Eugene Record - 1940-2005

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Monday 1st August 2005

Chi-Lites singer/composer dies in Chicago aged 64

THE LEAD singer and composer of '70s soul group The Chi-Lites, Eugene Record, died in Chicago on 22nd July. Best known for the transatlantic Chi-Lites hits "Have You Seen Her", "Oh Girl" and "Homely Girl", Record became a born again Christian in 1988 and subsequently recorded a gospel album.

Beginning his career with the Chanteurs doowop group in the '50s, by 1960 he had formed the Hi-Lites, a quintet who recorded for Mercury. As The Chi-Lites, the group recorded their first major hit in 1969 with "Give It Away". In 1971 a bigger hit, "(For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People" was followed by "Have You Seen Her", a million selling sweet soul ballad. Further Chi-Lites hits were "A Letter To Myself", "Stoned Out Of My Mind", "Homely Girl", "Too Good To Be Forgotten" and "You Don't Have To Go". Record quit The Chi-Lites in 1976 and signed a solo deal with Warner Brothers who released three albums. He rejoined The Chi-Lites in 1980, who recorded four more albums and had a minor UK hit with "Changing For You" in 1983.

In 1988 Record had a conversion experience, claiming to have heard the voice of God telling him to change his life. He retired from The Chi-Lites, became a church minister and released a gospel album 'Let Him In' on his own Evergreen Records in 1998.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Reader Comments

Posted by MEL WALTERS in DEVON,ENGLAND @ 20:44 on Feb 20 2009

I saw the CHI-LITES,in 1973 at a club in Birmingham,England called Rebbecas.I already loved "OH GIRL"and "HAVE YOU SEEN HER" but the song Eugene Record sang at the end made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up,especially the intro,it was called "A LETTER TO MYSELF".I saw many Soul ,Tamla Ska and Reggea artists in those years,but that performance was one that has stuck with me all my life,as an all time great.

Posted by Al. in AUSTRALIA @ 15:29 on Oct 30 2005

It's taken me over 3 months to discover that the lead singer of the Chi-lites has died. I never knew his name. Just that I adore this song. The opening is stunning, and the beautiful harmonies unrelenting. It's angelic, so touching, a real TEAR JERKER. The song got to No.3 in England back in 1972. I recently visited my Mum over there, and one of the main free to air TV stations kept featuring this song on one of their commercials. The sound of the intro was remarkable, and thoroughly addictive. Now I realise they must have been paying tribute to Eugene. I feel another part of me has died.

Posted by Winsome Thomas in The UK @ 15:31 on Aug 11 2005

Of all the more renowned soul balladeers of the 70's (some before and after as well) - The Chi-Lites have been my all time favourite group! If I were to choose one favourite from among their repertoire (extremely diffiult) it would be I Want to Pay You Back (For Loving Me). Their music was all pervasive, for me no dance party was any good without Stoned Out of My Mind, and the spiritually inspiring, There Will Never Be Any Peace Until God Is Seated At The Conference Table is still so relevant to the world today. I am sad that the world has lost Eugene Record but happy that his legacy lives on.

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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