The Chi-Lites Seven Best Songs
With mega-hits including “Have You Seen Her” and “Oh Girl,” The Chi-Lites’ was the 1960s and 1970s band that sang soulful blues melodies that made a name for themselves on Soul, R&B, and Pop charts.
Previously known as the Hi-Lites in the early 60s, the band changed their name to the Chi-Lites – pronounced “Shy-Lites” – to pay homage to their hometown of Chicago. The quartet scored 21 songs in the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Chart and had eleven Top Ten R&B hits.
Group History — The Chi-Lites
The group’s members all attended Hyde Park High School except for lead singer Eugene Record who went to Englewood High. The original members included Record, Clarence Johnson, Burt Bowen, Eddie Reed, and Robert “Squirrel” Lester.
Subsequently, Johnson left the group to be replaced by Solly McElroy, formerly of The Flamingos, who was then replaced by Marshall Thompson, who performed with The Desideros. Reed passed away in 1960 and was replaced by Creadel “Red” Jones.
In the early 1960s, the group performed under the name of the Hi-lites. Then, the group changed the name in 1964 to Marshall & The Chi-Lites. Clarence Johnson left the group in 1964. Afterward, the group shortened their name to the Chi-Lites.
After signing with Chicago’s Brunswick Records, the Chil-Lites released their first charting song, “Give It Away.” The single was a top ten Billboard R&B hit.
The Chi-Lites “Have You Seen Her”
The Chi-Lites two biggest hits came in the early 1970s.
In 1971, the group released “Have You Seen Her.” Part of the (For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People album, “Have You Seen Her,” was composed by lead singer Eugene Record and Barbara Acklin. Record wrote the song about his high school sweetheart, Sandra Scott, who he married.
The song was sung in a style that paid tribute to the doo-wop songs of the 1950s. It tells the story of a narrator’s sad love story that ended earlier than he wanted. The song rose to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. M.C. Hammer recorded a cover version that peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The opening lyrics are spoken and not sung which was influenced by Issac Hayes’ intros to his songs of this era.
Have You Seen Her Video
#1 Hit “Oh Girl”
Eugene Record also wrote and performed The Chi-Lites’ most popular song, “Oh Girl.” The song tells the story of a relationship that is not going well.
“I gave Carl Davis 7 songs on a tape, and he called me to say there’s a #1 tune on there,” said Eugene Record, “I named them all before ‘Oh Girl,’ and I thought he was kidding.”
Despite Record’s lack of confidence, the song peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May of 1972. It’s noted for its harmonica-led opening.
Many famous performers have recorded covers including Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Seal, Leo Sayers, and Paul Young. Furthermore, Spike Lee’s film Crooklyn featured the song.
Opening Lyrics to “Oh Girl”
Oh little girl, oh sweet baby,
Oh girl, I’d be in trouble if you left me now
‘Cos I don’t know where to look for love, I just don’t know how
Oh girl, how I depend on you to give me love when I need it
Right on time you would always be there.
The Chi-Lites “Oh Girl” Video
Eugene Record — Chi-Lites Lead Singer
Record also wrote and produced for artists like Jackie Wilson, The Impressions, and The Dells. Also, Eugene is a co-writer of Beyonce’s hit, “Crazy in Love” because of the sampling of “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So).” As a result of this song’s popularity, Record won a Grammy award for this song.
Eugene Record passed away in 2005 at the age of 64 from cancer.
More Chi-Lites Songs You Should know
“Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)” Video
“I Want To Pay You Back (For Loving Me) Video
“A Letter To Myself” Video
Check out this list of the Best Falsetto Songs ever written.
“A Lonely Man” Video
With a string of impressive hits still popular today, The Chi-Lites made a lasting mark on the music industry. As a result, the 2021 class for the Hollywood Walk of Fame will include The Chi-Lites.
— Mike O’Halloran
Mike is the co-founder of ListCaboodle and a music enthusiast.
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