Dickey Lee is a singer/songwriter who met with success on both the country and pop charts. In a career that has spanned several decades, Dickey met with most of his pop success in the early 60's.
He was born Dickey Lipscomb in 1941 in Memphis. In high school he played football and was a boxer, in addition to heading up a band called the Collegiates. He began as a country singer but switched to rock-and-roll. Dickey Lee moved to Santa Barbara, California where he had a radio series for a while before going back to Memphis. He recorded at the legendary Sun Records there as far back as 1957, and eventually worked as a producer at Sun with Allen Reynolds and Jack Clement. He attended Memphis State University (now called Memphis University) and received his degree in commercial art.
Lee moved to Beaumont, Texas and a song that he had written, She Thinks I Still Care, was recorded by George Jones and became a number one hit on the country chart. This was Lee's first big success as a songwriter. In 1962 a song titled Patches which he had recorded was released on the Smash label. Written by Barry Mann and Larry Kobler and produced by Clement in Beaumont, the song became a million seller. One of the "teenage disaster" songs which were popular at the time, it reached the pop top ten. Dickey Lee followed it with I Saw Linda Yesterday the same year and the cryptic Laurie (Strange Things Happen) in 1965. These were to be his only three records to enter the pop top forty.
His real love was country music. Dickey Lee moved to Nashville in 1970. He signed with RCA and producer Allen Reynolds. His second single for that label was Never Ending Song Of Love which made the country top ten and began a string of country hits for Dickey Lee in the 70's. The most successful of these was Rocky, a #1 country hit.
He moved on to the Mercury label in the late 70's and put out some very good albums which were not as successful commercially as some of his earlier work. He turned his attention to songwriting and came up with some hits for artists such as Glen Campbell, Tammy Wynette and Brenda Lee.
To most fans of 60's pop music, Dickey Lee will always be best remembered for his teenage disaster song from 1962, Patches.
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