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The Chi-Lites

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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
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Stations Featuring
The Chi-Lites

    Classic Soul

    Classic Soul
    2 songs

    R&B Smooth Jams

    R&B Smooth Jams
    2 songs

    '70s Urban Music

    '70s Urban Music
    4 songs

    Grown Folks Music

    Grown Folks Music
    2 songs

    Love Songs

    1 song

    Super '70s

    2 songs

    Oldies Hits

    1 song

    Oldies Party

    1 song

Albums by
The Chi-Lites

Top Songs by
The Chi-Lites

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Oh Girl
  3.   Have You Seen Her
  4.   (For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People
  5.   Stoned Out of My Mind
  6.   The Coldest Days of My Life, Pt. 1
  7.   Stoned Out of My Mind
  8.   A Lonely Man
  9.   Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)
  10.   A Letter to Myself
  11.   Toby
  12.   The Coldest Days of My Life
  13.   I Want to Pay You Back (For Loving Me)
  14.   Heavenly Body
  15.   The Coldest Day of My Life
  16.   That's How Long I'll Love You
  17.   Let Me Be the Man My Daddy Was
  18.   I Want to Pay You Back for Loving Me (Studio Re Record)
  19.   Cause I Love You
  20.   For God's Sake
  21.   Stop What Your Doin
  22.   Gimme Whatcha Got
  23.   Runnin' Around
  24.   Let Today Come Back Tomorrow
  25.   Hey Girl (I Love the Way You Dance)
  26.   Gimme Watcha Got
  27.   Do What You Want
  28.   Stop What You're Doin'
  29.   Love On A Two Way Street
  30.   Pay You Back
  31.   Give More Power to the People by The Whispers
  32.   Everybody Needs Love
  33.   Intro by Mike Oreilly
  34.   We Are Neighbors
  35.   I Was Born When You Kissed Me by The Whispers
  36.   Never Again by The Whispers
  37.   Dr. Love by The Whispers
  38.   You Got a Man on Your Hands by The Whispers
  39.   Oh Girl
  40.   Have You Seen Her
  41.   Hold on to Your Dreams by Mike Oreilly
  42.   Me and You
  43.   We're Right for Each Other
  44.   That's How Long
  45.   You Got to Be the One
  46.   Nothing Lasts Forever
  47.   You and I
  48.   Hot on a Thing
  49.   Introduction
  50.   We Are Neighbors
  51.   Homely Girl
  52.   I Found Sunshine
  53.   We Need Order
  54.   Give It Away
  55.   I Like Your Lovin' (Do You Like Mine)
  56.   Little Girl
  57.   You Can't Fight What's Right by The Whispers
  58.   White Christmas
  59.   Tired of Being Alone
  60.   I Keep Comin' Back to You
  61.   Too Good to Be Forgotten

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