2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life

Jimmy Ruffin passed away last year. Another soul legend gone

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I almost missed this one. I saw the obituary and put it to one side where it got mis-filed.

So better late than never. One of Motown‘s finest voices who will be remembered for his 1966 hit;  “What becomes of the brokenhearted”.

After that hit he never really followed up and blamed Motown for lack of promotion (it was 3 years before they released a follow-up and in the meantime he was still working on the car production lines). Mary Wells had secured him the audition but he had to fight to get the song released by him as it was originally written for the Detroit Spinners,

He left the label in 1970 after struggling to get first choice to record songs given to other artists in the Motown stable.

He was also overshadowed by his younger brother David who was the lead singer of the Temptations, a job he turned down recommending his brother instead.

He moved to Britain and lived here for 30 years recording with Heaven 17 and Paul Weller (a song called Soul Deep released under the name The Council Collective to raise money for the striking miners. He later denied he understood the political message).

After his brother’s death from a cocaine overdose he became a staunch anti-drugs campaigner. He returned to America where he died in November 2014 aged 78.


Author: mikethepsych

He says he's a psychologist but aren't we all?

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