What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted - Jimmy Ruffin (1966)
For Our LCM Classic this week we have some timeless Motown, "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted by Jimmy Ruffin. It was released on Motown Records' Soul label in the summer of 1966. Jimmy recalling the pain that befalls the brokenhearted, who had love that's now departed. The song essentially deals with the struggle to overcome sadness while seeking a new relationship after the passing of a loved one. https://youtu.be/UQU4sIn96M4
The tune was written by William Weatherspoon, Paul Riser, and James Dean, and the recording was produced by Weatherspoon and William "Mickey" Stevenson. "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" remains one of the most-revived of Motown's hits. Composers Weatherspoon and Riser and lyricist Dean had originally written "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" with the intention of having The Spinners, then an act on Motown's V.I.P. label, record the tune. Jimmy Ruffin, older brother of Temptations lead singer David Ruffin, persuaded Dean to let him record the song, as its anguished lyric about a man lost in the misery of heartbreak resonated with the singer.
Ruffin's lead vocal on the recording is augmented by the instrumentation of Motown's in-house studio band, The Funk Brothers, and the joint backing vocals of Motown session singers The Originals and The Andantes. "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100, and at number six on the Billboard R&B Singles chart, as well as No. 8 on the UK Chart. 8 years later, the song was reissued (with a B-Side of Ruffin's minor US hit "Don't You Miss Me a Little Bit Baby"), and surpassed its original chart position, reaching No. 4, and thus making it his highest-placed chart single in the UK.