Legendary Soul Group, the “Chi-Lites” Honored with Star on the Walk of Fame

Photo credit Conner Coughenour courtesy Brunswick Records © 2021

Legendary R&B Group, “The Chi-Lites” were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 30.  The star was accepted by Marshall Thompson, the founder of the Chi-Lites and the last surviving member of the original group. Current touring group members, Tara Thompson, Fred Simon, Warren Tipton, and Mack Miller were in attendance.  Original members, Eugene Record, Robert “Squirrel” Lester, and Creadel “Red” Jones were also remembered and honored during the ceremony.

Chi Lites Chicago Defender
Photo credit Conner Coughenour courtesy Brunswick Records © 2021

We are taking it “Old School” with the iconic group, The Chi-Lites,” stated Ana Martinez, Producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.” We take great pride in our Recording category, and this is our chance to show off to the world the many musical legends that we honor on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame,”

The Chi-Lites were formed in 1959 by Marshall Thompson. Originally called the “Hi-Lights”, the vocal group from Chicago included Eugene Record, Robert Lester, and Creadel “Red” Jones.   After releasing several singles on local labels, the group changed their name in 1964 to “Marshall & The Chi-Lites”.  By the time the group changed their name to The Chi-Lites in 1969 they were signed by Nat Tarnopol and Carl Davis to Brunswick Records.

Between 1969 and 1974, The Chi-Lites scored eleven Top Ten singles on the Billboard R&B charts, with hits like “Have You Seen Her,” “Give It Away,” “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power To The People,” “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)”, “A Letter To Myself,” “The Coldest Days of My Life,” “Stoned Out Of My Mind,” “Oh Girl” and thirty-seven other Billboard charted singles throughout their career.  During the 1970s, The Chi-Lites were featured on television shows such as “Soul Train,” “American Bandstand,” “The Midnight Special,” “Sammy and Company,” the “BBC’s Top of the Pops,” and the very popular “Flip Wilson Show,” where they debuted their #1 pop smash “Oh Girl”.  All The Chi-Lites’ hits were written or co-written by lead singer Eugene Record, who would also become Brunswick’s Vice President of A&R.

In 2000, BMI named “Oh Girl” by The Chi-Lites the 36th most popular song of the 20th century.  That same year The Chi-Lites were inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame followed by their induction into Vocal Groups Hall of Fame in 2004.  The Chi-Lites have also appeared on screen in the 1996 feature film “Original Gangsters” with Fred Williams, Jim Brown, Pam Grier, and Richard Roundtree, as well as the 2003 docu-movie “Only the Strong, Survive” by Miramax films.

In addition to being featured in many films, television shows and commercials, the recordings of The Chi-Lites have been sampled by artists such as Jay-Z, K. Michelle, “American Idol” winner Fantasia and Beyonce, who sampled The Chi-Lites to create the Grammy-winning smash “Crazy in Love”.   Chi-Lites music is currently featured in the MAC Cosmetics- Cruella campaign.

Marshall Thompson says being honored with a star on the Hollywood walk of fame is not only an honor but a testament to the impact the Chi Lites have on music. With a career spanning over six decades, the lessons learned by the legendary group have been numerous.  Thompson says, he initially didn’t like crossover songs but learned that making music that everyone loves kept them known all around the world.

The Chi Lites are still touring and performing to sold-out shows across the country but are also working with younger artists, mentoring, and working with them to create timeless music.

Danielle Sanders is a journalist and reporter based in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSanders20 and @DanieSandersOfficial.

About Post Author


From the Web

Skip to content