It will be an evening of absolute nostalgia, accentuated by good music and good friends when the legendary Soul/R&B performing artistes, the incomparable Chi-Lites travel to the City of Montego Bay, for an exclusive post Mother’s Day performance on Saturday May 14.
The show, called ‘An Evening of Elegance’ and presented by ‘Dream Castle Villa’ in association with ‘Wi Deh Yah’ Productions, will be an ‘All White Affair’ and will take place at the Seawind Club at Montego Freeport, Montego Bay St. James.
The select performance will include veteran entertainers, Montego Bay’s dynamic vocal trio Ebony as well as the all male singing group, L.U.S.T.
The Chi-Lites, were formed in Chicago in 1959 when The Chanteurs which included Eugene Record, Robert “Squirrel” Lester, and Clarence Johnson, teamed up with Marshall Thompson and Creadel “Red” Jones of the Desideros to form The Hi-lites.
As the Hi-Lites they released a number of singles on local labels then in 1964 they changed their name to Marshall & the Chi-Lites; the ‘C’ being added to reflect the name of their hometown, Chicago. By the end of 1964 Clarence Johnson had left the group and they truncated their name to simply the Chi-Lites. During the ensuing four years Eugene Record slowly emerged as the group’s lead singer, songwriter and producer.
In 1969, after signing with Brunswick the previous year, “Give It Away” became their first USA national hit single attaining number ten in the R&B charts. The follow-up release “Let Me Be The Man My Daddy Was” was moderately successful but another major hit was elusive until “Are You My Woman ?” climbed into the R&B top ten in early 1971. A succession of top ten hits followed commencing with their next release “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power To The People” which was the first release to crossover into the pop charts.
The ballads “Have You Seen Her” and “Oh Girl” followed, both reaching number one in the R&B charts with “Oh Girl” also achieving the number one slot in the pop charts in the spring of 1972.
The Chi-Lites lineup changed shortly after “Stoned Out Of My Mind”. Creadel Jones was replaced by Stanley Anderson, who himself was replaced by Willie Kensey. Three top ten hits R&B hits followed – “Homely Girl”, “There Will Never Be Any Peace” and “Toby”, before Kensey was replaced with Doc Roberson.
The present day Chi-Lites line-up includes original member Marshall Thompson (leader of the group), Frank Reed, lead vocals), Fred Simon (tenor and bass), (from The Lost Generation) and Tara Thompson (background vocals). They were inducted into The (R/B Hall Of Fame) in 2000 and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2005.
In recent years, the Chi-Lites have been touring the US and Europe to rave reviews in the media.
One reviewer said “What I actually saw was a fantastic line up of Chi Lites that surpassed anything I had assumed. The sound they recreated was so close to the original hits all delivered with vitality and with a seemingly long lost skill of many present entertainers, that being the ability to actually entertain the audience.
The stand out tunes that got the most appreciative reaction from the capacity crowd were “Power to the people” “Have you seen her” “Homely girl” “I found Sunshine” “Stoned out of my mind” “To good to be forgotten” and of course “Oh Girl”.
Member of the Production team Sydney Reid says “the Montego Bay show is expected to be no less. It will be an awesome affair and patrons can expect to hear all their favorite hits that made Chi-Lites a household name in Jamaica.”
“With all the love this group is expected to shower down on the audience, the Sunset Beach Club will be transformed into a love nest. It will be a night for lovers right after the Mothers Day weekend, making this a post Mothers Day presentation to remember,” Reid declared.