Jimmy Ruffin will be most remembered as the singer of What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted, a hit for Tamla Motown on both sides of the Atlantic in 1966 and then again in 1974. The song was written by James Dean, Paul Riser and William Weatherspoon and was originally intended for The Detroit Spinners. Jimmy Ruffin’s brother was David Ruffin, The Temptation’s lead singer and legend has it that either of them could have filled that role but Jimmy thought that David might do a better job of being part of a band. David Ruffin was apparently responsible for talking the songwriters into letting Jimmy sing it. David Ruffin died tragically at the age of 50 in 1991 after years of drug abuse. The made an album together, I Am My Brother’s keeper in 1970.
What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted has become a standard as has been covered by multiple artists including Diana Ross & The Supremes and by my favourite singer Colin Blunstone as part of Dave Stewart’s Synth Pop interpretation of the song released in 1980.
RIP Jimmy Ruffin, condolences to his family for their loss and the loss of one fantastic Soul singer.
His obituary in The Independent newspaper is linked below: