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Eugene Record, 64; Founded Chi-Lites, Wrote 'Oh Girl'

July 25, 2005|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Eugene Record, 64, founder of the Chicago-based vocal group the Chi-Lites, died Friday of cancer. His booking agency, which announced the death, did not say where he died.

Record formed a group called the Chanteurs with Robert "Squirrel" Lester and Clarence Johnson and recorded a single in 1959. Joined by Creadel Jones and Marshall Thompson, they became the Hi-Lites, officially switching to the Chi-Lites in 1964.

Mingling Motown sounds with sentimental doo-wop, they created their own style of soul. Record, who emerged as the group's lead singer and songwriter, wrote "Have You Seen Her?" and "Oh Girl," which became a No. 1 hit in 1972. He also wrote or helped write all 11 songs the group had in the Top 20 on the R&B charts from 1969 to 1974.

Although Record retired from the group in the mid-1980s, he shared in a Grammy awarded to Beyonce Knowles and others for her 2003 hit "Crazy in Love." Her recording was partly based on his song "Are You My Woman? Tell Me So." Record, who performed as a soloist over the years, rejoined the Chi-Lites for the 2002 documentary about soul stars titled "Only the Strong Survive."

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