Singer of 'I'm Your Puppet' Dies in Florida at 72

January 4, 2012 - 2:31 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Robert Dickey, a guitarist and singer in the group that recorded the hit song "I'm Your Puppet," has died.

The 72-year-old died in his hometown of Tallahassee on Dec. 29. His death was confirmed by a Tallahassee funeral home. No cause was given.

Dickey began his musical career during the '60s and spent time touring with various soul and rhythm and blues singers such as Otis Redding. He eventually became part of the soul group "James and Bobby Purify."

The duo had its biggest hit in the fall of 1966 when "I'm Your Puppet" hit the Top 10. The group has also had a hit with a rendition of "Shake Your Tail Feather."

Dickey told The Tallahassee Democrat back in 2000 that he never liked "I'm Your Puppet," which was written by Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn, who also authored other hits from the same time period.

"I hated it," Dickey told the newspaper when he was honored as part of a Florida rock and roll exhibition held at the Museum of Florida History. "It was originally intended to be the B-side. But things got changed ... I sang it for 23 hours straight (in the studio), that's why I hate it."

Dickey wound up quitting his professional music career and returned to Tallahassee in 1972. He became a city maintenance supervisor but he also kept singing and playing guitar with his church and as a member of the Bethlehem Male Singers.