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The Chi-Lites

One of the most popular smooth soul groups of the early '70s didn't hail from Philadelphia or Memphis, the two cities known for sweet, string-laden soul. Instead, the Chi-Lites were from Chicago, a town better known for its gritty urban blues and driving R&B. Led by vocalist Eugene Record, the Chi-Lites had a lush, creamy sound distinguished by their four-part harmonies and layered productions. During the early '70s, they racked up 11 Top Ten R&B singles, ranging from the romantic ballads "Have You Seen Her" and "Oh Girl" to protest songs like "(For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People" and "There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated at the Conference Table)." All the songs featured Record's warm, pleading tenor and falsetto, and the majority of the group's hits were written by Record, often in collaboration with other songwriters like Barbara Acklin.

The Chi-Lites had been around for nearly a decade before they finally had a hit in the late '60s. Eugene Record, Robert Lester, and Clarence Johnson formed the doo wop group the Chanteurs in the late '50s, and they released one single on Renee Records in 1959. Shortly afterward, Creadel "Red" Jones and Marshall Thompson, who had sung with the Desideros, teamed with the trio to form the Hi-Lites. Over the next four years, the Hi-Lites released a number of singles on local labels. In 1964, they changed their name to Marshall & the Chi-Lites, adding the "C" as tribute to their hometown Chicago. By the end of the year, Johnson left the group and the remaining quartet truncated their name to the Chi-Lites. Over the next four years, the group continued to perform and release independent singles, with Record slowly emerging as the group's lead singer, songwriter, and producer.

In 1968, the Chi-Lites signed with the large Chicago indie label Brunswick Records, and early the following year "Give It Away" became their first national hit single, reaching number ten on the R&B charts. Despite the moderate success of "Let Me Be the Man My Daddy Was," the group wasn't able to deliver another big hit until "Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)" climbed into the R&B Top Ten in early 1971, beginning a string of ten Top Ten hits that ran intermittently over the next four years. The follow-up to "Are You My Woman?," "(For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People," was their first pop hit, setting the stage for a pair of slow, soulful ballads, "Have You Seen Her" and "Oh Girl," which both reached number one on the R&B charts; the latter was a number-one pop hit, as well. in the spring of 1972.

Shortly after the release of the hit "Stoned Out of My Mind," the Chi-Lites began to splinter in 1973, when Jones left the group and was replaced by Stanley Anderson, who was quickly replaced by Willie Kensey. The revamped lineup had three Top Ten R&B hits -- "Homely Girl," "There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated at the Conference Table)," and "Toby" -- before they replaced Kensey with Doc Roberson. Shortly afterward, Brunswick became involved in serious financial problems, which prevented the label from promoting the group's record. Frustrated, Record left the band to become a solo recording artist for Warner Bros. The remaining trio, augmented by David Scott and Danny Johnson (who was replaced by Vandy Hampton in 1977), signed with Mercury, but none of their singles were hits.

The original lineup of the Chi-Lites re-formed in 1980, and the group began recording for Eugene Record's label, Chi-Sound. Although their first singles were more successful than their Mercury Records, they didn't have a genuine hit until 1982, when "Hot on a Thing (Called Love)" reached number 15. The following year, they moved to Larc Records, where they had their final Top Ten hit with "Bottoms Up." Late that year, Creadel Jones retired and the group continued to tour as a trio throughout the remainder of the decade. Record left the group in 1990 to record as a solo artist. He was replaced by Anthony Watson. By the early '90s, Jones had re-joined the group, and this version of the Chi-Lites became a regular on the oldies and soul circuit during the '90s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Comments

artiedianefr a n k l i n
Please bring back the best sound music miss it so much nobody could do it like back in the day.
artiedianefr a n k l i n
Chi- liters The best you could listen to in the 70's
artiedianefr a n k l i n
Love was real and good music that will last in our heart forever.
I love this song reminds me of my mother
OOOOO LET ME TELL YOU
taulbeegeorg i a
In the military in the early 70's brings back a lot of memories !!
A lonely man ....... Shouldn't be lonely he haves a right to be loved too <3
alilbitbama7
Songs like this always take me back to that feeling we got as kids when watching Soul Train as a family.
brian76970
This takes me back to the first day I heard the song. Happy and sad time all in one. What a great song. What cool musicians with real soul and an awesome sound.
lestinefishe r
I JUST LOVE THIS SONG.
j2walsh2002
That's the song, He loves her the way she is, she doesn't have to change anything about herself, that's what I'm talking about. Real men :-)
There will never be anymore great songs like these .
anadar7115
Great song from the past.
I miss the guys on ship practicing singing this song in 73
Bring back so many lovely memories of my teenage years. And the love of my life.
Lovely group, from an english kid growing up in the 70's
annvaughn79
This makes me think of my sister and the how she use to strut to this song when we were kids
Message in the music, the Chi Lites, made some great music, we could use some of it today, bring back the real music
I am looking for her
blueyedmom00 7
70's music was just....!!! So many memories. Never again will there be music like The Chi-Lites, again. : (
NICE**** YESTERDAY & TODAY Music
Love the all the old music I just love

STYLISTICS, Spinners you name them and I love them, Cannot get enough.
One of the best groups ever!
Music straight from the heart, through the pain of it all, I'm lost without you
Sweet
Memories of me n My sis!..I miss you so much sis.Its like I can hear her singing while we're kicking it on my moms porch.RIP yo-yo
Baby what am I supposed to do without you
This is one of the best songs out there
The best
Oldies but goodies
Sweet
Great hand dance song if your know how to hand dance. T-Dogg Cleveland,Oh i o
Drifting a lone road to come home, this is a cruzin road song to take you back home. Folks will say welcome and listen to the adventurous stories-some true and some make belief but its an Old Girl OH Girl song about town, Dr. P.
I love 70 music you understand the music
this philly boy feels right at home with this groove... feels a little like it has a gamble and huff stamp on it...
jtny786
I think the Chi-Lites did the absolute best cover of Inner City Blues, ow, make me wanna holler!
take me back to 70's
khadijak36
Bring back memories of care free days.
Back in the day love it
As another day comes to an end. I'm looking for a text or something anything that he would send. With all the people I know, I'm still a lonely chica, you know it's funny I thought I had him in the palm of my hand.
Dammmm! Wow! Music for me and my man!
p_cook2008
Best vocal group!
miss ya
I think I need to go find my man!
Love you guys.
This has to be one of the saddest songs ever.
Wonder woman needs her Batman. Where are you?
I love the chi-lites.
TO MARSHALL THOMPSON I FEEL YOUR PAIN I SAW UNSUNG OF YOUR GROUP ENGENE, ROBERT, CREDEL, AND YOUR BEAUITFUL CONNIE WATCHING OVER YOU IN ALL DAYS OF YOUR LIFE. KEEP THEY MEMORIES ALIVE YOUR HEART.... YOU LOVED THEM AND SO DID I SMILE.... THEY LOVE U ALWAYS AND FOREVER..... .
I been used :(
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