His voice was so powerful — like a foghorn on the Queen Mary… It jumped out of the speakers and ravished my soul..
One of the greatest lead singers the Motown stable ever had
~John Lowe (allmusic.com)
One of the greatest “Motown voices”.. and thus one of the greatest voices in recorded american music history.
The Temptations – My Girl:
David Eli Ruffin
January 18, 1941
Whynot, Mississippi, U.S.
June 1, 1991 (aged 50)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
R&B, pop, soul, disco, gospel
Anna, Chess, Motown, Warner Bros., RCA
The Temptations, Eddie Kendrick, Jimmy Ruffin
Davis Eli “David” Ruffin (January 18, 1941 – June 1, 1991) was an American soul singer and musician most famous for his work as one of the lead singers of the Temptations from 1964 to 1968 (or the group’s “Classic Five” period as it was later known). He was the lead voice on such famous songs as “My Girl” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” Known for his unique raspy and anguished tenor vocals, Ruffin was ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2008. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 for his work with the Temptations. Fellow Motown recording artist Marvin Gaye once said admiringly of Ruffin that, “I heard in [his voice] a strength my own voice lacked.”
Ain’t Too Proud To Beg – Live 1966:
His voice had a certain glorious anguish that spoke to people on many emotional levels
~Daryl Hall (of Hall & Oates)
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.