1969 David Ruffin – My Whole World Ended
David began singing professionally at age 15 as Little David Bush. He became a member of The Dixie Nightingales, which initially sang gospel music. Within a year, he had changed his focus to R&B. He moved to Detroit, where his older brother Jimmy was working on a career as an R&B singer.
David and Marvin Gaye got jobs packing records for shipping at Anna Records, a label run by Berry Gordy’s sister. He got the opportunity to record the single I’m In Love in 1961. The Voice Masters, a group that included Lamont Dozier and several future members of the Originals, sang backup vocals on the record.
Jimmy toured with the Motortown Revue, which included the Temptations, and let David know that the group needed a tenor singer. After the Temptations fired Elbridge “Al” Bryant from the group because of unprofessional behavior (and instigating a few fights), David joined the group in January 1964.
David initially sang background vocals behind Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams. Smokey Robinson felt that David had great potential and wrote the song My Girl for him. David sang lead on the song, which became the group’s first number-one single on the Hot 100 in 1965. He sang lead on many of the Temptations singles during the next three years.
Troubles began when David started abusing cocaine and showing up late for shows, and they fired him from the group in 1968. David’s recording contract was a solo contract with Motown rather than a contract with the Temptations, so in 1969, he began making solo recordings for the company. Members of the Originals backed David on his first single, My Whole World Ended. The record peaked at #9 on the Hot 100 and reached #2 on the R&B chart.
David continued recording off and on and reached the Hot 100 for the last time in 1985 when he recorded the top twenty single A Night At The Apollo Live! with Daryl Hall & John Oates and Eddie Kendricks. He and Eddie then recorded a few singles that reached the R&B chart in 1986 and 1987.
An overdose of crack cocaine killed David in 1991.
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