowing what they'd hear on the radio next morning. We never know, do we ? Turned on my car radio this afternoon, Fifties on Five, Sirius XM. They played Buddy Holly and the Picks' "Oh Boy". Man it was great." 

       Many Face Book friends reported from the Surf Ballroom and Clear Lake, Iowa 56th commeration of the plane crash.

Feb 4, 2015 - Happy Birthday to Bob Lapham of The Picks. Bob remembered that he saw "Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story" at Victoria Theatre in London about 20 years ago.

            Society for the Performing Arts in Houston called Vicky and invited her to meet the cast after a Feb. 7th production of "Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story" in Jones Hall.

Feb 5, 2015 - Vicky performed at the piano at the Alief Chapter of AARP dinner.

Feb 6, 2015 - Vicky enjoyed an evening with friends at the "First Friday At Epiphany Presents . . ." at The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Houston, TX. Artists included Grace Tice, oboe and English horn; Tracy Shirk, tenor; John Markert, piano.

        Bob Lapham of The Picks sent his memories of the Crickets to Gary Clevenger to be included in the upcoming "Crickets" book.

Feb 6-7, 2015 - "Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story" musical was presented by the Society for the Performing Arts in Jones Hall, Houston, Texas.

 Feb 7, 2015Vicky attended the show  and enjoyed a seat in the orchestra level section and a private visit with the cast following the show. Todd Meredith of The Rave-ons played Buddy Holly. Vicky enjoyed meeting fans of the music in the audience.  

Feb 7, 2015 - Joe B. Mauldin, bassist for the original Crickets, died in Nashville, TN at age 74. The Pickering's enjoyed knowing Joe B. since the 1950s. Joe B.'s bass-playing and The Picks' voices were on many of the Crickets recordings.

Feb 8, 2015 -  The late Bob Montgomery's picture and name were in the In Memoriam section of the Grammy's as songwriter and producer of many classic hits. His daughter, Echo stated on Face Book "my dad and Buddy were best friends. Started out as Buddy and Bob as teens. Dad wrote "Heartbeat" and "Love's Made a Fool of You" and "Wishing" for him. I was named after Buddy's old girlfriend." ."

Feb 17, 2015 - A friend of Vicky told her at the Houston Petroleum Auxiliary Council board meeting that she had heard news stories about the anniversary of Buddy's death on Feb. 3rd, and thought of her and The Picks.

Feb 18, 2015 - On the Walton and Johnson radio show on KPRC in Houston, Buddy Hollly was mentioned.

Feb 21, 2015 - Vicky met grandson, Jacob at Baylor University in Waco where they were joined by his parents and other grandmother from Dallas. Jacob performed in the "Sing" musical production with Beta Theta Pi in "Magic Show". He took the family on a tour of Waco and Baylor University and "George's Cafe" a well-known landmark since 1930. The competition was also held on the weekend of the 27th and 28th.

Feb 24, 2015 -  Quote from Vicky: "Today has been a nice day involving music from the past. I had gone to Katy, TX to the eye doctor for a field of vision checkup. John and I used to go together then stop for lunch and then "run our traps" at resale shops in the area looking for records on which he was singing with Buddy and the boys. At the Goodwill store, the business next door is Mo's Bar at which Big Bopper Jr. sang and worked several years ago. Then when I was inside Goodwill, I heard Buddy singing "It Doesn't Matter Anymore". I stopped for lunch at Tejas in Alief where John and I ate many times. Then to Home Sweet Home Nursing Home to play piano and lead about 12 songs including love songs for their February ice cream and cake party sponsored by AARP. The songs were a selection that John and I performed for many years at functions. Brought back many good memories. So it was a day of nostalgia."

Feb 25, 2015 - That'll Be The Day" and "I'm Looking For Someone To Love" were recorded 58 years ago today with Gary and Ramona Tollett and Niki Sullivan doing backup vocals with Buddy doing solo and guitar and the instrumental Crickets playing. Congratulations our your success!

Feb 27, 2015 - Pickering's daughter, Paula, celebrated the first time it snowed on her birthday.

Feb 28, 2015 - John W. Pickering of the Pickering Family Quartet, The Picks trio, and The Pickering Brothers duo, died on February 28, 2011 at age 77.

Mar 3, 2015 -  Bob Pickering called Vicky to say that Buddy Holly was to be mentioned on Houston's Channel 13 ABC World News Tonight with David Muir. The story was concerning the possible NTSB reopening of the Buddy Holly, et al, plane crash 2-3-1959 in Iowa.

Mar 5, 2015 - George Noory on Coast to Coast AM after midnight mentioned the possible NTSB reopening of the Buddy Holly, et al, plane crash. Most news media outlets mentioned it the past few days with many comments on social networking.

         Vicky attended  the Chapter meeting of AARP where Donna B., the Ebony Cowgirl sang.

Mar 7-9, 2015 - Happy Birthday to Terry on the 7th and Lisa on the 9th and remembering John W. Pickering on the 8th.

Mar 21, 2015 - On Craig Ferguson's TV show "Celebrity Name Game" a hint was "Song sung by Buddy Holly. She got married in the movie." Answer: "Peggy Sue".

Apr 3, 2015 - On Vicky's birthday, she and son John flew to Kauai, HI for a week of sightseeing that had been planned by her late daughter-in-law, Kathy, a year ago. Kathy died January 23, 2015 so Vicky and John went in her memory and met family there to remember Kathy.

Apr 8, 2015 - Happy Birthday Rylie Rees!

Apr 10, 2015 - Vicky and son John, heard the Buddy Holly song, "Everyday" when they were at the Poipu Shopping Village on Kiahuna Plantation Drive in Poipu, Kauai, HI. On the way home in Houston on I-45, Vicky heard Mac Davis singing about Buddy Holly in his "Texas in My Rearview Mirror" song. You can hear Buddy's music anywhere you go and many have The Picks' harmonies on the songs. 

Apr 18, 2015 - May issue of Texas Highways magazine article "The Daytripper" with Chet Garner is "A Day in LBK". Mentions of Buddy Holly, West Texas Walk of Fame, and the  Buddy Holly Center. Chet visited the Lubbock Lake Landmark in which the Pickering's daughter Lisa worked at the archeological dig site in 1977. Buildings in which Lisa and others painted with animal scenes of the mammouths whose bones were found in their dig are still seen at the site.

 Apr 19, 2015 -  Vicky's comments about Chet Garner's article on Lubbock were published in http://thedaytripper.com/daytrip/lubbock-tx/ c .  

Apr 25, 2015 - Vicky received a letter from Texas Music Museum in Austin, Texas President Clayton Shorkey, PhD. that they have produced a display panel - "The Picks" and added to the exhibit related to Buddy Holly. A photo was enclosed. They will proudly display artifacts of the careers of John and Bill Pickering as singers in "The Pickering Family Quartet" - various types of singing; "The Picks" - trio in rock 'n' roll and pop music including Bob Lapham; "The Pickering Brothers" - duet in country music; and John and Bill as soloists, recording artists, and songwriters in various types of music. Bob will be included as an author of novels. Many thanks to the Texas Music Museum.

Apr 28, 2015 - Patsy Lyles went on a cruise out of New Orleans and saw a very good Buddy Holly impersonator.

Apri 29, 2015 - On the Letterman TV show, John Fogerty sang his song "Proud Mary". John and Bill as the Pickering Brothers recorded the first country music version of the song in Nashville in 1969.

 Apr 30, 2015 - Vicky corresponded with Andrew Dansby of the Houston Chronicle about his article "Mississippi-born blues belong to all the world." They discussed the Pickering's friend, Theo Dasbach who has the Clarksdale, MS Rock 'n' Blue Museum which Andrew had visited last January. Theo has a section on The Picks and Pickering Brothers.

May 4, 2015 - Heard on the Walton & Johnson Radio show in Houston and other cities a mention of Buddy Holly. They discussed "Buddy's last name was spelled Holley. A record was pressed with the label reading "Holly" and the company said since the pressing had been done, let's just leave it spelled like that. And there was already a carburator spelled like that - Holley Carburetors in Bowling Green, KY". [Earlier reports said a contract was typed with the name Holly.]

May 27, 2015 - On the Walton & Johnson Radio Show, they mentioned that today was the 58th anniversary of the day "That'll Be The Day" was released. Mentioned Buddy only lived until 1959.

May 28, 2015 - On the 51st month anniversary of John's death Vicky found a mint condition record boxed set at a Goodwill store with his trio The Picks singing on 9 songs with Buddy Holly. "The Complete Buddy Holly Story" (c) 1973. Made in Germany. MCA Coral 0082.010-9 (COPS 7100-H/1-9). It is very rare to find a Holly/Crickets record on display at a resale shop.

Jun 8, 2015 - The Pickering's last grandchild, granddaughter Jansen graduated from Richardson, TX Pearce HS. Vicky joined the family for the graduation and parties. She will attend the University of Arkansas.

Jun 9, 2015 - As Vicky drove from Dallas to Houston she heard on Greenville, TX Radio Station KGVL FriendLee show Buddy Holly singing "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" (released after Buddy's death). She sent a Face Book message and received a message in return from the D.J. On Wednesday he mentioned Vicky and John.

Jun 16, 2015 - Lubbockonline.com by Ray Westbrook " Buddy Holly's Lubbock High Class of 1955 schedules 60th reunion." http://lubbockonline.com/life/2015-06-16/buddy-hollys-lubbock-high-class-1955-schedules-60th-reunion#.VYd7FvlViko.. 

Jun 18, 2015 - Vicky's brother-in-law, Travis Brown of Lubbock, attended the "Man of Steel" dinner event featuring Terry Bradshaw in Lubbock. Dan Dunn, nationally known paint jammer entertained when he painted a picture of Buddy Holly which was sold at auction. Lubbockonline.com by Bryan Navarette.

        Three members of the Houston/SE Texas Lubbock High School Class of '55 Lunch Bunch, Sonny Dunn, Carol P. and Vicky drove to Lubbock to attend the 60th Reunion of their HS class. Others sent their regards by cell phone, text, emails and Face Book. Upon arrival to Lubbock, Vicky and Carol attended a 6 p.m. Pizza Party hosted by Sarjim W. Also attending were Patty C., Joy R., and Joni. 

Jun 19, 2015 - The Lubbock High School Class of '55 met on Friday for the 60th Reunion of their class and spent hours visiting and renewing old friendships from as many as 76 years before. Friday night 140 grads from all over the USA enjoyed heavy hors d'oeuvres at the Elegante hotel.  This class included many famous grads including Buddy Holly and Bob Montgomery.

Jun 20, 2015 - Class mates continued with activities of golf, brunch at the Lubbock Women's Club, visiting at the hotel hospitality room, a tour of Lubbock HS seeing gifts the class had given the school throughout the years; the display case with Buddy Holly memorabilia; pictures of Buddy around the campus including one by the door of his homeroom for 3 years and a plaque on the wall. A classmate pointed out where he sat in the class and that Buddy sat next to him. Grads were encouraged to donate memorabilia to the library and the history vaults of the school. Classmates visited the auditorium where Buddy and Bob performed, as well as Vicky's late husband John Pickering. Lubbock HS, a state-of-the- art building, was opened in 1931-32 and now continues to have over 2,000 students in 4 grades.

        TV station KLBK took pictures at the golf game and the brunch which were seen on the 6 and 10 pm news show.

    That evening a dinner was served at the Elegante Hotel. Vicky's sister, Marilyn and husband Travis were her guests. Prizes were given out to the golf players. For the program a "Roast" was presented involving Jim McL., Wayne S., Sarjim W., Sherry H., Davis F. Gifts of "Westerner" black and gold t-shirts and caps were given out. Gene Medley closed the program by leading the Westerner Call To Loyalty. Much visiting and picture taking followed until the early house of the morning on Sunday.  " . . .Come along you brave old Westerners; We will do or die."

Jun 21, 2015 - Father's Day and the Summer Solstice saw the grads saying goodby and spreading back out across the USA to their homes with many more memories of the Class of '55 and plans to meet again at least in 2 years when the grads will be turning 80-years of age.

Jul 5, 2015 - Matt Rankin of the Rankin Brothers singing duo preached and sang in the evening service of Pastor Gary McSpadden's Branson, MO, Faith & Wisdom Church. http://fwcbranson.com/sermons/listen/sermon/10507-mcspadden15-0708. Matt called his brother, Mark to sing, "He's Alive." Their parents were in the audience.

        Vicky enjoyed Pastor McSpadden's morning service online at http://fwcbranson.com/sermons. Vicky, Gary and his sister Cheryl, wife of pianist Dino, took music lesson from Miss Euteva Coberly in Lubbock in the middle 1950s. They all performed in recitals together. Vicky was playing piano for John Pickering at that same time.

Jul 7, 2015 - Several ladies from Lubbock High School class of '55 enjoyed a lovely luncheon at the Steamboat House/Texas Steakhouse in Houston.  Pictures of the recent 60th reunion were shared. The ladies viewed the memorablia of Texas History displayed in the restaurant. Plans were made for the Christmas luncheon at the restaurant on Thursday, December 3rd for the Houston area LHS class of '55 grads and friends.

Jul 10-2015 - Happy Birthday, Garrett!

Jul 12, 2015 - Heard Buddy Holly mentioned on a Honda car ad. http://diffuser.fm/weezer-buddy-holly-honda-tv-commercial/.   .  .

Jul 20, 2015 - Texas Musicians Museum opening July 25, 2015. Displays of Buddy Holly and The Picks memorabilia.


Jul 25, 2015 - Lubboch HS Class of '55 Houston Lunch Bunch met at Hunan's Cafe. A man having lunch in the Cafe asked what group they were and they told him LHS Class of '55 that they went to HS with Buddy Holly and Vicky told him she married the backup singer, John Pickering. He was very excited to meet the classmates.He later came back by their table singing "Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue . . ". He took pictures for the group.

Jul 30, 2015 - WBRT Radio Bardstown, KY online at www.wbrtcountry.com "50s to 70s Oldies Express" show with Kenny James as host from 8 to 10 PM ET. He played Buddy Holly music and talked about John and The Picks. He also played Holly music in his 1-3 pm ET show. He and Vicky enjoyed a nice telephone visit between shows with a "Hello" from his wife, Danielle. Vicky will be interviewed later in August on a show.

       Kenny asked a question on the show for a prize. What was Buddy Holly's only song that made #1 in the U.S.A.? Answer: That'll Be The Day.  Kenny is working on getting The Picks in to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Thanks, Kenny.

Jul 31, 2015 - In the novel "Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline, there is a sentence "She (Vivian) asks Molly if she's seen the sneezing panda video on YouTube." On the listing page on YouTube, there is a listing for "Don't Say No To Panda" with John and The Picks and Buddy Holly singing "True Love Ways" with over 33 million views.

Aug 17, 2015 - Lisa Pickering Rees and family stopped at Angel's Restaurant in McAlister, OK and saw on the menu "Buddy Holly Hot Wings". (Regular or Boneless). Breaded, seasoned wings, friend & served with Ranch Dressing. $6.99"

Aug 23, 2015 - Vicky and John married on this date in 1957. Bill Pickering and Bob Lapham of The Picks trio were groomsmen. John sang a solo, "Always" to Vicky as she and her father walked to the altar.

         Vicky went with her daughter, Paula Pickering Robinson,  son-in-law and grandson to Denton, TX to eat at the LSA Burger Cafe (Lone Star Attitude), on the courthouse square. The cafe is decorated with memorabilia about music. A large painting is on the wall of The Last Supper in LSA style!" which included pictures of 12 musicians and Jesus. Willie Nelson's shirt says "I'm Forgiven". Included in the painting are Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, Roy Orbison and Willie Nelson all of whom John or Bill had worked with. . A brass plaque is beneath each artist with a description. On the menu is a "Our Buddy" a burger with Texas Toast, Swiss Cheese, House Mayo, and Grilled Onions, served with fries.  "You won't hear crickets chirping when you bite into this, you'll want it Everyday!" Also on the menu is the "Waylon" burger. "Father of Outlaw Country Classics from Littlefield, TX. "The only two things in life that make it worth living are guitars tuned good and firm feeling buns."

Aug 27. 2015 - Vicky heard Ritchie Valen's "La Bamba" in a Goodwill store in Houston.

Aug 29, 2015 - Heard on TV, a Nationwide commercial using "Love Is Strange" as the background music. On YouTube is Buddy Holly & The Picks version of "Love Is Strange". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxCoQyjwMas  .

Sep 3, 2015 - Happy Birthday, John V. Pickering!

Sep 16, 2015 - Happy Birthday, Craig!

Oct 3, 2015 - "La Bamba" showing on "News and A Movie". When Vicky turned it on Lou Diamond Phillips was singing "Oh Boy". He was interviewed during the movie intermission.  Sonny West wrote the song; in 1957, Buddy Holly recorded it with instrumentals by the Crickets; and backup vocals by The Picks.

Oct 3, 2015 - Happy Birthday, Zachary!

Oct 9, 2015 - Happy Birthday, Landon!

Oct 12, 2015 - Vicky heard Buddy Holly's recording of "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" on Coast-To-Coast A.M. at 1:08 a.m. CDT Monday. Richard Syrett, visiting host said, "Crying, Waiting, Hoping by Buddy Holly sums up my high school years - best 10 years of my life as I think about it". I say the song surely sounds like he was thinking of Echo. Recorded 12/14/58.
"Crying, waiting, hoping you'll come back I just can't seem to get you off my mind
Crying, waiting, hoping you'll come back You're the one
I love And I think about you all the time . . ."

 Oct 22, 2015 - Happy Birthday, Jacob!

Oct 26, 2015 - 50s music fans, Jim and Pat Schuman were in Houston from Ohio for the International Quilt Show. They met Vicky and son John for lunch. This was the last year the Schuman's plan to work at the IQF. They have retired.

Nov 7, 2015 - Houston Chronicle by Joey Guerra "[Billy] Joel performs his classics with a Texas state of mind. He led his band through Buddy Holly's 'Peggy Sue . . .'.

Nov 10, 2015 - Houston Chronicle by Ken Hoffman "Billy Joel plays hits from Texas artists at concert. Coolest thing about a Billy Joel concert: Wherever he plays, he does songs made famous by artists from that state.  . . . He performed 'Peggy Sue'  (Buddy Holly)".

Dec 3, 2015 - The LHS Class of '55 met at the Steamboat House/Texas Steakhouse for their Christmas Luncheon with 16 in attendance. Amber Reed (Bobby Hughey) was host and made arrangments for "Sam Houston" (aka owner Charlie Fogerty) to visit their tables. The restaurant was decorated in Texas history items as well as beautiful Christmas decorations. Vicky had invited award winning journalist, Joe Holley, writer for the Houston Chronicle to attend. He wrote an article about the Class of '55 and their famous grad - Buddy Holly. Joe interviewed classmates and looked at memorabilia they had brought. Vicky's cousin, Lavoyda, celebrated her birthday and Amber's mom, Thelma celebrated her 93rd birthday.

Dec 3, 2015 - Lisa saw Pawn Stars episode called "Whale of a Time" from 6-14-2010 a man was trying to sell a Surf Ballroom poster with Buddy Holly's name on it.

Dec 14, 2015 - John Ingman of England died unexpectedly. He was one of the foremost experts on the music of Buddy Holly, Vi and Norman Petty and music from Clovis and Lubbock. See Jan. 15, 2016.

Dec 5, 2015 - Article in the Houston Chronicle by Joe Holley, award winning journalist, in his 'Native Texan' column, "Remembering a buddy - rock music's Holly". "Holly: Musician's legacy will not fade away."  Quotes and information from Joe's interviews with Holly's classmates on Dec. 3rd.

Dec 31, 2015 - Happy Birthday, Jansen Victoria! Jansen is a freshman at the University of Arkansas.

       Vicky enjoyed a Face Book Message with Johnny Rogers.







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.