David Ruffin

David Ruffin

*I like associating numbers with people and events. For instance, when I hear a particular song from yesteryear’s Rhythm & Blues era, I can pretty much tell you what year it was released based upon when I first heard it.

Likewise, I am reminded of certain people’s birthdate when I see it on the clock or on a license plate while driving along in my car. Years ago I used to think it was a good omen when I’d see a license plate with my initials LSB (the ‘S’ is for Savoy); I would go and play the number. The last time I did that was in Michigan where they have a midday and evening draw. I went to play the number in the evening and was told it fell straight in the midday. I only saw the number after the midday draw. I figured it out then that I’d probably lose more than I’d ever win so very rarely I might play for fun; like the recent record-breaking billion dollar Powerball!

When it was announced of late that the great singer Natalie Cole had died at age 65, my mind went to work and I remembered that it was February ’65 when her famous father Nat “King” Cole died. It was also ’65 when the subject of this article came into national prominence with his performance on the classic song “My Girl.” Coincidences like that fascinate me! I have many others I could share; perhaps you do too, so please leave your comments!

That being said, it brings me to the fact that my friend who influenced me and encouraged me as a songwriter, the late David Ruffin (a principle lead singer of The Temptations), would have been 75 years old today, January 18, 2016. As an aside, it was also in ’75 that he re-entered the Top Ten with the song “Walk Away From Love” written by Charles Kipps and produced by Van McCoy.

Also, 2016 marks the 25th year since Ruffin passed away. So, as I see other people/groups use numbers to add up to some significant milestone, I’d like to induct Mr. Ruffin into the “100 Club.” The age he would have been (75) plus the years since his death (25) equal 100. Welcome to the club David!!

By the way, 2016 marks the 50th year of his brilliant performance as lead singer on The Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.” Let’s celebrate a great talent!! Happy birthday David!

Here’s another great performance by Ruffin “Morning Sun Looks Blue”

Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” (Amazon), e-mail: [email protected]