Formed in 1965, this soul duo consisted of:
James Purify (b. 12th May 1944, Pensacola, Florida, U.S.A. d. 23rd January 2021, Pensacola, Florida, U.S.A.)
Robert Lee Dickey (b. 2nd September 1939, Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.A. d. 29th December 2011, Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.A.)
Ben Moore (b. 7th August 1941, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.)
James Purify and Robert Lee Dickey hailed from Florida.
They are best remembered for their international hit song 'I'm Your Puppet'.
The duo formed as an act in 1965, a year before their big hit.
Robert Dickey was previously a guitarist with the Dothan Sextet.
In 1966 Don Schroeder signed the pair to the Bell Records imprint.
Robert adopted his cousin's surname as the groups stage name, and hit the charts immediately with the Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn written evergreen.
Released in September 1966, 'I'm Your Puppet' b/w 'So Many Reasons' spent 14 weeks in the U.S. chart and sold a reported one million copies.
They followed the hit song with further Bell 45's, including ''Wish You Didn't Have To Go', a remake of the Five Du-Tones 'Shake A Tail Feather', 'Sixteen Tons' and 'Let Love Come Between Us'.
james and bobby purify - 1967 / the pure sound of james and bobby purify - 1968 / you and me together, forever - 1975 / shake a tail feather! - 2002
They continued releasing sides at Bell until 1969, after which, in 1971, Robert retired from the music business for health reasons and returned to Tallahassee.
Ben continued to work as a city maintenance supervisor as well as singing and playing guitar with his church and as a member of the Bethlehem Male Singers.
Robert passed away in December 2011.
James and Bobby Purify continued on in name, after the recruitment of Ben Moore to the line-up.
James and Ben performed as James and Bobby Purify up until the 1980's, releasing a revamped version of 'I'm Your Puppet' in 1976.
The song became a number 12 hit in the U,K., and an album entitled 'You And Me Together, Forever' was released on Casablanca Records.
purified - 1979 / better to have it - 2005
Ben began recording as a solo singer for Mercury Records in 1977, releasing an album called 'Purified' in 1979.
In 1998, Ben became blind from severe glaucoma and left the music industry.
Ray Charles, however, persuaded him to return to recording.
He subsequently released the album 'Better To Have It' in 2005, under the name of Bobby Purify.
Ben joined the gospel band Blind Boys of Alabama.
James Purify sadly died from complications due to the Covid-19 virus, in January 2021.
further information on the passing of Robert Lee Dickey:
Robert L. "Rat" "Bobby" Dickey, 72, retired maintenance supervisor with the City of Tallahassee, TPD, of Tallahassee, passed on Thurs., Dec. 29. A service of celebration will convene at 1pm, Sat. Jan.7, at the Old West Florida Enrichment Center, burial will culminate at the Greater Saint Mark PB Church cemetery in Tallahassee. Deacon Dickey will rest in the mortuary from 3-7pm, Fri.,Jan. 6, at RICHARDSON'S FAMILY FUNERAL CARE OF TALLAHASSEE (850)576-4144.
He was a native of Tallahassee, he was a faithfully member of Greater Saint Mark PB Church where he served on the Deacons Ministry and the lead guitarist for the entire music ministry. He also served in the Brotherhood Ministry & Trustee Board, he also served as the lead guitarist and member of the Bethlehem Male Singers for over 31 years. At a young age he moved from Tallahassee to began his musical career with Bell Records as a singer for the well known musical group known as, " James and Bobby Purify." His greatest hit was "I'm Your Puppet" & "Shake a Tail Feather" . Bobby juke-joint jammin career ended in 1972, when he relocated back to Tallahassee.
He leaves to cherish his memories, his loving & devoted wife: Debra Dickey; children: Robert Lee Dickey. Jr. (Kathy), Michael Dickey, Reginald Dickey (Jamilyah), Jeris Dickey (Stephanie),Shameka Solomon (Keith), Jasmin Williams; Mother-In-Law:Mary Walker; Father-In-Law: McKenzie Henry; Step Mother: Leila Dickey; Siblings: Shadie Ervin, Catherine Butler (James), Eula Dickey, Deborah Zinermon (Kim), Gwendolyn Doyle (Billy), Sylvia Dickey Forte, Carolyn Dorsey, Melvin Dickey (Marilyn), Arnold Dickey (Celina), Cornell Dorsey (Colleen), Samuel Dickey(Lynn), Michael Dickey, Scott Dickey; (18) Grand children; (3) Aunts, (1) Uncle, (1) Great Aunt, (1) God Child, (6) Sisters-In-Law, (1) Brother-In-Law; & a host of other relatives & friends. He was preceded in death by his parents: Mother Ophelia Dickey & Reverend Arthur C. Dickey; Sister: Maria Dickey Woods; Brothers: Henry Lee Dickey & Herbert Lee Dickey
as James & Bobby Purify:
James And Bobby Purify (Bell Records 1967)
The Pure Sound Of The Purify's (Bell Records 1968)
You And Me Together Forever (Casablanca Records 1978)
Shake A Tail Feather (Sundazed Records 2002)
as Ben Moore:
Purified (Casablanca Records 1979)
Purified (Priority Records 1982)
as Bobby Purify:
Better To Have It (Proper Records 1979)