Tag Archive: wbls


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

Introducing a new category and maybe new “page” to my blog, “Tune Wedgies”. A “Tune Wedgie” is like the cloth “wedgie” that gets stuck in the crack of your ass, except it is a song that you cannot get out of your mind for a period of time.

For this one, the group is: Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes

I did not plan to post this in-advance, but this song is in my mind as I cook a gourmet dish this Friday evening at my mama’s house. It is a classic from my college days of the early 1970s on Philadelphia International records which was a subsidiary of CBS records.  The late Teddy Pendergrass is singing lead and it is one of the first songs I ever announced as a hip DJ on college radio during “the disco days”. Yet I do not think of this cut as “disco” but a heartfelt “soul” record. Do your homework and understand the solar plexus singing pain of the man, “Now I don’t have nothing/I’m so all alone/All the friends I once had/And I need a loan!” .

 

Where it came from within my musical mind, is a question that only a musical psychologist can answer. What happened to all of the Black American, descendant of American slavery people? Now I only see Caribbean blacks when I visit New York City, thus, “where have all my friends [gone]?” My own theory is that because of my temporary living situation that does not allow me to PLAY my thousands of musics that I amassed over a DJ career of over forty years, my brain takes over randomly to sustain the history which will be my legacy.

“(Where are all my friends)
Oh Lord, oh Lord
Use to have lots of fancy clothes
And drive a big white cadillac
Not knowing all the time I had these things
My friends were stabbing me straight in my back, no, no, no.

Even had a house then
Out there in Beverly Hills
I was moving so fast y’all
I didn’t even have time to worry about paying my bills.
(Something started changing)
My life started rearranging
(Now I’m all alone. All the friends I wanted)
I don’t have anymore
So somebody tell, tell me
(Where are all my friends)
I can’t find nobody
(Where are all my friends)
Oh Lord, Oh Lord

Use to take my friends out
Everywhere I went
But I use to tell them that y’all
Y’all ain’t gotta spend a red cent
Cause I use to have lots of money
I had ’em in big old stacks
I use to lend ’em my clothes
But they never, never ever, never, never brought ’em back
(Now I don’t have nothing)
I’m so all alone
(Don’t even have a home)
I ain’t got no place to lay my head
(Wish someone would help me)
Cause I, I, I, I, I, I need a loan

Yeah baby
(Where are all my friends)
I’m looking y’all, I’m lookin’ all over
(Where are all my friends)
I’m looking for the friends I use to call my very own
(Where are all my friends)
I need somebody right now, hey
(Where are all my friends)
I can’t find a father or a mother
(Where are all my friends)
I remember the time I use to be walking
Up and down the streets
And I remember you, and you and you and you and you
I remember when you use to say that
Yeah trying to get me to spare a dime
And I use to come out the bottom of my heart
Cause I thought you were a friend of mine
But it seems yeah, it seems that you didn’t even give a damn about me, no
But now I’m down and out and I need a friend….”

Do you remember this song as fondly as I do? Please leave your comment or memory about it. Cheers.

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