Country songwriter Dickey Lee began his career recording for the Sun label. He was born Dickey Lipscomb on September 21, 1936, in Memphis and began playing in a band while in high school. The group won several talent shows, earning them a spot on a local radio station. Deejay Dewey Phillips convinced Sun Records to sign Dickey Lee, so the singer recorded two singles in 1957, "Good Lovin'" and "Fool, Fool, Fool." Neither did especially well, so he moved to Texas and continued to play. Dickey Lee finally hit the big time in early 1962 when George Jones took his song "She Thinks I Still Care" to the top of the country charts, where it stayed for six weeks. The record became one of Jones' biggest hits and also hit number one when Anne Murray recorded it in 1974.
On the wings of Jones, Lee's "Patches" hit number six on the pop charts in August 1962; "I Saw Linda Yesterday" entered the same year and ended up at number 14 early in 1963. Lee recorded one other pop hit, 1965's "Laurie (Strange Things Happen)," but then focused strictly on production and songwriting during the late '60s. Persuaded to return to Nashville in 1969, he signed to RCA and in 1971 recorded a modest hit called "The Mahogany Pulpit." Dickey Lee's next single, "Never Ending Song of Love," crashed the country Top Ten in late 1971 and eventually reached number eight. He continued to record over the course of the '70s, usually peaking in the Top 30s and 40s except for two massive hits — "Rocky," which topped the charts in 1975, and its number three follow-up, "9,999,999 Tears."
Lee stayed with RCA until 1978 and re-emerged on Mercury a year later. His two highlights during the Mercury years were Top 30 singles from 1980, "Workin' My Way to Your Heart" and "Lost in Love." The latter, a duet with Kathy Burdick, became a pop hit for Air Supply the same year. After his contract expired, Lee continued to write songs and perform on occasional package shows.
Royden Dickey Lipscomb(born 21 September 1936, Memphis, Tennessee), known professionally as Dickey Lee (sometimes misspelled Dickie Lee or Dicky Lee), is an American pop/country singer and songwriter, best known for the 1960s teenage tragedy songs "Patches" and "Laurie (Strange Things Happen)."
Lee made his first recordings in his hometown of Memphis for Tampa Records and Sun Records in 1957-58. He achieved his first chart success in 1962, when his composition "She Thinks I Still Care" was a hit for George Jones (covered by Elvis Presley, Connie Francis and later Anne Murray as "He Thinks I Still Care"). Later that year, "Patches," written by Barry Mann and Larry Kobler and recorded by Lee for Smash Records, rose to #6. 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." Because of the teen suicide theme, the song was banned by a number of radio stations.
Lee had a #14 hit in 1963 with a song he co-wrote, a conventional rocker, "I Saw Linda Yesterday." In 1965, he returned to teen tragedy with "Laurie (Strange Things Happen)" a song related to the urban legends known as the vanishing hitchhiker and Resurrection Mary.
After the 1960s, Lee devoted his efforts to country music performing and songwriting. His 1970s country hits as a singer include "Never Ending Song of Love," "Rocky" (another bitter-sweet song, written by Jay Stevens of Springfield, MO - a.k.a. Woody P. Snow), "Angels, Roses, and Rain," and "9,999,999 Tears."
He co-wrote the 1994 Tracy Byrd hit "The Keeper of the Stars," and has written or co-written songs for a number of other prominent country artists, including George Strait, Charlie Pride, and Reba McEntire.
He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1995. Lee is included as co-writer and singer on singer-songwriter Michael Saxells 2005 album Wonky Windmill on the song Two Men.