January 5, 2012
Member of soul duo James and Bobby Purify
Robert Dickey, 72, a guitarist and singer in the soul duo James and Bobby Purify, which recorded the 1960s hit song "I'm Your Puppet," died Dec. 29 in his hometown of Tallahassee, Fla. No cause was given for his death, which was confirmed by a Tallahassee funeral home.
Dickey began his musical career during the 1960s and toured with the Dothan Sextet on the rhythm and blues circuit before joining James Purify in a harmonizing duo.
The James and Bobby Purify duo had its biggest hit in the fall of 1966 when "I'm Your Puppet" made the top 10. They also had hits with a rendition of "Shake Your Tail Feather" and "Let Love Come Between Us."
Dickey told the Tallahassee Democrat in 2000 that he never liked "I'm Your Puppet," which was written by Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn, who also penned other hits from the same time period.
"I sang it for 23 hours straight" in the studio, he said. "That's why I hate it."
Dickey quit his professional music career and returned to Tallahassee in 1972. He became a city maintenance supervisor but also sang and played guitar with his church.
-- Los Angeles Times wire reports
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