Many musicians are nuts, this is true, but Sorrells Pickard was one musician that was almost more into nuts than he was music. He was a peanut farmer and one of the creators of Sorrells Pickard Gourmet Peanut Butter. But this is not to suggest the man's music was obscured by gobs of gooey mashed nuts. For instance, Beatles fans that are devout enough to investigate solo projects by the Fab Four would have no doubt discovered the fine country album by Ringo Starr, the 1970 Beaucoups of Blues. Pickard wrote four of the songs on this album, considered by some to be the best of Ringo's solo recording ventures. Pickard also played guitar on the record. He also made an album on his own for MCA which included one of the same songs he had contributed to Ringo's album, "$15 Draw." His songs have also been recorded by Slim Whitman and Kenny Price.
He mostly performed close to home in Florida. When the investors behind the peanut butter company met him they almost felt he was some kind of perfect front person for an attempt to create a homespun style of peanut butter. Pickard had grown up on the family peanut farm in Lovedale, FL. He had always had a thing for peanut butter as well as country music and when he wasn't writing songs, found time to put together his own roaster. The goal was to recapture the original flavor of the fresh roasted peanut butter his grandmother had made for him. He seemed involved in peanut butter with a missionary zeal over and beyond a simple interest in creating a profitable product. In May of 2000, he donated 100 cases of his peanut butter to the city of Oakland and its schools. This is apparently enough for about 19,200 sandwiches, by the way. He apparently chose Oakland because of its prominence in peanut butter lore. The first stabilized peanut butter, which means the oil and the butter do not keep separating endlessly, appeared in stores in Oakland in the 1920s. Anyone surprised by this is in good company, mainly the city's officials such as the mayor, who admitted he had no idea Oakland was such an important place for peanut butter until the company started "Pickarding" on him. Pickard was also an actor, although appearances in films such as the 1984 Hardbodies do not suggest Shakespearean in proportion. Pickard's peanut zeal led to the sale of over six million jars of peanut butter in a few short years. The company was in the midst of re-organizing and preparing to relaunch Pickard's signature brand when on July 5, 2003 he died of a heart attack at his home in Jackson Heights.