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The Chi-Lites' yearning ballads, featuring falsetto vocals and close harmonies, made them a leading soul vocal group of the early '70s. Originally known as Marshall and the Hi-Lites (later Chi-Lites), the quintet performed around Chicago and recorded for local labels. Former cabdriver Eugene Record became lead singer and eventually their songwriter and producer as well. The Chi-Lites signed with Chicago-based, nationally distributed Brunswick in 1968 and had a few soul hits before Record's "Have You Seen Her" (#3, 1971), cowritten with Barbara Acklin, became a pop hit. "Oh Girl" (#1, 1972) also sold in the millions and was later covered by Paul Young. The Chi-Lites had 11 Top 20 R&B hits between 1969 and 1974. In 1976 they were embroiled in the Brunswick label’s tax evasion problems. Record went solo, recording for Warner Bros., while the Chi-Lites switched to Mercury, with meager results. Record returned in 1980, and with the group recording on his own Chi-Sound label, the Chi-Lites hit the R&B Top 20 with “Hot on a Thing” in 1982 and “Bottom’s Up” in 1983. Creadel Jones retired, not permanently, however, in 1983. Record has been in and out of the group several times, and there have been several personnel changes that are not included in the chronology above. A core of Lester and Thompson were still performing as of the late ’90s. Eugene Record later succumbed to cancer in July, 2005.

from The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001)




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