Motown legend Martha Reeves has paid tribute to the singer Jimmy Ruffin, who has died in Las Vegas at the age of 78.
Ruffin recorded his best known song, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, for Motown in 1966. His brother David was lead singer in The Temptations, who also scored a string of hits for Berry Gordy Jr’s label in the 1960s and 70s.
Former labelmate Reeves told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Jimmy was there prior to David becoming a Temptation. He always boasted he was going to be a Temptations member, but he gave them David – he thought he would fit better. Him being a soloist, he thought they would appreciate David as a member. He was absolutely right.”
Reeves fondly recalled singing with Jimmy Ruffin on Edwin Starr’s Dancing in the Streets tour in 2002. “He instructed me on What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, it had so many lyrics. Nobody could ever sing it as well as he did.”
She added: “It was a wonderful album he and David made [I Am My Brother’s Keeper, in 1970]. They did He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother – it was a wonderful rendition of that song.”
Martha Reeves performs at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds on December 21. For details visit http://www.brudenellsocialclub.co.uk/whats-on/martha-reeves/