James and Bobby Purify -- You Left the Water Running
James & Bobby Purify -- You Left the Water Running
James Purify and Robert Lee Dickey are two soul-singers from Florida, best known for their version of "I'm Your Puppet" (which Soul Sides posted some time back).
James Purify started singing in a local band in Tallahassee in the late 1950s; Bobby Dickey joined on guitar in 1965 and the two of them went to cut some tracks for Papa don Schroeder, a songwriter and producer, not long after. Their first big hit was "I'm Your Puppet," which reached #6 on Billboard's pop charts in 1966. By that time Dickey had been renamed to "Purify" in a phone conversation between Papa Don Schroeder and Larry Uttal, and the two of them began cutting more sides. Most of them charted; there's some difference in sound throughout their work--from deep soul to Philly soul to protest songs to rocking throwbacks to 1950s music--but they all tend to be solid work.
After awhile resentment over money got in the way of the band's recording and Dickey left. The Shake a Tail Feather liner notes mention some speculation about whether Purify double-tracked his voice on the last recordings or if he had Buddy Grubbs in to sing; allmusic.com doesn't mention double-tracking or Buddy Grubbs, but says that Purify replaced Bobby Dickey with Ben Moore.
"You Left the Water Running" has been covered by a number of others, including Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. The performance is great, but I think I like the lyrics most for their implied puzzlement, the love that remains, and that defensive impulse shown in the wrongs recited--all the reasons he's trying to convince himself he shouldn't care. He's not doing such a good job of it.
[Shake a Tail Feather: The Best of James & Bobby Purify]