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Buddy Holly Appreciation Society of Ontario

John Pickering (The Picks)













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A Voice behind Buddy and The Crickets.

picks1.jpg
The Picks, John on left
















John Winton Pickering, 77, died of complications following a stroke on Feb. 28 in Houston, according to his wife, Vicky Pickering.

Her husband worked as a petroleum geologist for 53 years, she said.

To music fans, and especially fans of the late Buddy Holly, Pickering will be remembered as a member of vocal group The Picks.

The Picks are heard singing backup for Buddy Holly & The Crickets on nine of the songs featured on 2011 retrospective “Buddy Holly, Not Fade Away.”

The trio — John Pickering, lead; brother Bill Pickering, tenor; and friend and fellow Texas Tech student Bob Lapham, baritone — made a name for themselves as The Picks when asked by producer Norman Petty in 1957 to overdub harmony backup vocals on nine Holly tunes on the “The Chirping Crickets” LP on Brunswick Records.

This was the only album released while Buddy Holly was still alive.

Songs enhanced by The Picks were “Oh Boy,” “Maybe Baby,” “Tell Me How,” “It’s Too Late,” “Rock Me My Baby,” “Send Me Some Loving,” “An Empty Cup,” “Last Night” and “You Got Love.”

Mentioned on a Picks website is that The Picks were named “Most Promising Group” in 1957.

However, The Picks never received credit for their work on “The Chirping Crickets” during Holly’s lifetime. Not until 30 years later, when MCA Records re-released “The Chirping Crickets” in 1987, did fans learn of The Picks’ involvement.

Bill Pickering, a former KLLL-FM disc jockey who was the first to play Holly’s Decca single “Blue Days, Black Nights,” died on Jan. 25, 1985.

Lapham, a former newspaper editor, is retired in Abilene. He also wrote a novel, which juggles facts and fiction in entertaining fashion, called “Meet Me At The River Buddy Holly.”

John Pickering, said Vicky, also performed with The Pickering Brothers, The Pickering Family Quartet and various other music ensembles.
















Brian Wilson
7 Brimley Road South
Toronto
(647) 500-3982