Chi-Lites – Oh Girl

I hope everyone had a great Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing day. My first non-holiday post since last week…we will start off with the smooth ool soul sound of the Chi-Lites.

This song is a perfect soul/pop song. I need to dive into the Chi-Lites catalog more because the two I know from them the most are this one and Have You Seen Her?

I never knew how to prounce their name until I found this bit of info…you pronounce it Shy-Lites“… This song could be the definition of 1970s soul music. I never knew for sure if it was “shy” Chi like Chicago.

Oh Girl was written and sung by group leader Eugene Record. The other three Chi-Lites  contributed harmonies. Eugene wasn’t enamored of the song after he wrote it but it soon would prove to be his most successful. Eugene, Robert “Squirrel” Lester, and Clarence Johnson formed the doo wop group the Chanteurs in the late ’50s.

In 1964…they changed their name to Marshall & the Chi-Lites, adding the “C” as tribute to their hometown Chicago. By the end of the year, Johnson had left the group and the remaining quartet shortened their name to the Chi-Lites. Over the next four years, the group continued to perform and release independent singles, with Record slowly emerging as the group’s lead singer, songwriter, and producer.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in the R&B Charts, #9 in Canada, and #3 in the UK in 1972.

Members have come and gone in the band. Eugene Record passed away in 2005. The band is still out there performing with Marshall Thompson as the lone original member.

I remember in the 1980s that Paul Young did a really good version of this song. Others to cover this song was Leo Sayer and  Smokey Robinson.

Eugene Record: “I gave Carl Davis 7 songs on a tape and he called me to say there’s a #1 tune on there. I named them all before ‘Oh Girl’ and I thought he was kidding.”

Oh Girl

Oh, girl
I’d be in trouble if you left me now
‘Cause I don’t know where to look for love
I just don’t know how

Oh, girl
How I depend on you
To give me love when I need it
Right on time you would always be

All my friends call me a fool
They say, “Let the woman take care of you”
So I try to be hip and think like the crowd
But even the crowd can’t help me now, oh…oh…oh…oh…oh…oh…

Oh, girl
Tell me what am I gonna do
I know I’ve got a guilty face
Girl, I feel so out of place, oh, yeah…yeah…

Don’t know where to go, who to see, yeah

Oh, girl
I guess I better go
I can save myself a lot of useless tears
Girl, I’ve gotta get away from here

Oh, girl
Pain will double if you leave me now
‘Cause I don’t know where to look for love
And I don’t, I don’t know how

Oh, yeah
Mmm…hmm…

Oh, girl
Why do I love you so, yeah
Mmm…
Better be on my way, I can’t stay

Have you ever seen such a helpless man
Oh…oh…no…

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

18 thoughts on “Chi-Lites – Oh Girl”

  1. Heartwarming, beautiful ’70s soul! In fact, I have a little Chi-Lites story I can share.

    About 10 to 12 years ago, my wife, son and I actually saw the Chi-Lites live in a summer concert in a park in my area. And, man, they were looking sharp: Four or five elderly gentlemen in orange suits and orange hats, who were singing amazingly beautiful and moving (slowly) in unison – in other words, it was a classic old school performance – so good!

    After the show, we went to their merchandise stand to buy a CD. My son who then was like 10 years old took the CD and all of his courage, walked up to one of the members of the Chi-Lites, and asked whether he’d be willing to autograph the CD. Not only did the elderly gentleman happily oblige, but he was also very sweet to my then little boy. I’ll never forget this moment.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That is a great story! It’s great when artists reach out to their fans young and old. Your son will never forget that most likely. The big stars need to think about that when they interact with people.

      I want to hear more from them. I had the greatest hits years and years ago but I lost it through the years.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That story from Christian is great… almost a Christmas story after christmas! I love this song, one of the oldies stations in town has added it to their playlist again & I always like it. Amazing – an under-statement – that they’re still going with an original member. They predate the Rolling Stones, chronologically.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They are one of the first soul groups that I liked. That is a great story… I wish more would do that. Everyone does that starting out usually but rarely keep it up.

      Like

  3. Love Eugene Record, the chi-lites and this track topped my charts when i was 14. They deserve to have a much higher reputation, their back catalogue is amazing. Eugene wrote Am I The Same Girl with barabara acklin in the 60s as covered sublimely by dusty springfield, and even as late as 1976 the band were still having big uk hits, latterley with the brilliant disco soul romp You Dont Have To Go.

    I went to see the touring version in the 2010s and Marshall Thompson was so happy and enthusiastic he even gave out email contact details to fans and sure enough he did reply to me when i said how much i enjoyed the show! Gent!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The do deserve to be more known I agree. I’ve heard nothing but good stories about them….it’s so great when an artist connects with their fans.

      Liked by 1 person

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