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Articles - Diaries > Events of 2017

Articles - Diaries > Events of 2017

Happy New Year 2017 to all!

Jan 5, 2017 - Vicky played piano for the AARP Alief Chapter luncheon.

Jan 11, 2017 - Tommy Allsup, 85, died after surgery. He gave up his seat on the plane in which Buddy, Ritchie, Big Bopper and pilot Roger were killed 2-3-1959.

Jan 18, 2017 - Tommy Allsup funeral. Tommy's son Austin was recently on "The Voice".   

Jan 23, 2017 - Vicky heard from a friend, Barbara at the Alief Community Church a Buddy Holly question on the TV show Jeopardy!. Barbara heard the question asking "what insect was used by a famous band with Buddy Holly? Answer - The Crickets." Vicky's sister, Marilyn watched a rerun of the 7-22-2016 show on 1-22-2017 that had a category "Beastly Backing Bands". The $400 question was "Buddy Holly & Them -- Chirping Crickets."

Jan 23, 2017 - Remembering Pickering's daughter-in-law, Kathy on the 2nd anniversary of her death.

Jan 25, 2017 - Actress Mary Tyler Moore, 80, died. Sonny Curtis of the Crickets wrote the theme song used in her TV show "Love Is All Around." (c) 1970.

Feb 2, 2017 - Vicky played  love songs on the piano for the AARP Alief Chapter luncheon.

Feb 2, 2017 - Singer, performer, and D.J - Kenny James and Vicky connected on Facebook and then Kenny interviewed Vicky on his radio program on WBRT 97.1 FM in Barsdale, KY. They discussed The Picks backup vocals on Buddy Holly/Crickets songs on "The Chirping Crickets" 1957  LP. They were remembering the plane crash on 2-3-1959. Kenny played several of the songs on which The Picks sang. Kenny is an excellent tribute artist doing Buddy Holly and other artists. He also has radio programs on Tuesday and Thursday as well as the evening show and travels and performs his musical shows. 

Feb 3, 2017 - The 58th anniversary of the death of Buddy, Ritchie, Big Bopper and pilot Roger.

Feb 4, 2017 - Happy Birthday to Bob Lapham of The Picks.

Feb 7, 2017 - On Kenny James radio show he mentioned the deaths of Buddy, Ritchie, Big Bopper and pilot Roger.

Feb 14, 2017 - Lisa Pickering Rees and husband heard "True Love Ways" when they dined in Dallas. Her cousin, Rhonda heard it in Lubbock.

          Vicky placed the song by Buddy Holly and The Picks on Facebook.

          Vicky visited John's grave for Valentine's Day and left flowers.

Feb 23, 2017 - Houston area Lubbock High School Class of '55 and friends had lunch at Hunan Chef Chinese Buffet hosted by Bill Sandy. 

Feb 27, 2017 - Happy Birthday to Pickering's daughter, Paula Pickering Robinson.

      On Facebook, Vicky displayed pictures of recordings of Buddy Holly and The Picks, The Pickering Brothers, Bill and John Pickering soloist and books by Bob Lapham.

Feb 28, 2017 - John Pickering died 6 years ago, 2-28-2011.

Mar 2, 2017 - Vicky played piano for the AARP Alief Chapter luncheon. She is also a Director and Publicity chairperson.

Mar 7, 2017 - Happy Birthday to Pickering's son-in-law, Terry Robinson, Jr.

Mar 8, 2017 - Anniversary of John W. Pickering's birth 3-8-1933. Happy 84th. Vicky took flowers to the grave.

Mar 9, 2017 - Happy Birthday to Pickering's daughter, Lisa Pickering Rees.

Mar 9, 2017 - Quote from The Nature of The Beast by Louise Penny, pages 181-182. "Jean-Guy leaned back and listened to the music, trying not to hear the lyrics. Something about - Buy, buy a good apple pie." "Oh, no, thought Beauvoir, surely not. Drove my Honda, which I'm fonda. . .".

Mar 12, 2017 - Vicky played piano for a department at Houston's First Baptist Church.

Mar 18, 2017 - Houston's Classic Rock Station The Eagle 106.9 FM played Don McLean's "American Pie" "...the day the music died."

Mar 18, 2017 - In Houston, Lisa Pickering Rees and Vicky heard Linda Ronstadt's cover version of "That'll Be The Day". 

Mar 18, 2017 - Sometimes called the "Father of Rock 'n' Roll, Chuck Berry died at age 90. Buddy Holly recorded the song written by Chuck, "Brown-eyed Handsome Man" on 2/25/1957. The Picks later overdubbed backup vocals with the blessing of the record company and Maria Elena Holly. The song has yet-to-be-released at this date.

Mar 19, 2017 - Houston Chronicle: "Besides Berry, members of the rock hall of fame's inaugural class included Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino and the Everly Brothers."

Apr 3, 2017 - Happy 80th Birthday to Vicky Pickering. Catching up with Buddy Holly again. Her children entertained her for the weekend.

Apr 5, 2017 - Remember Bill Pickering's birthdate 4-5-1927. Happy 90 !

Apr 6, 2017 - Vicky played piano for the AARP Alief Chapter luncheon.

Apr  8, 2017- Happy Birthday to Pickering granddaughter, Rylie Rees who is doing a year's internship in England.

Apr 8, 2017 - Two sons, Bob and James, of the late Bill Pickering visited Vicky and they reminisced about the Pickering family music.

     On Facebook, Vicky displayed pictures of recordings of Buddy Holly and The Picks. The Pickering Brothers, Bill and John Pickering soloists and books by Bob Lapham.

Apr 15, 2017 - Buddy Holly mentioned in Texas Highways, May, 2017. Interview by Heather Brand with Jaston Williams, actor and playwright of the "Greater Tuna" series of plays. Q: How do you explain the enduring appeal of "Greater Tuna"? A: ...We wrote it in the early Reagan years, and it was originally about book banning and burning Buddy Holly records."

Apr 16-17, 2017 - Vicky and Bill Stohl (aka J. Forriest McGrew) had a conversation on Facebook concerning his book to be published in May, 2017 "His Life His Music His Legend - Simply Buddy".  Written over several years time, Mr. Stohl was not able to make connections with The Picks for interviews as to their contribution to the Buddy Holly and the Crickets music. He said that Norman Petty nor Bill Griggs would give him the locations of any of The Picks. John Pickering lived at the same address and had the same phone number from 1968 until his death in 2011. Bob Lapham has lived in Abilene, Texas since the 1970s. 

Apr 27, 2017 - Houston area LHS Class of '55 and friends met for lunch at the Carriage House Cafe. 

May 4, 2017 - Vicky played piano at Alief AARP luncheon.

May 13, 2017 - On the "Buddy Holly: Rave On BBC Documentary 2017" Brian May of "Queen" discussed "Maybe Baby". Some of the conversation included "...OK, Maybe Baby. [No audio]. Introduction...By then you haven't heard Buddy yet. But it is all set up. The magic is there. You hear this incredible guitar. There was the whole big band although it was a small band. Then you hear this 'ooh-ooh-ooh'. The harmonies are very carefully chosen to work a very haunting quality to them.:" May made no mention of The Picks doing the backup vocals on the "haunting quality" on the song and the audio was cut so that their voices are not heard on the documentary. The surviving  Everly Brother said, "People didn't realize arrangements were important."

May 14, 2017 - Vicky watched "Stand By Me". Saw a picture of Buddy and the Crickets and heard Buddy sing "Everyday".

May 15, 2017 - Well, the "Buddy Holly: Rave On BBC Documentary 2017" lasted on You Tube longer than Vicky thought it would before it was taken down. Guess the backup singers weren't all that they didn't want people to see or hear. And the story goes on and on and on. . .

May 24, 2017 - Happy Anniversary to Paula (Pickering) and Terry Robinson.

May 26th to June 9th, 2017 - Seven members of the extended Pickering family visited Great Britain..

         In London they saw the Victoria Palace Theatre where "Buddy: The Buddy Story" musical began October 12, 1989 and ran for 14 years with 5,822 performances. Then it  toured for a total of 24 years. It is considered the "World's Most Successful Rock 'n' Roll Musical."  Songs are included on which the trio The Picks recorded vocal backup voices in 1957.  Tribute acts are still performing in Great Britain.

        On the tour bus, the leader, Mike played Tommy Steele's "Flash, Bang, Wallop" from the musical "Half A Sixpence" each time we were getting off the bus to go sightseeing. Tommy was a merchant marine in about 1958 and when in Norfolk, VA he heard Buddy Holly and The Crickets (and The Picks backup vocals) and went back to England and recorded and became the first rock 'n' roll singer in Great Britain. He continues to perform at age 80. Vicky emailed his manager to inform him of the work The Picks had done with Buddy.

        Vicky was on Face Book with Kevin Montgomery (son of the late Bob in LHS class of '55). Kevin was performing in Great Britain, some shows including Garry Tallent, formerly bass player of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

        The family passed through Glasgow where "On March 3rd 1960, Elvis Presley flew into Prestwick Airport in Glasgow, Scotland. Elvis had just finished his American Army National service and stopped over in Ayrshire for two wonderful and amazing hours. In those days, Prestwick was home for the 1631 USFA Unit. Despite a massive security leaked out that a mystery V.I.P was flying in - and when Sgt. Presley stepped off the plane and onto UK soil, local fans screamed and rushed to meet their idol. Without his Memphis Mafia and Col. Tom Parker around, Elvis felt relaxed enough to mix with local fans. The only time Elvis was in Great Britain." John Pickering had served at Ft. Hood, Texas with Elvis in 1958. Since Elvis could not tour outside the USA, Buddy and the Crickets became very famous in England.

        In Liverpool, as Pickering's son-in-law Craig visited the Beatles Museum on June 1st, he saw mentions of Buddy Holly and the Crickets.

        The family rode down the Beatles famous Penny Lane, and also saw the Strawberry Fields Gate at the former children's home, and a home where John Lennon lived. They also heard Beatles songs on the tour bus. "Penny Lane" flip side was "Strawberry Fields Forever".

        They visited the Cavern Club where the Beatles played over 300 times; and heard "Penny Lane" and other songs.

         At Stratford-upon-Avon, a young man in black horned- rimmed glasses, Max Stockin (aka Max Jacobs) was playing guitar and singing on the sidewalks of the shops. He performed "That'll Be The Day" and Vicky made a video. Vicky met and talked with him. maxjacobs19@googlemail.com. She sent him an email message.

          Family enjoyed an evening at the London Hard Rock Café and Gift shop. They celebrated Vicky's 80th birthday year. The manager suggested that Vicky send Buddy Holly and The Picks memorabilia to the home office to include in the London Café. [See July 5].  

Jun 3, 2017 - Pickering's son-in-law, Terry Robinson won a photography contest on the tour of Great Britain with his photos of the capitals of the countries we visited. Congratulations Terry! Great photos.

Jun 9, 2017 -   John Bowyer called Vicky to say he heard Buddy and The Picks singing "Blue Days, Black Nights" on Sirius Radio. Friend Alex Ward plays their songs on his Pig 'n' Whistle/Pink & Black Days Show.

Jun 9-10,2017 - Vicky's  Lubbock High School Class of '55 had their 62nd reunion in Lubbock to celebrate most of the class turning 80 this year. . Buddy Holly and musicians were classmates.

Jun 12, 2017 - Music fan, Jerry Schutts from Wisconsin, called Vicky to say he heard Peggy Sue on a Toronto talk show.

Jun 13, 2017 - On our Great Britain tour, we passed through or very near towns in which Buddy Holly and The Crickets performed in March of 1958. Their tour started in London then to Salisbury, Bristol, Cardiff, and back to London. Our tour reversed the route. Buddy and the Crickets were singing "Oh Boy" and "Maybe Baby" among other songs. The Picks trio voices were on the recordings of these songs released on "The 'Chirping' Crickets" Brunswick LP in 1957. Vicky  carried a CD of Buddy Holly & The Picks songs as she toured through Great Britain. As she told the people on the tour bus when they each introduced themselves, that they might not have heard of her late husband, John, but they had probably heard his singing voice. She had very favorable comments from other tour passengers on the music.

Jun 13, 2017 - On Facebook, Kevin Montgomery (son of Bob - classmate of Vicky at LHS) had a video of his driving past Stonehenge on the way to a musical presentation in a nearby town.

Jun 13, 2017 - Vicky is reading a series of books with towns located in England. Deborah Crombie is the author.

Jun 23, 2017 - In Deborah Crombie's book "And Justice There Is None" is a quote ". . .By the winter of 1961 . . .The girls huddled in front of the grainy black-and-white screen, watching the latest pop idols on "Oh Boy!" . . . (Oh Boy! was the first teenage all-music show on British TV airing in 1958 and 1959. It was produced by Jack Good for ITV.) It is assumed the name came from the song "Oh Boy!" written by Sonny West and recorded by Buddy Holly/The Crickets/The Picks.

Jun 25, 2017 - Funky Winkerbean cartoon by Tom Batiuk "Head Majorette Holly Budd is about to perform..."

Jun 26, 2017 - Vicky became friends with Andy Waldrop on Facebook. Andy was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame (TRHOF) in 2013.  He is associated with Salem Media Group. He has a live radio show on Sundays 6-9 pm on KSHN Radio 99.9 FM Liberty County, TX. He plays rock 'n' roll 3 Sundays a month. He is a Buddy Holly music fan.

Jul 5, 2017 - People portrayed in the musical or associated with in the "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" that John and Vicky Pickering knew include 1. Buddy Holly and Holley family; 2. Son of the Big Bopper and family; 3. Family of Ritchie Valens, the Valenzuelas; 4. Niki Sullivan and family; 5 Joe B. Mauldin and family; 6. J.I. Allison and wife; 7. D.J. Hi Pockets Duncan; 8. Norman & Vi Petty; 9. Tommy Allsup and wife; 10. Maria Elena Santiago Holly Diaz and 2nd husband and sons; 11. Peggy Sue and daughter; 12. MC Bob Hale at the Surf Ballroom; 13, Bob Montgomery and family, 14. Larry Welborn; 15. Mrs. Ralph Peer and son, Ralph II of Peer-Southern Music where Maria Elena worked; 16. NorVaJak Studios; 17. KDAV studios; 18. Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa; 19. Plane crash site; 20. The Picks (not listed by name); 21. [Note]Bill Pickering and Mr. Holley visited Maria Elena in her NYC apartment. 22. Songs used in the musical in which The Picks sang on the records include "Oh Boy" and "Maybe Baby". Picks are friends of songwriter Sonny West who wrote "Oh Boy" and "Rave On" and many other classic songs.

Jul 5, 2017 - Vicky corresponded with the corporate offices of Hard Rock Cafe in response to the request by the manager of the London Hard Rock Cafe for memorabilia of Buddy and The Picks. 

Jul 6, 2017 - Vicky and Sean Brady of Ireland became Facebook friends and discussed many musicians they have known in rock 'n' roll. Sean has a web site for Gene Watson, country singer who recorded a song written by John Pickering, "I'm Not Strong Enough".

        Vicky played piano with patriotic selections at the Alief AARP Chapter luncheon.  

Jul 10, 2017 - Happy Birthday to Pickering's grandson, Garrett Rees.

Jul 16, 2017 -  Sonny Curtis' song, "I Fought The Law (And The Law Won)" was heard on "Coast To Coast AM" radio show during the night Saturday night/Sunday a.m. From the Tennessean by Dave Paulson on 10-5-2014: "Sonny Curtis wasn't 'breaking rocks in the hot sun' when he was inspired to write the rock and roll classic 'I Fought the Law.' In fact the 77-year-old songwriter hadn't had any sort of run-in with the authorities. He was simply daydreaming on a 'sandstormy' afternoon in Texas and cooked up the tune in less than half an hour. The song was first cut in 1960 by his band, The Crickets — on the first album they released after the death of their frontman, Buddy Holly. It became a hit for the Bobby Fuller Four several years later, and then an anthem for countless rock rebels, from The Clash to Hank Williams Jr. to Green Day. Curtis recalled writing the song with Bart Herbison, executive director of Nashville Songwriters Association International."

            John and Vicky were members of NSAI. John was the director of the Houston chapter in the 1980s.

Aug 3, 2017 - Vicky played piano at Alief AARP Luncheon.

Aug 8, 2017 - Glen Campbell died in Nashville.  Heard on You Tube - Glen Campbell singing "Oh Boy" and the backup arrangements were similar to The Picks on Buddy Holly's song.

Sep 3, 2017 - Happy Birthday to Pickering's son, John V. Pickering.

Sep 5, 2017 - Vicky played piano for AARP Alief Chapter luncheon.

Sep 6, 2017 - Vicky watched the movie, "La Bamba" and heard "Oh Boy".  Vicky and John had met Brian Setzer who played Eddie Cochran; and Marshall Crenshaw who played Buddy. Also several of the Valenzuela family at Clear Lake, Iowa at the Surf Ballroom in 2009 when they were guests at the 50th anniversary of the plane crash. Stephen F. Schmidt played Tommy Allsup. 

      Vicky notified songwriter, Sonny West that the movie was on and his "Oh Boy" was played. Vicky put a notice on Facebook and had many responses from fans.

       Pencil Illustration by Pete Rennie on Facebook of Buddy singing "Oh Boy". Vicky and Pete became friends on FB.

Sep. 7, 2017  - If Buddy Holly was able to accomplish music in his lifetime of 22 years that has lasted for 60+ years, we wonder what each of us can accomplish in the years that God has given us?

      Buddy was born 81 years ago on this date. Vicky reminded Wally Newman, Andrew Dansby of the Chronicle, and Andy Waldrop of KSHN FM radio, Liberty County, TX. and friends on Face book. 

      Vicky played piano at Alief Chapter of AARP Luncheon.

Sep 10, 2017 - Andy Waldrop played Buddy Holly & The Crickets songs on his Sunday Rock 'n' Roll tribute show from 6-9 pm from  KSHN 99.9 FM Liberty County Texas.

Sep 15, 2017 - Pickering's grandson, Zachary Robinson, Physics student at the U of MN College of Science and Engineering was awarded the U.S. Department of Energy Research Program  Award for 2017. Zachary's research interests include charge and energy transport in nanocrystal films. He will do research at Los Alamos, NM at the Los Alamos (LANL) National Laboratory for the year of 2018. 

Sep 15-18, 2017 - Buddy: The Buddy Holly StoryThe award winning musical celebrates the singer/songwriter Buddy Holly, who shot to stardom in the 1950’s. Cypress Woods Theatre was the first high school in Texas to produce this musical in Buddy Holly's home state. Musical numbers include "Oh Boy", "Rave On", “La Bamba” (Ritchie Valens), “Peggy Sue”, and “That’ll be the Day”. Sept 15 – 7pm, Sept 16- 2 pm and 7pm, Sept 18th -7pm

 Sep 16, 2017 -  Happy Birthday to Pickering's son-in-law, Craig Rees.

           LHS classmates attended the Alan Janes' Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at Cypress Woods HS. They included Shirley, Carole, Vicky, Amber, Thelma, and friends Andy Waldrop of Salem Media Group who does a Rock 'n' Roll Golden Oldies Show; and Wall Newman PR with Newman & Newman who does a Golden Oldies Show. The group enjoyed Italian Dinner after the show. Vicky wore her Buddy Holly and the Picks cap and her LHS High School building t-shirt with Class of '55 on the front.

           The show was excellent. Buddy was played by Samuel Hackett, Ritchie by Destin Moreno, Big Bopper by Walter Rodenberger, and Norman Petty by Brandon Kubena, an extended family member of the Steve Pickering family. Director was Toby Drake. Vicky presented LP's and CD's to the director, Andy, Wally, and some of the cast. Amber's granddaughter is on the year book committee at the school and will place pictures in the annual. 

Sep 19, 2017 - The Houston area Lubbock HS Class of '55 and friends were sad to receive the news that a member of their group had died after a long illness. Don Boggus was a friend of Buddy Holly at LHS.

Sep 25, 2017  - Happy Birthday to Pickering's granddaughter-in-law, Rebecca

Sep 28, 2017 - Houston area LHS Class of '55 and friends met for lunch at Valley Ranch Grill and Bar-B-Que. Shirley Gist was our hostess.

Oct 3, 2017 -    Happy Birthday to Pickering's grandson, Zachary.

Oct 5, 2017 - Vicky played piano for the AARP Alief Chapter luncheon.

Oct 9, 2017 -    Happy Birthday to Pickering's grandson, Landon. (born  on 10-9-87).

Oct 17, 2017Andy Waldrop listed on Facebook that The Buddy Holly Story will be presented by Cypress Woods Theatre Company again. Shirley Gist and Vicky Pickering 'liked" it.

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story   Cypress Woods High School (Cypress, TX).

Cypress Woods Theatre Company has been selected to perform: “Buddy” The Buddy Holly Story” on MainStage at Texas Thespians! Come support your Wildcat Thespians and cheer them on to state!

November 10 and 11 at 7 p.m. $10.00 tickets.


 Several of the Houston area LHS Class of ’55 and friends attended a recent performance of this show. Congratulations to the cast for being selected to perform the show again at Texas Thespians.

      On Facebook "Elders and Karaoke" one of the men said they needed a Buddy Holly song.

Oct 22, 2017Happy Birthday to Pickering's grandson, Jacob.

Oct 29, 2017  -  Echo McGuire Griffith died October 29, 2017 in Carlsbad, NM. She was Buddy Holly's high school girlfriend for 6 years. High School friend of Vicky and  later friend of Vicky and John until his death. She first talked publicly about being Buddy's girlfriend at the LHS Class of '55 40th reunion in Lubbock when Vicky and John introduced her and husband Ron to Bill Griggs and the LHS students. Echo and Ron visited in the Pickering's home and performed music programs with them at various functions. Rest in peace. Rise in glory. She will be missed. She was injured in a car wreck in 2008 and recently had Alzheimer's. Memorial service will be November 7, 2017 in Carlsbad, NM.

Nov 1, 2017 - Happy Anniversary to Lisa (Pickering) and Craig Rees. 

Nov 2, 2017 - Vicky played piano for AARP Alief Chapter luncheon.

Nov 7, 2017 - Memorial Service for Echo McGuire Griffith in Carlsbad, NM.

Nov 10-11, 2017 - Looks like the Cypress Woods Theatre Company made a good showing at the Texas Thespian Festival in November.Copied from Face Book. “Congratulations to Troupe 7050 for an awesome weekend at the Texas Thespian Festival at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX. We learned so much by attending workshops, attending other main stage performances/play marathons, sharing our main stage show Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, building connections through Musicalworks, rehearsing/performing in closing ceremonies and sharing our duet musical on the main stage. It has been a 212 effort all the way. Thank you! The following is a list of our accomplishments: Mainstage: We performed Buddy to over 5,000 students/directors. Sam Hackett (as Buddy) received Best Actor in a Mainstage Performance

Dec 6, 2017 - Houston area Lubbock HS Class of '55 and friends had lunch at Steamboat House/Texas Steakhouse. Owner, Charlie Fogerty talked to the group about owning an art shop in Lubbock in the South Plains Mall at one time. Thanks to Amber for hosting. She is Bobby Hughey's widow.

Dec 7, 2017 - Vicky played piano for AARP Alief Chapter luncheon.

Dec 31, 2017 - Happy Birthday to Pickering's granddaughter, Jansen Rees.


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.