First recorded by Jimmy Isle (1960).
Hit version by Dickey Lee (US #6 1962).
From the wiki:”‘Patches’ (not to be confused with Clarence Carter’s ‘Patches‘) was written by Barry Mann (‘We Gotta Get Out of This Place‘, ‘Venus in Blue Jeans‘, ‘Never Gonna Let You Go‘) and Larry Kobler imagining a ‘Romeo & Juliet’ scenario. The song tells in waltz-time the story of teenage lovers of different social classes whose parents forbid their love. The girl drowns herself in the ‘dirty old river.’ The singer concludes: ‘It may not be right, but I’ll join you tonight/ Patches I’m coming to you.’
“‘Patches’ was first recorded by Jimmy Isle for Everest Records in 1960 but which did not have any chart impact. Two years later, in 1962, Dickey Lee would cover the song. Because of its teen-suicide theme, the song was banned on a number of US radio stations. Still, it sold over one million copies, was awarded a gold disc, and peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at #6.
“Lee followed-up ‘Patches’ with a #14 hit in 1963, a song he co-wrote, a conventional rocker, ‘I Saw Linda Yesterday’. In 1965, Lee returned to the US Top-20 with another teen tragedy titled ‘Laurie (Strange Things Happen)’, a song related to the urban legends known as the vanishing hitchhiker and Resurrection Mary.
“Lee had achieved his first songwriting chart success in 1962 when his composition, ‘She Thinks I Still Care’, was a hit for George Jones (and later recorded by Elvis Presley, Connie Francis, and Leon Russell, and Anne Murray as ‘He Thinks I Still Care’). Other Lee originals were ‘Angels, Roses, and Rain’, and ‘9,999,999 Tears’. He also co-wrote several songs with Bob McDill, including ‘Someone Like You’ (by Emmylou Harris).”
Dickey Lee, “Patches” (1962):