What Becomes of the Brokenhearted (Jimmy Ruffin)

22 DECEMBER 1966


Jimmy Ruffin’s ‘What Becomes of the Brokenhearted’ entered the Top Ten in Britain during this week in 1966. This was another all-time Motown classic that had peaked at #7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts (and #6 on the R&B).

Jimmy had recorded a few unsuccessful singles as part of the Motown stable since 1961 (a period interrupted by a few years in the Army), and in 1964 was offered a place in the Temptations - a place that instead went to his younger brother David Ruffin. Jimmy continued a solo career and ‘What Becomes of the Brokenhearted’ was his first and most enduring hit. The distinctive and unusually long instrumental intro was the result of removing his spoken introduction during the final mix for the disc.

He enjoyed only moderate US success after this, although he did achieve six Top Ten singles in Britain. This song was reissued there in 1974 and reached #4 on that occasion, becoming his highest charting single there.

B-side: 'Baby, I've Got It'
Recorded: Hitsville USA (Studio A); 1966
Released: 3 June 1966
Highest chart position: #8 (UK), #7 (US)
Length: 3:00
Label: Soul S 35022
Producers: William Weatherspoon, William 'Mickey' Stevenson

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted (Jimmy Ruffin)