photo courtesy of firstname.lastname@example.org
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.),
Robert 'Squirrel' Lester (b. 16th August 1942, McComb, Mississippi, U.S.A. d. 22nd January 2010, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.)
Creadel 'Red' Jones (b. 26th September 1940, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A),
Marshall Donald Thompson (b. 24th August 1942, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A),
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.
The Hi-Lites released material on the Dakar 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 1959.
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 five comprised the Hi-Lites, which later became the Marshall and the Chi-Lites.
The group released the single 'I'm So Jealous' under that new band title in 1964.
Clarence Johnson then departed the group and they then became the Chi-Lites.
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.
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.
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').
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.
me and you
1982 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.
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.
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.
For further information regarding that story, check the group's link below.
For booking information contact: Jack Bart @ Universal Attractions 212-582-7575.
I Like Your Lovin (Brunswick 1969)
Give It Away (Brunswick 1969)
(For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People (Brunswick 1971)
I Like Your Lovin, Do You Like Mine? (Brunswick 1971)
A Lonely Man (Brunswick 1972)
A Letter To Myself (Brunswick 1973)
The Chi-Lites (Brunswick 1973)
Toby (Brunswick 1974)
Half A Love (Brunswick 1975)
Happy Being Lonely (Mercury 1976)
Chi-Lite Time (London 1976)
The Fantastic Chi-Lites (Mercury 1977)
Heavenly Body (Chi-Sound 1980)
Me And You (Chi-Sound 1982)
Bottoms Up (Larc 1983)
Steppin' Out (Private I 1984)
Just Say You Love Me (Ichiban 1990)
Heart & Soul (Castle 1992)
Live! (Trace 1996)
Inner City Blues ( Brunswick 1996)
Help Wanted (Coppersun 1998)
Low Key (Mar-Ance 2003)
Solo: Eugene Record
The Eugene Record (Warners 1977)
Trying To Get To You (Warners 1978)
Welcome To My Fantasy (Warners 1979)