A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled recently honoring The Chi-Lites, a vocal quartet that had 11 Top 10 singles on the Billboard R&B charts between 1969 and 1974.
The group’s founder and lone surviving original member Marshall Thompson spoke at the Sept. 29 ceremony at 7057 Hollywood Blvd., near La Brea Avenue, along with comedian Jimmy Walker and radio personality Jeff Fox.
The star is the 2,702nd since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961.
The group’s 1972 song about a relationship on the verge of break-up “Oh Girl” was 36th on the list of the 20th century’s most played songs on American radio and television compiled by the music rights organization BMI. It was also the group’s only No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Chi-Lites’ other top 10 singles on the Billboard R&B charts included “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” and “Stoned Out Of My Mind.”
In 1959, Thompson formed a vocal group called the “Hi-Lights” in Chicago with Eugene Record, Robert Lester and Creadel “Red” Jones. After releasing several singles on local labels, the group changed its name in 1964 to “Marshall & The Chi-Lites.” In 1969, the group changed its name to The Chi-Lites and were signed by Brunswick Records.
The Chi-Lites were inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall Of Fame in 2000 followed by the Vocal Groups Hall Of Fame in 2004.
The group appeared on numerous television shows including “American Bandstand,” “Soul Train,” “The Midnight Special,” “Saturday Night Live” and “The Flip Wilson Show.”