Pamela Thompson Pickett: You Will Be Missed!

In Loving Memory (2)

By:  Ann Bell Nicholson

Pam was born to parents, Eula Mae and Jeff Thompson. They were Tulsa residents. She was an only child. She was born on December 31, 1951 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pam graduated from Bishop Kelley High School and then the University of Oklahoma.

While a student in Norman OK, Pam joined a band called Sailor, her first professional singing job.  Upon her return to Tulsa after finishing college, Pam attended a gig I was doing and from the crowd, I could hear her beautiful singing following along with me. I invited her on stage where she shyly, yet joyfully began to sing with our group.   Years later, she shared with me that this was the beginning of her Tulsa singing career!  With our shared love for life and music, we instantly became best friends. Pam sang with me in Phil Driscoll’s Band In St. Louis from 1972 to 1973. We returned to Tulsa in 1973 and she began singing with me in a band I had with Tulsa artist, Jim Sweney.

It wasn’t long until I introduced Pam to the great Leon Russell. She auditioned for Leon for the 1975 GAP Band tour.  It didn’t take long for Leon to see her talents and she was hired! Pam was also was a member of The Magic Empire and The Mystery Band before moving to California. She met her husband, Andre Pickett, in Los Angeles soon after she moved there.

Not only was Pam my best friend, but she was also like a sister to me. Although my spirit is heavy, I am rejoicing for her entrance into heaven.


Rusty Russell

Rusty Russell spent his high school and college years in Wichita, Kansas, attending Wichita State University on a trumpet performance schollarship. His dabbling on guitar became an obsession, and he left school for a years-long stint in Denver, playing in club bands and teaching guitar privately. After a brief return to Kansas, Rusty answered a call for a road gig based in Nashville. From 1984 until his move to Tulsa in 2019, Rusty worked in Nashville as a guitarist and bassist on tours, in clubs, and in recording studios. He also built careers in journalism (a decade as Nashville Editor for Guitar Player Magazine, writing hundreds of articles for GP and other national publications) and photography. Rusty was a contract shooter for Getty Images, and also shot dozens of album/CD and magazine covers & articles. His musical road work includes touring with artists like Louise Mandrell, George Fox, Blues legends Charles “Wigg” Walker and Johnny Jones, and The Burrito Brothers (on bass). After thirty-six years in Nashville, Rusty moved with his wife, Lynn, to Tulsa to be near his extended family. He’s currently busy with club work, a few recording sessions, and teaching advanced guitar students.

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  1. Cheri on June 17, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    She sounds like she was a wonderful person and she had a great voice. May she meet up with all her friends and loved ones and I hope her and Leon get to sing together for the heavens to hear.

    • Teresa Knox on June 18, 2019 at 8:12 am

      She really was wonderful! Thank you for your comment, Cheri.

  2. Marcella Levy on June 18, 2019 at 3:18 am

    I was so sorry to learn of Pam’s passing. She was a lovely person with a big heart and great talent. She will be missed xox

    • Teresa Knox on June 18, 2019 at 8:13 am

      Thank you for commenting Marcy! She certainly did have a big heart!

  3. Rodney Nelson on June 30, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Pam you will Never be forgotten and to Andre and the family you have my condolences and I will pray that you have the strength to get through this time of bereavement.

  4. Ralph W. Cato on October 28, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    I worked with Pam at USC back in the 80’s and she was a great colleague. I haven’t seen her since that time and was saddened to learn that she passed away last year.
    Rest in peace, my dear Pam.


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