Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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I’m Your Puppet

Co-written and first recorded by Dan Penn (1965).
Hit version by James & Bobby Purify (US #6/R&B #5 1966 |UK #12 1976).

From the wiki: “Dan Penn’s writing credits read like a soul jukebox. Often working with his friend Spooner Oldham, Penn (who kept busy performing, producing and songwriting at Muscle Shoal’s famed FAME studio) was behind many of the defining songs from the most celebrated black singers of the Sixties: James Carr’s ‘The Dark End of the Street’; Aretha Franklin’s ‘Do Right Man, Do Right Woman’; Percy Sledge’s ‘It Tears Me Up’; Otis Redding’s ‘You Left The Water Running’; and James and Bobby Purify’s ‘I’m Your Puppet’.

“Penn also produced many hits including ‘The Letter’ by The Box Tops. Though considered to be one of the great white soul singers of his generation, Penn released relatively few records featuring his own vocals and musicianship, preferring the relative anonymity of songwriting and producing.

“James & Bobby Purify (in reality, Bobby Dickey was a cousin of James Purify), were an R&B singing duo from Florida. The pair were signed to Bell Records in 1966, with Dickey taking his cousin’s surname as a stage name. Their first Bell single, ‘I’m Your Puppet’ spent 14 weeks on the US chart and sold an estimated one million copies. Dickey retired from the music business in 1971 for health reasons and returned to Tallahassee, FL. Purify then worked as a solo singer until 1974, when songwriter Penn introduced him to Ben Moore. Moore adopted the stage name ‘Bobby Purify’, and the new duo toured together until the 1980s. They re-recorded ‘I’m Your Puppet’ in 1976, which became a #12 hit in the UK, and one final album together, Purify Bros..”

James & Bobby Purify, “I’m Your Puppet” (1968):

James & Bobby Purify, “I’m Your Puppet” UK re-recording (1976):