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Album Review

As was the custom of the day, Brenda & the Tabulations' debut album was overstuffed with familiar cover versions, which were done respectably; actually, the sultry, drawn-out reading of "Summertime" is really good, as is the calypso-ish take of the Marvelettes' "Forever." There are also a few more originals by the Brenda Payton-Maurice Coates team responsible for "Dry Your Eyes," including the low-charting single "Just Once in a Lifetime"; this has a similar marriage of doo wop-type vocals with the lush orchestration for which Philadelphia soul was famous. The album had yet two more small soul hits in "Stay Together Young Lovers" and Smokey Robinson's "Who's Loving You?" The CD reissue adds two bonus tracks, including "When You're Gone," a minor 1968 hit in which the vibes and trembling violins brought the group closer to the mainstream of symphonic Philly soul production.

Biography

Formed: 1966 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Among the better Philadelphia soul groups of the '60s and '70s, Brenda & the Tabulations made some fine heartache ballads, particularly "Dry Your Eyes" and "Right on the Tip of My Tongue." The original lineup was lead singer Brenda Payton, Jerry Jones, Eddie Jackson, and Maurice Coates. Bernard Murphy joined in 1969. They became a trio in 1970, featuring Payton, Pat Mercer, and Deborah Martin. "Dry Your Eyes" was their biggest hit, reaching number eight on the R&B chart and number 20 pop...
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Dry Your Eyes, Brenda and The Tabulations
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