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the chi-lites

Chi-Lites

Formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1959, the group has featured at various times:

Eugene Booker Record (b. 23rd December 1940, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A d. 22nd July 2005, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.)

Marshall Donald Thompson (b. 24th August 1942, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A)

Robert 'Squirrel' Lester (b. 16th August 1942, McComb, Mississippi, U.S.A. d. 22nd January 2010, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.)

Frank Kevin Reed (b. 16th September 1954, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A. d. 26th February 2014, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.)

Creadel 'Red' Jones (b. 26th September 1940, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. d. 25th August 1994, U.S.A.)

Clarence Johnson (b. Clarence Johnson, 17th January 1942, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. d. 23rd September 2011, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.)

Stanley Anderson

Danny Johnson

David Scott

Willie Kensey

Doc Roberson

and

Vandy 'Smokey' Hampton (b. 15th November 1949, Illinois, U.S.A. d. 22nd February 2005, East Chicago, Lake, Indiana, U.S.A.

The Chi-lites were originally called the Hi-Lites, but had to change their name as there was a similarity with another groups name at the time.

Chi-LitesChi-Lites

the desideros - i pledge my love b/w flat foot charlie - 1963 / the chanteurs - you've got a great love b/w the grizzly bear - 1963

The ensemble comprised of members of previous groups, including the Enchanters (featuring Charles Middleton, Eddie Sullivan, Albert Sullivan, Del Brown, Johnny Nance and Creadel 'Red' Jones), the Desidero's (featuring Marshall Thompson, Eddie Sullivan, Del Brown, Joe Manual, Creadel Jones and Robert Goley) and the Chanteurs (in 1958, featuring Eugene Record, Robert 'Squirrel' Lester, Clarence Johnson, Burt Bowen, and Eddie Reed).

The Hi-Lites (featuring Eugene Record, Robert Lester, Marshall Thompson and Creadel Jones) released material on the Daran and Ja-Wes labels before the groups name change.

The 'C' in the groups 'Chi-Lites' name derived from their hometown's city, Chicago.

Prior to the first incarnation Eugene Record, Clarence Johnson and Robert Lester recorded with the group The Chanteurs, who released material on the Renee Records imprint in 1963.

Another band, during that period, entitled The Desidero's, featured Marshall Thompson and Creadel Jones within it's ranks and that duo departed that group and joined ranks with the other trio.

The Chi-Lites

photo courtesy of winfield@soulcitysurvivors.com

The five comprised the Hi-Lites, which later became the Marshall and the Chi-Lites.

Chi-LitesChi-Lites

one by one b/w you did that for me - 1964 / i'm so jealous b/w the mix mix song - 1964

The group released the single 'I'm So Jealous' b/w 'The Mix Mix Song' under that new band title in 1964.

Clarence Johnson then departed the group and they then became the Chi-Lites.

Barbara Acklin

barbara acklin

By 1968, the group had been signed to the Brunswick Records imprint, where Eugene began his long and fruitful collaboration with, the singer / songwriter, Barbara Acklin.

Chi-litesChi-litesChi-litesChi-lites

give it away - 1969 / i like your lovin' - 1970 / give more power to the people - 1971 / a lonely man - 1972

In 1969 they acheived their first national hit with the song 'Give It Away' beginning a successful period that would reap many musical rewards throughout the Seventies.

In 1971, they released the song 'Have You Seen Her', which charted in the U.S. and the U.K. respectively, reaching the number 3 spot.

Chi-litesChi-litesChi-litesChi-lites

a letter to myself - 1973 / the chi-lites - 1973 / toby - 1974 / half a love - 1975

There then followed a series of chart entries, including 'Oh Girl' in 1972, 'Homely Girl' in 1974, 'It's Time For Love' in 1975 and 'You Don't Have To Go' in 1976.

In 1973, Creadel Jones left the group and Eugene Record departed in late 1976 for a short solo career at Warner Brothers (a period which included the excellent offering, 'Overdose Of Joy').

Chi-litesChi-litesChi-litesChi-lites

happy being lonely - 1976 / the fantastic chi-lites - 1977 / heavenly body - 1980 / me and you - 1981

Eugene's departure was instigated by legal difficulties at Brunswick Records that meant the group could not be promoted in the way they previously were.

By 1980, Eugene, Lester, Creadel and Marshall reformed the group, whilst Carl Davis set up the Chi-Sound label, recruiting Gene Chandler as it's vice-President.

1981 saw the release of 'Me And You', which saw, arguably, the Chi-Lites most underrated moment in 'Try My Side Of Love', a beautiful dancer that has been sadly overlooked over the years.

Chi-litesChi-litesChi-litesChi-lites

bottoms up - 1983 / steppin' out - 1984 / just say you love me - 1990 / help wanted - 1998

The group released the album 'Bottoms Up' in 1983, which contained the popular dancer 'Changing For You'.

The following year the group released 'Steppin' Out', which contained the stepper, 'Running Around'.

The Chi-Lites continued as a trio, after Creadel Jones' departure from the band, up until the end of the Eighties when Eugene left the group again and was replaced by Anthony Watson.

Marshall took over the groups name and they continued to record.

The Chi-Lites then relocated to the lchiban imprint for 'Say You Love Me', and continued touring into the new millennium.

Chi-litesThe Chi-Lites

low key - 2005 / NJN - New Jersey Public Television and Radio 2003

During a lull in the groups touring schedule Marshall took a post with the Maywood Park Police team, where he helped raise funds for the Police Authorities.

Whilst referring people to another police department he learned that one of the police chiefs was, allegedly, extorting these fundraising monies.

He had to plead guilty in order to give evidence which meant a, controversial, short stay in prison on his part.

Thankfully, he is out and about with the group in 2003.

Robert 'Squirrel' Lester sadly passed away in 2010, following a short illness.

Frank Reed passed away in 2014, and Marshall Thompson, sadly, suffered a stroke.

Chi-Lites With Eugene RecordChi-Lites With Eugene Record

For further information regarding that story, check the group's link below.

For booking information contact: Jack Bart @ Universal Attractions 212-582-7575.

For more information regarding Marshall Thompson, click here...

The Chi-Lites

...or check out the official website above or right here.

Real Player

Albums:

I Like Your Lovin (Brunswick Records 1969)

Give It Away (Brunswick Records 1969)

(For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People (Brunswick Records 1971)

I Like Your Lovin, Do You Like Mine? (Brunswick Records 1971)

A Lonely Man (Brunswick Records 1972)

A Letter To Myself (Brunswick Records 1973)

The Chi-Lites (Brunswick Records 1973)

Toby (Brunswick Records 1974)

Half A Love (Brunswick Records 1975)

Happy Being Lonely (Mercury Records 1976)

Chi-Lite Time (London Records 1976)

The Fantastic Chi-Lites (Mercury Records 1977)

Heavenly Body (Chi-Sound Records 1980)

Me And You (Chi-Sound Records 1982)

Bottoms Up (Larc Records 1983)

Steppin' Out (Private I Records 1984)

Just Say You Love Me (Ichiban Records 1990)

Heart & Soul (Castle Records 1992)

Live! (Trace Records 1996)

Inner City Blues ( Brunswick Records 1996)

Help Wanted (Coppersun Records 1998)

Low Key (Mar-Ance Records 2003)

Solo: Eugene Record

The Eugene Record (Warners Records 1977)

Trying To Get To You (Warners Records 1978)

Welcome To My Fantasy (Warners Records 1979)

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