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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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: A Letter To Myself (Re-Recording)

1. A Letter To Myself

2. Have You Seen Her

x

Track List: Give It Away / Give It Away (TV Version) [Digital 45]

1. Give It Away

2. Give It Away (TV Version)

x

Track List: The Coldest Days Of My Life / The Coldest Days Of My Life (Instrumental) [Digital 45]

1. The Coldest Days Of My Life

2. The Coldest Days Of My Life (Instrumental)

x

Track List: Love On A Two Way Street / Love On A Two Way Street (Instrumental) [Digital 45]

1. Love On A Two Way Street

2. Love On A Two Way Street (Instrumental)

x

Track List: Toby / Toby (Instrumental) [Digital 45]

1. Toby

2. Toby (Instrumental)

x

Track List: Have You Seen Her / Have You Seen Her (TV Version) [Digital 45]

1. Have You Seen Her

2. Have You Seen Her (TV Version)

x

Track List: Homely Girl / Homely Girl (TV Version) [Digital 45]

1. Homely Girl

2. Homely Girl (TV Version)

x

Track List: A Letter To Myself / A Letter To Myself (TV Version)

1. A Letter To Myself

2. A Letter To Myself (TV Version)

x

Track List: (For God Sakes) Give More Power To The People / (For God Sakes) Give More Power To The People (Radio Edit) [Digital 45]

1. (For God Sakes) Give More Power To The People

2. (For God Sakes) Give More Power To The People (Radio Edit)

x

Track List: Oh Girl / Oh Girl (Radio Edit) [Digital 45]

1. Oh Girl

2. Oh Girl (Radio Edit)

x

Track List: I Found Sunshine / I Found Sunshine (Instrumental) [Digital 45]

1. I Found Sunshine

2. I Found Sunshine (Instrumental)

x

Track List: Stoned Out Of My Mind / Stoned Out Of My Mind (Instrumental) [Digital 45]

1. Stoned Out Of My Mind

2. Stoned Out Of My Mind (Instrumental)

x

Track List: The Chi-Lites Live In Norfolk

1. (For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People (Live)

2. Lonely Man (Live)

3. Pay You Back

4. Toby (Live)

5. Stoned Out Of My Mind (Live)

6. Nothing Lasts Forever

7. Homely Girl (Live)

8. Coldest Day Of My Life (Live)

9. That's How Long I'll Love You

10. A Letter To Myself (Live)

11. Oh Girl (Live)

12. Have You Seen Her (Live)

x

Track List: Original Brunswick Hit Recordings

1. Have You Seen Her

2. I Want To Pay You Back (For Loving Me)

3. Oh Girl

4. (For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People

5. Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)

6. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)

7. A Lonely Man

8. I Found Sunshine

9. A Letter To Myself

10. Stoned Out Of My Mind

x

Track List: Love Your Way Through

1. We're Right For Each Other

2. The Only One For Me

3. Won't You Take Me Back

4. Language Of Love

5. Love Your Way Through

6. You Won't Be Lonely For Long

7. Stay A Little Longer

8. Getting Back At You

9. Let Me Know Before I Lose My Heart

10. All My Life

x

Track List: The Chi-Lites Selected Hits

1. Love Uprising

2. Hold On

3. Love Of My Life

4. Nothing Lasts Forever

5. Sly The Slick

6. Help Wanted

7. Never Be Lonely Again

8. All My Love

9. Help Wanted - Re-Mix (Extended Mix)

10. Just You And I Tonight

11. Just Say You Love Me

12. Help Wanted - Re-Mix (Radio Mix)

x

Track List: The Ultimate Chi-Lites

Disc 1

1. Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)

2. (For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People

3. We Are Neighbours

4. Inner City Blues

5. Trouble's-A-Comin'

6. Living In The Footsteps Of Another Man

7. The Man & The Woman

8. I Like Your Lovin' (Do You Like Mine)

9. Love Uprising

10. I Found Sunshine

11. One Man Band (Plays All Alone)

12. What Do I Wish For

13. Happiness Is Your Middle Name

14. I'm Gonna Make You Love Me

15. Here I Am

16. The Devil Is Doing His Work

17. You Got To Be The One

18. Stoned Out Of My Mind

19. You Don't Have To Go

20. Don't Burn No Bridges (Feat. Jackie Wilson)

Disc 2

1. Oh Girl

2. I Want To Pay You Back (For Loving Me)

3. A Lonely Man

4. Yes I'm Ready (If I Don't Get To Go)

5. Have You Seen Her

6. Love Is

7. The Coldest Days Of My Life

8. Never Had It So Good And Felt So Bad

9. Take A Trip

10. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

11. That's How Long

12. Go Away Dream

13. Toby

14. A Letter To Myself

15. There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated At The Conference Table)

x

Track List: Hit Highlights From The Chi-Lites

1. Give It Away

2. Let Me Be the Man My Daddy Was

3. I Like Your Lovin' (Do You Like Mine)

4. Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)

5. (For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People

6. We Are Neighbours

7. Have You Seen Her

8. Oh Girl

10. A Lonely Man

11. We Need Order

12. A Letter To Myself

13. Stoned Out Of My Mind

14. I Found Sunshine

15. Homely Girl

16. Too Good To Be Forgotten

17. There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated At The Conference Table)

18. You Got to Be The One

19. Toby

20. You Don't Have To Go

x

Track List: Just Say You Love Me

1. Happy Music

2. Solid Love Affair

3. Just You And I Tonite

4. Just Say You Love Me

5. Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)

6. There's A Change

7. Eternity

8. Only You

x

Track List: Steppin' Out

1. Do What You Want

2. I Keep Comin' Back To You

3. Gimme Whatcha Got

4. Stop What You're Doin'

5. Hey Girl (I Love The Way You Dance)

6. Let Today Come Back Tomorrow

7. Runnin' Around

8. Little Girl

x

Track List: A Letter To Myself

1. A Letter To Myself

2. Too Late To Turn Back Now

3. Just Two Teenage Kids

4. Sally

5. Someone Else's Arms

6. We Need Order

7. Love Comes In All Sizes

8. My Heart Just Keeps On Breaking

9. You Smiled The Same Old Way

x

Track List: A Lonely Man

1. Oh Girl

2. Living In The Footsteps Of Another Man

3. Love Is

5. A Lonely Man

7. Ain't Too Much Of Nothin'

9. The Coldest Days Of My Life

Comments

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Chi-Lites, Chi-Town- the "CHI"! Damn, Chicago speaks for it self in all things.....
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Chi-Town ...
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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My friends had no idea , God how I missed that girl
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Man all I can say is the ChiLites will always be a blessing to my life they helped me become the woman I am today. Love ❤️ you guys forever.
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fiel225
Love to hear this song I haven't heard this in over 35 years!!!!!!
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To Raymond and Renee Randolph this is for bein mom and dad and think of you and the rest of our people quintel and krystle Randolph the best kids I ever kept love the chi lites for all their songs love you group.
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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These songs say it all
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THIS IS WHEN YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO EXPLAIN WHAT YOU HAVE DONE WRONG
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"Chi-Lites"! Wow. Speak for itself.
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harris.tonya
The Chi-Lites Unsung episode was wonderful, touching, and sad.
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Oh girl ....
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Chi-lites say it all.
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Have you ever seen such a helpless man
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The history you state regarding this group seems to have some errors! For example, Chi-Sound record label was NOT Eugene Record's label!
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guessluvsolo
Much Luv
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These guys sang together for a long time. RIP Eugene Record.
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This music brings back so many wonderful memories of the early 70s it still sounds good today thanks Pandora for all the memories with this music
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Real soul music.
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The coldest day of my life.....ooo o o o o h h h h yeeaaaa music will never be the same.
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what memories. another tear-jerker. . .
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Anyone who likes this music is a student of that elusive world called love.
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Hard to believe that this sound is from Chicago,and not from Philly
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Ohhhhhh girl❤️✨
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Im just so in love this god had blessed this song right to my heart
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sdmoore4509
. . . I've seen her . . .
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��
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These the groups that you never get tired of, and know every word to their songs, unlike the music today it really has no meaning, just a lot of loud talking and no common sense.
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I love the Chi litre.
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The smooth soul of the 70s good memories I'm glad i was apart of that generation
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This the one
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lestermark19 8 4 I agree! I grow up off oldies music It bring back A lot of memories!
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God this song goes right to the heart what am I going to do?
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Real music so right
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Here we are stupid a falling for.u again I'm traped while ur having a good time but I can't move on
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Like this song stinky
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hendersonsam i u l l a h 7 2
REAL MUSIC! Enough said.
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The best oldies ever they don't make good music like this anymore
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Have you seen Her is a super sweet soul track.
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Don't hear songs about love on the radio anymore..... . . A Letter To Myself #oldSCHOOLgr o o v e s S t i l l S o u n d s G O O D
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jcoltbronxny c
We "GRIND-ED to the slow - soulful- words n melodies in da Bronx......
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brings you back to the best days
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I will take care of you my love Mike
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I love the oldies, the music industry can't do it like they use to. There are no artist like the old groups. A whole lot of babies were made from this style music, wouldn't you say, respond if you agree!
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haven't had any kisses yet till waiting for you mimi
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I didn't get my kisses yet this song
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I haven't have
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I will give you all the love you want Mimi don't leave me now please baby mimi
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The best music ever...
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