Boneyard Media

Song ID: Dickey Lee – “Red, Green, Yellow and Blue” (1968)


Dickey Lee made out well during the early ’60s death rock craze. In the ’62 hit single “Patches,” one girlfriend ends up dead in the ditch, while in the following year’s “Laurie,” another one’s passed on long before Dickey even meets her (it’s a musical version of the sweater-on-a-gravestone urban legend). By 1968 he was still dabbling in tragedy. “Red, Green, Yellow and Blue,” which just missed Billboard‘s Hot 100, captures a presumably Brylcreemed and becardiganed Dickey leaping frantically around town over the news that his girlfriend’s gone to San Francisco, aka Drugs. “You’re halfway up your rainbow, girl, by now,” he yelps, while Charles Chalmers’ orchestration gives it all the moody atmosphere those earlier records only yearned for.

Dickey Lee – “Red, Green, Yellow and Blue”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

5 Responses to “Song ID: Dickey Lee – “Red, Green, Yellow and Blue” (1968)”

  1. Vanita Monsey Says:

    Thanks so much for posting this. I have looked for this song for 40 years. People thought I was crazy because noone could find it. It was one of my favorites. This is the first time I have heard it since 1968. Again…….THANKS!!!!

  2. Kim Says:

    My pleasure – it’s one of my favorites too.

  3. roy chapman Says:

    Like above I just kept searching for this song with likely and unlikely keywords. Because I only knew a few words– I went down uptown looking for you and the colors, not much, eh?–nobody had ever heard of it and of course they thought I was making it up. Finally, it came to me for any song connect it to the word billboard. Certainly if it’s memorable, it charted. Well this one didn’t and that’s how I found it.

    I always connected it to “Different Drum” because they were popular at the same time on WCOL in Columbus OH. And I have a memory of it being an upbeat song with a better ending because I also connected it to another song that I finally found by the Partridge Family, “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted.” Its lyrics say “I go downtown and roam all around, But every street I walk I find another dead end.” Wrong. Again!

  4. Kim Says:

    Love that Partridge Family connection! Glad you were able to find this, at last. “Red, Green, Yellow and Blue” barely missed the Billboard Hot 100 – it “bubbled under” at #107.

  5. Donald F. Reid Says:

    OMG I’ve FOUND it!!!!…it only took 44 years, but wow, here it is.

    I was in the US Air Force at the time, and my high school sweetheart did exactly what happened on the record. 32 years later we re connected and are now best friends. (She’s still in Calif. and I remain back east.)

Leave a Reply