The R&B doo-wop ensemble Brenda & the Tabulations began in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1966. They comprised vocalist/ lyricist Brenda J. Payton (Hill), born in the city on October 24, 1945, composer/ guitarist Eddie L. Jackson, born in 1947 in Forest City, North Carolina, Maurice Coates and Jerry Jones. The background singers were Bernard Murphy, Pat Mercer, and Deborah Martin.
In 1967, Brenda & the Tabulations released a number of hits from their album Dry Your Eyes through Dionn Records including the single sharing the same title which became their major work. “Dry Your Eyes” peaked at no. 8 on the Billboard R&B chart and no. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1967. “Just Once in a Lifetime,” also from the album, reached no. 41 R&B and no. 97 on the Billboard Hot 100. Both compositions were penned by Brenda Payton & Maurice Coates.
Also from that album, “Just Once in A Lifetime,” peaked at no.41 R&B and no. 97 Billboard Hot 100. “When You’re Gone” reached no. 27 R&B and no. 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Four years later in 1971, the ensemble’s single “Right on the Tip of My Tongue,” written by the composer Van McCoy, peaked at no. 5 R&B, no. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also became an international hit, peaking at no. 53 in Australia and no. 83 in Canada. The song was recognized as no. 97 on Billboard magazine’s Top 100 singles of 1971. Two years later, in 1973, the group charted again with “One Girl Too Late” and “Magic of Your Love” on the flip side which reached no. 48 on the R&B chart.
In addition to releasing the album Dry Your Eyes and a self-titled Brenda and the Tabulations in 1977 on Chocolate City Records label, the group released “I Keep Coming Back for More” from the album which also had two other hits, “Home to Myself,” that peaked at no. 61 R&B and “(I’m A) Superstar” b/w “Take It or Leave It” that reached no. 31 on the R&B chart.
In 1987, just before Brenda & the Tabulations disbanded, they released “Don’t Give Up the Love” and “In The Night.” Neither song charted. Also in 1987 they were honored at the first Philadelphia Music Awards ceremony presented by the Philadelphia Music Foundation and the Philadelphia Music Alliance.
Brenda J. Payton Hill died of breast cancer on June 14, 1992, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was 47. Eddie L. Jackson died of a brain aneurysm on May 3, 2010, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was 63.