I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Some of the best soul music comes from these artists who are damn near crying and screaming the whole song. It was confirmed when Daryl Hall of Hall and Oats (arguably a great soul group in their own right) said he felt David Ruffin was ‘crying in tune’ when he explained his singing.
I know we keep these post short and to the point and we will, but there is simply so much to be said about David Ruffin. When doing some fact checking, it’s easy to see that seemingly his whole life he was being groomed to be a performer. Not to discount his amazing and God given vocal talent. One source claims that Marvin Gaye was cited saying that Ruffin had a strength that his own voice lacked.
Ruffin’s most popular music comes from his time as lead singer for the Temptations with hits such as “My Girl” and “Aint too proud to beg”. He also has a very impressive resume of other artists and groups he’s performed with such as Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers, the Womack brothers, and various other popular artist and gospel groups. Later, part of Ruffin’s musical downfall would come mainly via drug use.
One of the most impressive aspects of his voice is how in this song, “Walk Away From Love,” he goes from that raspy powerful voice to that perfect falsetto throughout the song with that ‘breaks my heart’ line. This song is off the album Who Am I from the Motown label released and recorded in 1975 and would register as Ruffin’s only number one hit on Billboards R&B charts. I know, we gotta start posting stuff outside the 70’s. We will.
Who Am I recorded 1975 – Motown Records