This was written by Motown’s William Weatherspoon and Paul Riser (music) and James Dean (lyrics).
The first recording was by the Isley Brothers in 1965, but it was not released at the time. It eventually surfaced on Motown Sings Motown Treasures – Volumes 1 + 2 in 2005.
It was released by Jimmy Ruffin in the summer of 1966, reaching No 7 in America and No 8 in the UK. Re-released in Britain in 1974, it made No 4.
This is a live performance from 1974.
In 1980 this excellent account by Dave Stewart (keyboard) and Zombies singer Colin Blunstone reached No 13 in Britain.
The wonderful Rod Stewart released it on his 2009 album Soulbook.
One Reply to “Jimmy Ruffin: What Becomes of the Brokenhearted”
A great song. The Colin Blunstone and Dave Stewart version would have been the one I heard first. At the same time that was out, in 1980, Jimmy Ruffin had a hit with “Hold On To My Love”, another great song.
Jimmy’s younger brother was David Ruffin of the Temptations. He died young of drug abuse.