Ruffin in 1964
|Birth name||Jimmy Lee Ruffin|
|Born|| May 7, 1936 |
Collinsville, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||November 17, 2014 78) (aged|
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
|Associated acts||David Ruffin|
Jimmy Lee Ruffin – November 17, 2014) was an American soul singer, and elder brother of David Ruffin of the Temptations. He had several hit records between the 1960s and 1980s, the most successful being the Top 10 hits "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" and "Hold On (To My Love)".(May 7, 1936
Jimmy Ruffin was born in 1936 in Collinsville, Mississippi, to Eli, a sharecropper, and Ophelia Ruffin.He was approaching his fifth birthday when his younger brother David was born. As children, the brothers began singing with a gospel group, the Dixie Nightingales.
In 1961, Jimmy became a singer as part of the Motown stable, mostly on sessions but also recording singles for its subsidiary Miracle label, but was then drafted for national service.After leaving the Army in 1964, he returned to Motown, where he was offered the opportunity to join the Temptations to replace Elbridge Bryant. However, after hearing his brother David, they hired him for the job instead so Jimmy decided to resume his solo career. Ruffin recorded for Motown's subsidiary Soul label, but with little success.
In 1966, he heard a song about unrequited love written for The Spinners, and persuaded the writers that he should record it himself.His recording of "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" became a major success. The song reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 on the R&B Chart. It also initially reached #8 in the UK singles chart, rising to #4 when it was reissued in the UK in 1974. "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" remains Ruffin's best-known song. It was the lead single from his debut album Jimmy Ruffin Sings Top Ten (released as The Jimmy Ruffin Way in the UK), which was released on the Motown's Soul subsidiary label in 1967. Follow-up singles in America were successful, with "I've Passed This Way Before" and "Gonna Give Her All The Love I've Got" in late 1966 and early 1967.
Ruffin's second album, Ruff 'n' Ready, was released in 1969. It contained the song "Don't You Miss Me a Little Bit Baby", which made the lower parts of the Billboard Hot 100 (#68) and was a Top 30 hit on the R&B Charts, peaking at #27. As a solo artist, it would prove to be Ruffin's last significant chart appearance in America for many years, and his last significant charting record for Motown in the US. The song was also released as the B-side to "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" when it was reissued in 1974.
As Ruffin found success in the United States difficult to sustain, he began to concentrate instead on the British market. In 1970, "Farewell Is A Lonely Sound", "I'll Say Forever, My Love" and "It's Wonderful (To Be Loved By You)" each made the UK Top Ten, and he was voted the world's top singer in one British poll.He also teamed up with brother David to record the album I Am My Brother's Keeper , a modestly successful 1970 album for Motown that included the songs "When The Love Hand Comes Down", "Your Love Was Worth Waiting For" and a cover of Ben E. King's "Stand by Me". His third solo album for the label, The Groove Governor, was released in 1970, and did not fare as well as his previous two albums.
Following the success of his initial hits, Ruffin found it hard to maintain an identity, as most of his songs were later covered by other Motown artists, most prominently "Everybody Needs Love", a hit when covered by Gladys Knight & The Pips for their 1967 debut album of the same name, "Maria (You Were The Only One)", a hit for Michael Jackson and "If You Let Me," a minor hit for Eddie Kendricks. In addition, he had recorded the first version of The Temptations hit "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep".
He then left Motown, and recorded for the Polydor and Chess labels,where he recorded "Tell Me What You Want." In 1980, Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees produced his album Sunrise and the hit single "Hold On To My Love", which reached #10 in the US and #7 in the UK, on the RSO label.
In the 1980s, Ruffin moved to live in Great Britain, where he continued to perform successfully. In December 1984 he collaborated with Paul Weller of The Style Council for his benefit single "Soul Deep", produced to raise money for the families of striking miners affected by the UK miners' strike.This went under the name of The Council Collective and Jimmy appeared with Paul on Radio 1 to say he is involved because his father worked down the mines and "he understands the suffering."
In 1986 he collaborated with the British pop group Heaven 17, singing "A Foolish Thing To Do" and "My Sensitivity" on a 12" EP record. He took part in recording for Ian Levine's Motown revival label, Motorcity Records, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He recorded duets with both Maxine Nightingale and Brenda Holloway.Later, Ruffin hosted a radio show in the UK for a time, and became an anti-drug advocate following the 1991 drug overdose death of his brother David. Ruffin was portrayed by Lamman Rucker in the 1998 mini-series The Temptations .
Following the 2010 release - on CD for the first time - of his 1970 album I Am My Brother's Keeper , Ruffin had been writing and recording songs for a new album that he had planned to release during 2013. It was not finished at the time of his death.
In 2012, a compilation album titled There Will Never Be Another You, including his hit songs "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted", and "Hold On To My Love", had been released.
Ruffin lived in the area of Las Vegas, Nevada. On October 17, 2014, it was reported that he was gravely ill and had been taken into an intensive care unit at a Las Vegas hospital.He died on November 17, 2014, in Las Vegas, aged 78.
Ruffin is buried at Palm Memorial Park Northwest Cemetery, Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada in the Garden of Eternal Life Section.
His siblings were Davis Eli (David), Reada May (Marie), Rosine, and Quincy B (all deceased). His children are Arlet, Philicia, Jimmie Ray (deceased), Jimmy Jr., Ophelia, and Camilla.
|Year||Titles (A-side, B-side)||Label & Catalogue #||Chart positions|
|1961||"Don't Feel Sorry for Me"|
|US: Miracle 1||-||-||-||-|
|1964||"Since I've Lost You"|
b/w "I Want Her Love"
|US: Soul 35002||-||-||-||-|
|1965||"As Long as There Is L-O-V-E Love"|
b/w "How Can I Say I'm Sorry"
|US: Soul 35016||120||-||-||-|
|1966||"What Becomes of the Brokenhearted"|
b/w "Baby I've Got It"
|US: Soul 35022|
UK: Tamla Motown TMG577
|1967||"I've Passed This Way Before"|
b/w "Tomorrow's Tears"
|US: Soul 35027|
UK: Tamla Motown TMG593
|"Gonna Give Her All the Love I've Got"|
b/w "World So Wide Nowhere to Hide"
|US: Soul 35032|
UK: Tamla Motown TMG603
|"Don't You Miss Me a Little Bit Baby"|
b/w "I Want Her Love"
|US: Soul 35035|
UK: Tamla Motown TMG617
|1968||"I'll Say Forever My Love"|
b/w "Everybody Needs Love"
|US: Soul 35043|
UK: Tamla Motown TMG649/740
|"Don't Let Him Take Your Love from Me"|
b/w "Lonely Lonely Man Am I"
|US: Soul 35046|
UK: Tamla Motown TMG664
|1969||"I've Passed This Way Before"|
b/w "Tomorrow's Tears"
|UK: Tamla Motown TMG703||-||-||33||-|
|1970||"Farewell Is a Lonely Sound"|
b/w "If You Will Let Me I Know I Can"
|US: Soul 35060|
UK: Tamla Motown TMG726
|"It's Wonderful (To Be Loved by You)"|
b/w "Maria (You Were the Only One)"
|UK: Tamla Motown TMG753||-||-||6||-|
|"Let's Say Goodbye Tomorrow"|
b/w "Living in a World I Created for Myself"
|UK: Tamla Motown TMG767||-||-||-||-|
|"Maria (You Were the Only One)"|
b/w "Living in a World I Created for Myself"
|US: Soul 35077||97||-||-||-|
|1971||"On the Way Out (On the Way In)"|
b/w "Honey Come Back"
|UK: Tamla Motown TMG784||-||-||-||-|
|"When My Hand Comes Down"|
b/w "Steppin' on a Dream"
|US: Soul 35082||-||-||-||-|
|1972||"Our Favorite Melody"|
b/w "You Gave Me Love"
|US: Soul 35092||-||-||-||-|
b/w "Tears of Joy"
|US: Atco 6926||-||-||-||-|
b/w "Waiting on You"
|UK: Mojo 2092 060||-||-||-||-|
|"Thank You Girl"|
b/w "Do You Know Me"
|UK: Polydor 2058 401||-||-||-||-|
|1974||"What Becomes of the Brokenhearted"|
b/w "Don't You Miss Me a Little Bit Baby"
|UK: Tamla Motown TMG911||-||-||4||-|
|"Farewell Is a Lonely Sound"|
b/w "I Will Never Let You Get Away"
|UK: Tamla Motown TMG922||-||-||30||-|
|"Tell Me What You Want"|
b/w US: "Do You Know Me"
UK: "Going Home"
|US: Chess 2160|
UK: Polydor 2058 433
|1975||"Give You All the Love I've Got"|
b/w "Get On Up"
|UK: Polydor 2058 586||-||-||-||-|
|1977||"Fallin' in Love with You"|
|US: Epic 28-50384 XSS 163023||-||-||-||-|
|1980||"Hold On (To My Love)"|
b/w Instrumental version of A-side
|US: RSO 1021|
UK: RSO 57
|"Night of Love"|
b/w US: "Searchin'"
|US: RSO 1042|
UK: RSO 2090 459
|1985||"There Will Never Be Another You"|
b/w "The Backstabbers"
|UK: EMI 5514||-||-||68||-|
|"That's When My Loving Begins"|
b/w "Don't Stop (Keep on Loving Me Girl)"
|UK: EMI 5524||-||-||-||-|
|"-" denotes release did not chart.|
The Temptations are an American vocal group who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. The group's work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single "Cloud Nine" in October 1968, pioneered psychedelic soul, and was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music. The band members are known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and dress style. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are among the most successful groups in popular music.
David Eli Ruffin was an American soul singer and musician most famous for his work as one of the lead singers of the Temptations (1964–68) during the group's "Classic Five" period as it was later known. He was the lead voice on such famous songs as "My Girl" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg."
"My Girl" is a soul music song recorded by the Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) record label. Written and produced by the Miracles members Smokey Robinson and Ronald White, it became the Temptations' first U.S. number 1 single, and is today their signature song. Robinson's inspiration for writing "My Girl" was his wife, Miracles member Claudette Rogers Robinson. The song was included on the Temptations 1965 album The Temptations Sing Smokey. In 2017, the song was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or artistically significant".
"Just My Imagination " is a song by American soul group The Temptations, written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong. Released on the Gordy (Motown) label, and produced by Norman Whitfield, it features on the group's 1971 album, Sky's the Limit. When released as a single, "Just My Imagination" became the third Temptations song to reach number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The single held the number 1 position on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart for two weeks in 1971, from March 27 to April 10. "Just My Imagination" also held the number one spot on the Billboard R&B Singles chart for three weeks, from February 27 to March 20 of that year.
"Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" is a Motown song written by Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong, and Janie Bradford. The song was first recorded by The Temptations as a track on their 1966 album Gettin' Ready. Eddie Kendricks sings lead on the recording, which was produced by Whitfield. Jimmy Ruffin also recorded a version with The Temptations providing background vocals in 1966. It remained unreleased until 1997.
The Originals, often called "Motown's best-kept secret", were a successful Motown R&B and soul group during the late 1960s and the 1970s, most notable for the hits "Baby, I'm For Real", "The Bells", and the disco classic "Down To Love Town." Formed in 1966, the group originally consisted of baritone singer Freddie Gorman, tenor/falsetto Walter Gaines, and tenors C. P. Spencer and Hank Dixon. Ty Hunter replaced Spencer when he left to go solo in the early 1970s. They had all previously sung in other Detroit groups, Spencer having been an original member of The (Detroit) Spinners and Hunter having sung with The Supremes member Scherrie Payne in the group Glass House. Spencer, Gaines, Hunter, and Dixon were also members of The Voice Masters. As a member of the Holland–Dozier–Gorman writing-production team, Gorman was one of the co-writers of Motown's first number 1 pop hit "Please Mr. Postman", recorded by The Marvelettes. In 1964 The Beatles released their version and in 1975 The Carpenters took it to number 1 again. This was the second time in pop history that a song had reached number 1 twice as "The Twist" by Chubby Checker, reached number 1 in both 1960 and 1961. In 2006, "Please Mr. Postman" was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
"Since I Lost My Baby" is a 1965 hit single recorded by The Temptations for the Motown Records' Gordy label. Written by Miracles members Smokey Robinson and Pete Moore and produced by Robinson, the song was a top 20 pop single on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, on which it peaked at number 17. On Billboard's R&B singles chart, "Since I Lost My Baby" peaked at number four.
Sky's the Limit is the fourteenth studio album by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label released in 1971. The album includes the #1 hit "Just My Imagination ", the Top 40 hit "Ungena Za Ulimwengu ", and the original version of "Smiling Faces Sometimes", later a Top 5 hit for The Undisputed Truth.
The Temptations with a Lot o' Soul is the fifth studio album by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label released in 1967. Featuring four hit singles, With a Lot o' Soul is the most successful Temptations album from their "classic 5" era, during which David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams constituted the Temptations' lineup.
"Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" is a 1964 song, written by Norman Whitfield and Edward Holland, Jr., and produced by Whitfield. Norman Whitfield recorded the song's instrumental track. Two years later, Whitfield got together with Eddie Holland to have lyrics written for the song.
That's the Way Love Is is the tenth studio album by soul musician Marvin Gaye, released on January 8, 1970, on the Tamla (Motown) label. Built on the success of the title track originally taken from M.P.G., and much like Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" after its success, was released with intent to sell albums based on the success of one particular single. Gaye was showing signs of disillusionment from the label's powers-that-be mentality but it didn't affect the singer's performance as he gave a powerful vocal in the title track and was especially impressive with his version of The Beatles' "Yesterday". He achieved some success with a cover version of "How Can I Forget?", which just missed out on the US Pop Top 40, making #41, and reached #18 on the R&B Charts. Its B-side, a cover of Jimmy Ruffin's "Gonna Give Her All the Love I've Got", made a separate chart entry, and peaked at #67 and #27 on the Pop and Soul Charts respectively. Gaye also recorded a version of Ruffin's "Don't You Miss Me a Little Bit Baby" for the album. The LP also features Gaye's rendition of the socially conscious tune "Abraham, Martin & John", which became a hit in the UK, peaking at #9 in June 1970. The single is widely regarded as a hint of what would follow a year later with his What's Going On. He also covered The Temptations' hits "I Wish It Would Rain" and "Cloud Nine".
"What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" is a hit single recorded by Jimmy Ruffin and released on Motown Records' Soul label in the summer of 1966. It is a ballad, with lead singer Jimmy Ruffin recalling the pain that befalls the brokenhearted, who had love that's now departed. The song essentially deals with the struggle to overcome sadness while seeking a new relationship after a breakup.
"Baby, I'm for Real" is a soul ballad written by Marvin Gaye and Anna Gordy Gaye, produced by Marvin and recorded and released by American Motown vocal group The Originals for the Soul label issued in 1969.
"(Loneliness Made Me Realize) It's You That I Need" is a 1963 song that became a 1967 hit single recorded by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label, produced and co-written by Norman Whitfield. This is one of the small handful of pre-psychedelic era songs the group recorded that had more than two members singing lead at one point, and the only one that charted. It peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop charts in the Top 20 at number 14, and in the Billboard R&B charts at number 3.
"It's Growing" is a 1965 hit single by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label. Written by Miracles members Smokey Robinson and Pete Moore and produced by Robinson, the song was a top 20 pop single on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, on which it peaked at number 18. On Billboard's R&B singles chart, "It's Growing" peaked at number 3.
"Gonna Give Her All the Love I've Got" is a 1967 Soul song, originally recorded and made a hit by Jimmy Ruffin on Motown's Soul Label imprint. Ruffin's 1967 original version, from his album Jimmy Ruffin Sings Top Ten, reached the Pop Top 30, peaking at #29, and was a Top 20 R&B Hit as well, peaking at #14. It was also a hit in Britain, reaching #26 on the UK Singles Chart. The song has a social context: it depicts a man anticipating his release from prison on the morrow, when he'll return home on a train to "the girl that I left behind," promising himself that he will reward her steadfast love for him by "giv[ing] her all the love [he's] got." The song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong and produced by Whitfield.
Motown Chartbusters is a series of compilation albums first released by EMI under licence on the Tamla Motown label in Britain. In total, 12 editions were released in the UK between 1967 and 1982. Volumes 1 and 2 were originally called British Motown Chartbusters; after this the title Motown Chartbusters was used.
The Ultimate Collection is a compact disc by The Temptations, released on Motown Records, catalogue 314530562-2, in March 1997. It is a collection of singles comprising many of the group's greatest hits, with liner notes written by producer Harry Weinger.
William Henry Weatherspoon was an American songwriter and record producer, best known for his work for Motown Records in the 1960s. He co-wrote "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted", an international hit for Jimmy Ruffin, and many other hit songs.
"Don't You Miss Me a Little Bit Baby" is a 1967 soul song originally recorded by Motown singer Jimmy Ruffin and released on the company's Soul subsidiary label.