David Ruffin Part Two
I can’t believe I never completed this blog until now, but I’m glad I did, because I have a special album, for this blog, so read David Ruffin Part Two first.
Ruffin was married two times. His first marriage was to Sandra Barnes in 1961, with whom he had three daughters, Cheryl, Nedra and also Kimberly. He also had one son with his long-term girlfriend, Genna Sapia, whom he met in 1964. Genna claimed that considering that she really did not know whether David was coming or going (as a result of the well-publicized affair with Motown associate (and also Marvin Gaye duet partner Tammi Terrell), she named the baby David E. Sapia. Later on, David changed his son‘s name to David Eli Ruffin, Jr. The three lived together for several years, but she and David never married. In 1976— two years after he and Genna split for good— Ruffin married Joy Hamilton. After his death, Sapia would include “Ruffin“ to her surname in tribute to their relationship, and for connection with David Junior. In 2003, Sapia-Ruffin released A Memoir: David Ruffin— My Temptation, which details Ruffin‘s philandering and also abusive behavior.
Ruffin met Tammi Terrell after she signed up with the Motortown Revue. Throughout the tour she opened for The Temptations and also they embarked on a unstable romance. In 1966, David stunned her with a marriage proposal. However, Terrell was devastated once she uncovered that he had a wife, three children and also an additional girlfriend in Detroit. Ruffin‘s womanizing in addition to his drug abuse led to them having several public fights. Terrell ended their relationship in 1967 after Ruffin struck her in the head with his motorcycle helmet.
After a successful month-long tour of England with Kendricks and also Edwards, David Ruffin died on June 1, 1991, in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, hospital of “an adverse reaction to drugs“—particularly cocaine. Although the cause of death was ruled an accident, Ruffin‘s family and friends suspected foul play, claiming that a money belt consisting of the proceeds from the tour ($ 300,000) was missing from his body. He had simply completed recording the single “Hurt the One You Love“ for Motorcity Records.
In The Temptations TV mini-series, Ruffin‘s beaten body is shown as being dumped in the street in front of a hospital where he dies. It was additionally mentioned in the mini-series that his body remained unclaimed in a morgue for a week after his death. As a result, Ruffin‘s estate filed suit against NBC and also other significant players associated with the production of the series, claiming defamation. Accordingto the plaintiffs in the case, Ruffin was actually taken to the hospital by a limousine and was accompanied to the waiting area by his driver, that informed the attendants of his identity. The Ruffin children further mentioned that his body was claimed by among them within a couple of days of his death. Ruffin‘s estate lost the lawsuit, and also the judgment against it was upheld on appeal.
Ruffin is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery (Detroit, Michigan), in Section 3.
Ruffin had several admirers amongst his fellow musicians, especially for the emotive power he offered every song he sang. “Nobody could sing like David Ruffin“, stated his close friend and also colleague Martha Reeves (of Martha and the Vandellas fame). His contemporary, label-mate, and also long-time colleague Marvin Gaye was particularly amazed with the virility of Ruffin‘s voice. Gaye said Ruffin‘s work “made me remember that when a lot of women listen to music, they want to feel the power of a real man“.
Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates, among Ruffin‘s biggest fans, said, “His voice had a certain glorious anguish that spoke to people on many emotional levels“. Ruffin himself said, “I don’t know what kind of voice I have, I really don’t …it‘s just about the feeling I get for the song“.
The raspy-voiced Rod Stewart fell in love with Ruffin‘s voice after he listened to “I Wish It Would Rain“. “It jumped out of the speakers and ravished my soul“, Stewart exclaimed. Stewart would certainly later on come to be friends with Ruffin. “His voice was so powerful— like a foghorn on the Queen Mary“, Stewart told Rolling Stone magazine in 2005.
The cover-art of Ruffin‘s last album Gentleman Ruffin was the inspiration for the art of rapper Wiz Khalifa‘s mixtape Kush and also Orange Juice.
David Ruffin was inducted into the inaugural class of the Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame at Cleveland State University.
In June 2019, the city of Detroit revealed “David Ruffin Avenue“ as the secondary street name where he previously lived at 17385 Parkside. The ceremony was hosted by the founder LaMont Robinson of the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. It was attended by Ruffin‘s family and friends including Martha Reeves and Mary Wilson.
In Pop Culture
In 1998, NBC aired The Temptations, a four-hour TV mini-series about the band‘s career, Ruffin was portrayed by Leon Robinson (that is usually credited as simply “Leon“ as his professional name). The actor won high praise for his performance, although Ruffin‘s family was rather upset by the way the series depicted him, and also filed|submitted a lawsuit against the series‘ producers and Otis Williams, whose memoir had been the resource material. The case was dismissed in favor of the accused, with Williams later claiming that he had no actual control over the presentation of the material.
Grand Puba of Brand Nubian referenced the singer on the 1990 single “All for One“, stating: “I strike a beat as well as swing a note as if my name was David Ruffin“.
Rapper Machine Gun Kelly additionally referenced the singer on his 2013 song “See My Tears“ mentioning: “Fought every temptation shit, I guess I‘m David Ruffin, huh“?
The first song on Fall Out Boy‘s 2005 CD From Under the Cork Tree was to have been entitled “My Name is David Ruffin … and These are The Temptations“, however, for legal reasons the name was changed to “Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued“.
Hotstylz used Ruffin‘s song and also referred his name on their hip-hop single “Lookin‘ Boy“.
American rap rock band Gym Class Heroes references Ruffin in the 2008 song “Like Father, Like Son (Papa‘s Song)“ from their album The Quilt stating: “I never understood temptation. But I guess we both got a little David Ruffin in us“.
In the British documentary The Fear of 13, “Common Man“ is sung.
• 1969: My Whole World Ended.
• 1969: Feelin‘ Good.
• 1970: I Am My Brother‘s Keeper (The Ruffin Brothers: David & Jimmy Ruffin).
• 1971: David (unissued until 2004).
• 1973: David Ruffin.
• 1974: Me ‘N Rock ‘N Roll Are Here To Stay.
• 1975: Who I Am.
• 1976: Everything‘s Coming Up Love.
• 1977: In My Stride.
• 1979: So Soon We Change.
• 1980: Gentleman Ruffin.
• 1988: Ruffin & Kendrick (Ruffin & Kendrick: David Ruffin and Eddie Kendrick).