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

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