Jimmy Ruffin was a soul singer signed to Motown in the 1960s and early 1970s.
He was almost five years old when his brother David Ruffin was born. As children, the two began singing together in a gospel group, The Dixie Nightingales. He initially signed with Motown in 1961, recording mostly backing vocals, and one solo single. He then returned to work at a local car factory for several years, but returned to Motown in 1964. Jimmy was given the opportunity to replace Elbridge Bryant of The Temptations but they hired his brother David after hearing him sing (sorry, Jimmy).
He instead resumed his solo recording career, initally with little success, but had a massive hit with his 1966 single “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted?”. Jimmy continued recording for Motown through the late 1960s and into the 1970s, finding more success in the UK than in America. He left Motown in the mid-1970s and recorded for several other labels, even joining in on the disco scene with his hit song “Hold On (To My Love)” in 1980.
He moved to Britain in the 1980s, where he continued to perform successfully, collaborating with several other artists and even hosting a radio show. He had recorded for Ian Levine’s Motorcity Records around 1990 and was in the process of writing and recording songs for a new album that he had planned to release when he passed away, in 2014.
Marvellous Motown currently recommends seven songs by Jimmy Ruffin – click on the link above for our archive or click on a specific song below:
- WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKENHEARTED?
- HE WHO PICKS A ROSE (8.5/10)
- GONNA GIVE HER ALL THE LOVE I’VE GOT
- DON’T YOU MISS ME A LITTLE BIT, BABY?
- EVERYBODY NEEDS LOVE
- TOO BUSY THINKING ‘BOUT MY BABY
- FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND
- ON THE WAY OUT (ON THE WAY IN)