Buddy Holly got the fame, but now AAPG member John W. Pickering , along with his late brotherBill and longtime friend Bob Lapham , known as the vocal trio “The Picks,” will be inducted into the 2007 New Mexico Hall of Fame and Museum in Albuquerque, N.M.
The musical trio is being honored for its musical contribution as backup vocals for rock ‘n’ roll legend Buddy Holly.
Pickering, owner and president of Pickering Enterprises in Houston, began his singing career at age five and sang throughout his adolescence on local Texas radio with his parents and brother in a group known as the Pickering Family Quartet.
Coupling his love for singing with his passion for petroleum exploration, Pickering began his studies in petroleum geology at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, while continuing to sing alongside his brother in other professional quartets.
In 1957, just months away from receiving a bachelor’s degree in petroleum geology, Pickering and his brother were asked by longtime friend and famed rock ‘n’ roll producer Norman Petty to recruit a third singer (Lapham) to create the backup vocals for Buddy Holly and his band, the Crickets, on what would become the number one pop hit, “That’ll Be the Day.”
Because the song was so popular Holly asked the trio to record several other songs with him including, “Oh Boy” and “Maybe Baby,” which were Billboard hits as well.
“It was exciting for me and (The Picks trio),” Pickering said, “to be picked by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty to create a ‘Crickets vocal group-sound’ by adding backup harmonies.”
Along with Pickering’s geologic accomplishments, he has written and published two tribute songs to commemorate the life of Buddy Holly; has recorded numerous secular and gospel songs; and is in the process of writing a book about his musical experiences.
In comparing his double career Pickering had this to say:
“The two careers went along together because geologic prospecting, writing songs and producing records all come from the same desire to create something that is lasting and useful.”
In other words, he’s excelled in two ways that definitely will Not Fade Away.