Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I COULD NEVER LOVE ANOTHER: DAVID RUFFIN




The Temptations were the most consistently successful of the guy bands at Motown. The original line up with David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks as the lead singers in my opinion have never been topped. The many incarnations of the groups had future successes as well but that raw sexual voice of David Ruffin was irreplaceable.



Davis Eli Ruffin (January 18, 1941 – June 1, 1991)

Fabulous Soulful lead singer of The Classic Five (Original) Temptations from 1964 to 1968 David was the lead voice on such famous songs as "My Girl" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and many more. Known for his unique sexy raspy and anguished vocals, Ruffin is one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 for his work with the Temptations.

Smokey Robinson saw Ruffin’s unique voice that was "mellow" yet "gruff". Robinson thought that if he could write just the perfect song for Ruffin's voice, then he could have a smash hit. That song, "My Girl" recorded in November 1964 and released a month later, became the group's first #1 single and its signature song, and elevated Ruffin to the role of lead singer and front man.


He was just home from a British tour with ex-Temptations Eddie Kendricks and Dennis Edwards. Friends said he was carrying proceeds from the tour of somewhere between $10,000 and $40,000.

On June 1, 1991 after a whole evening of drinking in a Philadelphia bar, Ruffin purchased several vials of crack cocaine at 2:00 a.m., by 2:25 a.m., the cocaine was gone and Ruffin was unconscious. David's final performance in a crack house had lasted 25 minutes, and there would be no encore.

Twenty-five minutes later, he was dumped from a loaned limousine at the emergency room of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, the driver told hospital staffers that Ruffin had overdosed, then quickly left. By 4:00 a.m., fifty-five minutes after he was admitted, the 50-year-old former motown star, who once rolled up to concerts in a mink-lined limo apart form the rest of his group, was, dead, with $53 in his pockets.

It was only when the FBI did a fingerprint check that the singer was positively identified. His death was ruled accidental, due to an adverse reaction to cocaine and other drugs.

Ruffin had been in and out of rehabilitation centers since 1967, and in 1987 was sent to jail because of a drug-related parole violation.

Ruffin's funeral was held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, June 10, 1991, amidst huge crowds of mourners at New Bethel Baptist Church, during which members of The Temptations sung "My Girl" en masse. Following the services, David was laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetary in Detroit.

4 comments:

Beth said...

No matter how many times I hear the story of such talented musicians and their tragic, drug-related deaths, it still bothers me and makes me feel sad that no one could help them, and they couldn't help themselves.

RetroKimmer said...

Rehab wasn't in style then but he did go many times and lots of people did try to save him. But the Tempts were never the same in my opinion

Carol in Y said...

Hey Kim! You're right on...David was good....Hugs, Carol

RetroKimmer said...

The obituary is from David's website part of the intro is me and some from Wiki
Iadded his webpage which I usually do but I must have forgotten this one.

thanks Leo!

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