Tag Archive: The Temptations


bros

I loved everything about David Ruffin as lead of The Temptations and thereafter when he recorded solo, especially on “My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)” and the Van McCoy production, “Walk Away From Love”.  I didn’t even connect the vinyl dots to realize that he had an older brother who could sing just as well in his own right until, [ I can’t remember when it was ] one day I acquired and really looked at the label of the 45rpm record, “What becomes Of The Brokenhearted” by Jimmy Ruffin and wondered as I played it, was this guy related to David. Or maybe I had a previous inkling… There was no “Googling” back then to learn instantly the answer, and so I had to rely upon my “ear” for music which heard the similarities of voice that let me know these two singers were related for sure!

I have used Jimmy’s biggest hit to accentuate at least two blogs here at ‘Achilliad‘ since I began to do this in 2009.  One was me crying the blues about some chick that deserted me in love back in, I think, 2008 or nine, the other more recently as a part of a collection of “tune wedgies” that I had get off my (mind) chest.

Jimmy-Ruffin

But this post, Jimmy, is for YOU. Posthumously, yes, but I was always by your side due to the anthem of unrequited love that you gave us. With tears wanting to well-up behind my eyes, I dedicate this post to you, Jimmy, who, unbeknownst to you because we never met, held my hand many a night whey I really cried over a lost love. If I were the Program Director of a radio station right now, I would play a whole hour of your music, both the familiar and obscure even if I had to play “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted” back-to-back-to-back-to-back and then some. You were a non-spotlight seeker whose light of class and groundedness belied the showbiz stereotypes. London was a good place for you to be more appreciated – good move to go there, Sir!

Here is one by Jimmy that is really the first time I heard him! It was on Volume 9 of the famous vinyl “Motown Collections Of 16 Original Hits” albums!
Again, the unrequited love theme on, “Don’t You Miss Me A Little Bit Baby”…

I knew you must have been David’s older brother because of the similarities of stature and movement, like that little hand-to-hand move you did with the mic while singing the oft-sampled lyric, “Always moving and goin’ nowhere.” Knowing you are not in the physical world any longer moves me to seriousness with the knowledge that your spirit is singing with the angels as your body rests in musical peace having let me express my many failed love relationships via your wonderful one-hit wonder.

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“What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted”? We just drag along until we have a chance to join the departed.

Jimmy Ruffin: 1937 – 2014

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Fireflies

June is the time for the rainbow of insects, the firefly, or as we called them back in the neighborhood, “lightning bugs” . I have a hard time describing them as “insects” even, because they do not bite nor harass humans, they only add magic to the din of twilight this time of year.  I admire how they seem to hover just above the lawn, blinking rhythmically and randomly like aircraft coming-in for a secret landing, but never really touching-down.

They are associated with pixies as in the Shakespearean play “A Midsummer-night’s Dream”. I wish upon them and even still try to get one to “light” upon my hand or finger while sitting upon my porch at dusk. I wish upon them; this year I wish for continued good health, that my distant lover is safe, not stressed and for the lucre lubrication that gets the film based upon our reality and us in the same area code “asap”.  

Without destroying their sexy romantic and imaginative evocations, I want to point-out that they are technically called Lampyridae and are from the beetle family “Cleopatra” (don’t ask, ok?), and they use something called bioluminescence to attract the things they reproduce with and/or eat. How do you say “Lampyridae”? Looks kind of like “larvae”. Creepy, but the only beetle that can land on me – The Beatles can always sing to me!  Bioluminescense” sounds like a good idea for a men’s cologne or lady’s perfume, right?  

When the seas runs dry and The Stars Fall From The Sky, She's a vulnerable flower and she believes in me...

Fireflies always seem to appear out of nowhere in the warm June air, and still amaze me in a child-like fantasy way. Fireflies were the subject of a song by the male American R&B/Soul group The Temptations, back when I was in my Junior year of college which I hope that you can hear below. Melvin really got some deep “timbre” on that record! We called that collection “the black album”, of course the real title of it is “A Song For You”.  Similar to a song about rainbows, I feel that the few songs that refer to fireflies conjure references to successful prestidigitization and monetary gifts! So get one to light upon you finger the next chance you get; even let it rub some of its magic greenish-yellow essence upon your skin, then say a heartfelt prayer that soon what you wished for, you will achieve.

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