Singer Jimmy Ruffin passed away on Monday. A cause of death has not been released. He was 78.
Ruffin was the older brother of David Ruffin who gained fame and fortune with The Temptations. Originally, The Temptations had offered the elder Ruffin the chance to replace Elbridge Bryant, but when David Ruffin sang, everyone listened.
It’s not that Jimmy Ruffin wasn’t plenty good. He just got lost in the Motown shuffle. He did have a huge hit in 1966 with “What Becomes of The Broken Hearted” which is a Motown standard. Some modest success with “I’ve Passed This Way Before” and “Gonna Give Her All The Love I Got”. But for whatever reason, he never became an A player at Motown.
Ruffin had better success as a Northern Soul act in Britain and did have one more Transatlantic hit in 1980 with “Hold On To My Love” which was written for him by Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees.
But sometimes all it takes is one really good song for an artist to have an impact for generations. “What Becomes of The Broken Hearted” has been covered by the likes of The Supremes, The Zombies, Boy George, Paul Young, Joe Cocker, Joan Osborne, Rod Stewart, Martin McBride and Ronnie Milsap. But nobody sang like it Jimmy Ruffin.
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