© 2021 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Motown Legend David Ruffin


Sunday, May 12  

Motown legend and Temptations lead singer David Ruffin was known for his distinctive soulful voice. Ruffin lead several songs for the hitmaking group including “Beauty is Only Skin Deep” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg." The universal song “My Girl” became the group's biggest hit and first #1 single. 


In a 2000 NPR interview, another Motown legend, singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson, describes writing a song for the iconic singer:


"David Ruffin, I knew, was like this sleeping giant in this group because he had this--it's sort of like a mellow gruff-sounding voice. And all I needed was the right song for his voice and I felt like I would have a smash hit record. So I sat down at the piano to write a song for David Ruffin's voice. So I wanted to make it something that he could belt out, but yet make it melodic and sweet."


David Ruffin will have a street named after him in Detroit in June 2019.  Hear his music on Soulsations, Sunday at 6 on KMUW.