The Chi-Lites were formed in Chicago in 1959. Originally called the Hi-Lites, they consisted of Marshall Thompson (birthday 24th Aug), Creadel “Red” Jones, Eugene Record, Robert Lester (birthday 16th August) and Clarence Johnson.
By the end of 1964 Clarence Johnson had left the group and they truncated their name to simply the Chi-Lites. During the ensuing four years Eugene Record slowly emerged as the group’s lead singer, songwriter and producer. In 1969, after signing with Brunswick the previous year, “Give It Away” became their first USA national hit single attaining number ten in the R&B charts.
The follow-up release “Let Me Be The Man My Daddy Was” was moderately successful but another major hit was elusive until “Are You My Woman ?” climbed into the R&B top ten in early 1971. A succession of top ten hits followed commencing with their next release “(For God’s Sake)Give More Power To The People” which was the first release to crossover into the pop charts.
The ballads “Have You Seen Her” and “Oh Girl” followed, both reaching number one in the R&B charts with “Oh Girl” also achieving the number one slot in the pop charts in the spring of 1972. The current lineup is Marshall Thompson (the Founder and leader),Tara Thompson, Robert “Squirrel” Lester and Frank Reed (who replaced Anthony Watson). They are currently recording with Marshall Thompsons’ record label Marance Records distributed by Sumthing Distribution.
The Chi-Lites also feature, along with other big-named legendary artistes, in a docu/movie called “Only The Strong Survive” by Miramax films, which was released in 2003. Their current project is touring all over the world to sold-out venues with “The 70’s Soul Jam”.