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David Ruffin-8 Albums (Size: 569.66 MB)
David Ruffin (Davis Eli Ruffin) (January 18, 1941 ΓÇô June 1, 1991) was an American soul singer most famous for his work as lead singer of The Temptations from 1964 to 1968.
As a young child, David, along with his other siblings (older brothers Quincy and Jimmy and sister Rita Mae), traveled with their father, a minister, and their stepmother as a family gospel group. Not much is known about Ruffin's childhood except that his father was abusive and his mother died in childbirth. What is known is that David Ruffin left home at fourteen years old, allegedly to pursue a ministership like his father.
Ruffin spent time in Louisiana at a horse farm, in Memphis (where it was alleged he was in a talent contest with Elvis Presley), and in Arkansas. In the mid 1950s, Ruffin sang with The Dixie Nightingales. He eventually made his way to Detroit, Michigan, where his older brother Jimmy Ruffin was pursuing a career in music while working at the Ford Motor Company. Jimmy landed a deal with Miracle Records, one of several labels owned by Berry Gordy's Tamla (later Motown) Records. David performed at shows around Detroit, and even lived with Berry Gordy's parents for a brief period.
In the late 1950s, Ruffin sang with The Voice Masters, which included future Motown producer Lamont Dozier and members of the singing group The Originals. The act was featured on the Anna label, run by Berry Gordy's sister, Gwen Gordy Fuqua, and Ruffin sang lead on two songs: "I'm In Love" and "Action Speaks Louder Than Words". Though Ruffin's name is on the label, the Voice Masters provide backup. The Anna label was absorbed by Motown Records in 1961. After the Voice Masters broke up, Ruffin signed with Billy Davis' Checkmate Records in 1963. On Checkmate, Ruffin recorded the single "Mr. Bus Driver, Hurry", a minor local hit. During this period, he was also doing side gigs as a drummer for the Temptations. In January 1964, Ruffin became a member of The Temptations after founding member Elbridge "Al" Bryant was fired from the group. Jimmy Ruffin was initially offered the opportunity to sing with the group, but Jimmy politely declined in favor of David.