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Sunday, 31 December 2017

Jonah Jones born 31 December 1933

Jonah Jones (born Robert Elliott Jones; December 31, 1909 – April 29, 2000) was a jazz trumpeter who created concise versions of jazz and swing and jazz standards that appealed to a mass audience. In the jazz community, it can be argued that he might be best appreciated for his work with Stuff Smith. He was sometimes referred to as "King Louis II," a reference to Louis Armstrong. Jones started playing alto saxophone at the age of 12 in the Booker T. Washington Community Center band in Louisville, Kentucky before quickly transitioning to trumpet, where he excelled.
The day he heard a Louis Armstrong record, he said, his life changed. He began his career playing on a river boat named Island Queen, which travelled between Kentucky and Ohio. While still in Louisville, he performed with local bands like Tinsley's Royal Aces and Perdue's Pirates; in 1928 he was hired by the band leader Horace Henderson and worked in the Midwest for a few years.
In 1932 he moved north and joined the violinist Stuff Smith's sextet. He continued changing jobs, appearing with McKinney's Cotton Pickers and Lil Armstrong, Louis Armstrong's wife, among other band leaders. But his first big break came in 1936, with a four-year residency at the Onyx Club secured by Stuff Smith. The band, featuring Smith on electrified violin, was popular, salting its vivid playing with slapstick humour.
In the 1940s he worked in big bands like Benny Carter's and Fletcher Henderson's. He would spend most of decade with Cab Calloway's band which later became a combo. (Calloway was an appreciative boss: he recorded a song celebrating Mr. Jones's arrival called ''Jonah Joins the Cab.'')
He staged a midcareer resurgence in the 50's by putting a mute in his horn and familiar pop melodies in his hands. In 1952 Mr. Jones received an offer from the pianist Joe Bushkin to fill in at the Embers, one of New York's 52nd Street jazz clubs. Mr. Jones agreed to put a mute in his horn; this quieter sound was what his predecessor in the band, Buck Clayton, had adopted, and it was what the restaurant preferred. Mr. Jones, whose resume included stints with the society band leaders
Lester Lanin and Meyer Davis, wasn't particularly fazed. Despite the fact that his regular style was open, forceful and swinging in the Louis Armstrong vein, he knew how to play softly too.
Jones played Dixieland with Earl Hines (1952-1953), toured Europe in 1954 (including a brilliant recording session with Sidney Bechet), and then led his quartet at the Embers (1955), concentrating on a formula which gained him wider appeal for a decade. The quartet consisted of George "River Rider" Rhodes on piano, John "Broken Down" Browne on bass and Harold "Hard Nuts" Austin on drums.
The most-mentioned accomplishment of this style is their version of "On The Street Where You Live", a strong-swinging treatment of the Broadway tune with a boogie-woogie jump blues feel. This effort succeeded and he began to be known to a wider audience. This led to his quartet performing on An Evening With Fred Astaire in 1958 and an award at the Grammy Awards of 1960, receiving the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. He recorded a long series of popular albums for Capitol during 1957-1963, switching to Decca for a few more quartet albums in 1965-1967.
In 1972 he made a return to more "core" jazz work with Earl Hines on the Chiaroscuro album Back On The Street. Jones enjoyed especial popularity in France, being featured in a jazz festival in the Salle Pleyel.
Touring and recording through the 80's, Mr. Jones finally retired from performing in 1993. His final public performance was at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village in November, when he sang during a benefit for the Jazz Foundation of America.
A 1996 videotaped interview completed by Dan Del Fiorentino was donated to the NAMM Oral History Program Collection in 2010 to preserve his music for future generations.
He was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1999 and died the following year in New York City at the age of 91.

(Info compiled & edited mainly from Wikipedia, The New York Times & All Music)

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Bo Diddley born 30 December 1928

Ellas McDaniel (born Ellas Otha Bates, December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008), known as Bo Diddley, was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter and music producer who played a key role in the transition from the blues to rock and roll. Many of the biggest names in rock music — the Rolling Stones and The Who among them — recorded Diddley’s songs or wrote songs inspired by his example; his performance on stage also influenced a generation of rock musicians.
He only had a few hits in the 1950s and early '60s, but as Bo Diddley sang, "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover." You can't judge an artist by his chart success, either, and Diddley produced greater and more influential music than all but a handful of the best early rockers. The Bo Diddley beat is one of rock & roll's bedrock rhythms, showing up in the work of Buddy Holly, the Rolling Stones, and even pop-garage knock-offs like the Strangeloves' 1965 hit "I Want Candy."
Diddley's hypnotic rhythmic attack and declamatory, boasting vocals stretched back as far as Africa for their roots, and looked as far into the future as rap. His trademark otherworldly vibrating, fuzzy guitar style did much to expand the instrument's power and range. But even more important, Bo's bounce was fun and irresistibly rocking, with a wisecracking, jiving tone that epitomized rock & roll at its most humorously outlandish and freewheeling.
Before taking up blues and R&B, Diddley had studied classical violin, but shifted gears after hearing John Lee Hooker. In the early '50s, he began playing with his long-time partner, maraca player Jerome Green, to get what Bo's called "that freight train sound." Billy Boy Arnold, a fine blues harmonica player and singer in his own right, was also playing with Diddley when the guitarist got a deal with Chess in the mid-'50s (after being turned down by rival Chicago label Vee-Jay).


His very first single, "Bo Diddley"/"I'm a Man" (1955), was a double-sided monster. The A-side was soaked with futuristic waves of tremolo guitar, set to an ageless nursery rhyme; the flip was a bump-and-grind, harmonica-driven shuffle, based around a devastating blues riff. But the result was not exactly blues, or even straight R&B, but a new kind of guitar-based rock & roll, soaked in the blues and R&B, but owing allegiance to neither.
Diddley was never a top seller on the order of his Chess rival Chuck Berry, but over the next half-dozen or so years, he produced a catalog of classics that rival Berry's in quality. "You Don't Love Me," "Diddley Daddy," "Pretty Thing," "Diddy Wah Diddy," "Who Do You Love?," "Mona," "Road Runner," "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover" -- all are stone-cold standards of early, riff-driven rock & roll at its funkiest. Oddly enough, his only Top 20 pop hit was an atypical, absurd back-and-forth rap between him and Jerome Green, "Say Man," that came about almost by accident as the pair were fooling around in the studio.
As a live performer, Diddley was galvanizing, using his trademark square guitars and distorted amplification to produce new sounds that anticipated the innovations of '60s guitarists like Jimi Hendrix. In Great Britain, he was revered as a giant on the order of Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. The Rolling Stones in particular borrowed a lot from Bo's rhythms and attitude in their early days, although they only officially covered a couple of his tunes, "Mona" and "I'm Alright." Other British R&B groups like the Yardbirds, Animals, and Pretty Things also covered Diddley standards in their early days. Buddy Holly covered "Bo Diddley" and used a modified Bo Diddley beat on "Not Fade Away"; when the Stones gave the song the full-on Bo treatment (complete with shaking maracas), the result was their first big British hit.
The British Invasion helped increase the public's awareness of Diddley's importance, and ever since then he was a popular live act. Sadly, though, his career as a recording artist -- in commercial and artistic terms -- was over by the time the Beatles and Stones hit America. He would record with ongoing and declining frequency, but after 1963, he never wrote or recorded original material on par with his early classics. Whether he'd spent his muse, or just felt he could coast on his laurels, is hard to say. But he remains a vital part of the collective rock & roll consciousness, and occasionally reached wider visibility via a 1979 tour with the Clash, a cameo role in the film Trading Places, a late-'80s tour with Ronnie Wood, and a 1989 television commercial for sports shoes with star athlete Bo Jackson.
He was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1996 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm ’n’ Blues Foundation and in 1998 received another Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy at that year’s Grammy awards. In 2000 he was inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame.
On May 13th, 2007, Diddley was admitted to intensive care in Omaha, Nebraska, following a stroke after a concert in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In August, while recovering, he suffered a heart attack — though he did rally sufficiently to sing at a November event in his hometown of McComb, at which a plaque was unveiled in his honor as part of the Mississippi Blues Trail.

Bo Diddley died on June 2, 2008, of heart failure at his home in Archer, Florida. He was posthumously awarded a Doctor of Fine Arts degree by the University of Florida for his influence on American popular music.
(Info mainly compiled from Richie Unterberger @ All Music)

Friday, 29 December 2017

Ed Bruce born 29 December 1939

William Edwin Bruce, Jr. (born December 29, 1939) is an American country music songwriter and singer.
Bruce was born in Keiser, Arkansas and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1957, at the age of 17, he went to see Jack Clement, a recording engineer for Sun Records. Bruce caught the attention of Sun owner Sam Phillips, for whom he wrote and recorded "Rock Boppin' Baby" (as "Edwin Bruce"). In 1962, he wrote "Save Your Kisses" for pop star Tommy Roe and in 1963 he reached No. 109 on the Billboard "Bubbling Under" chart with his own recording of "See the Big Man Cry" (Wand 140).
In the early 1960s, Bruce recorded for RCA and some smaller labels like Wand/Scepter, singing rockabilly music, as well as more pop-oriented material. However, he didn't achieve significant success as a vocalist during this period. by 1964 Bruce had moved to Nashville to become a member of the
Marijohn Wilkins Singers. He also entered into a lucrative career singing advertising jingles; his best-known campaign cast him as a character called the Tennessean.
In 1966, he returned to RCA and recorded "Puzzles", "The Price I Pay to Stay" and "Lonesome Is Me". He still did not achieve great charting action. He made money doing voice-overs for television and radio commercials. He scored his first charted single with "Walker's Woods" in 1967, and also charted with his version of The Monkees' "Last Train to Clarksville." In 1969, Bruce signed with Monument Records, where he continued to have minor successes. Meanwhile, he continued to write songs like "The Man That Turned My Mama On," which was a major hit for Tanya Tucker in 1974 and "Restless" for Crystal Gayle the same year.
He signed with United Artists Records in 1973 and released several singles, but only one single in 1974 became a minor hit. He finally made the upper regions of the charts when he made the Top 20 on the country charts with his version of "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" in 1976.
In 1978, "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys" was recorded by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. It became a major hit, and put Bruce on an upward swing. Two more Top 40 hits followed for Bruce in 1976, and in 1977, he signed with Epic Records where he would score minor hits. In 1979, Tanya Tucker took Bruce's song "Texas (When I Die)" into the country Top 5.
In 1980, Bruce signed with MCA Records, where he would score his biggest successes. His early hits with MCA included "Diane", "The Last Cowboy Song", "When You Fall In Love (Everything's A Waltz)", "Evil Angel", and "Love's Found You And Me". His biggest hit, "You're the Best Break This Old Heart Ever Had" went to number one on the country chart in 1982. This also was Bruce's first Top 10 as a singer after 15 years. He had other hit songs that made the Top 10 like "Ever, Never Lovin' You", "My First Taste of Texas", and "After All".
In 1984, he returned to RCA Records and scored a No. 3 hit with "You Turn Me On Like A Radio" in 1985. His last Top 10 single was "Nights" in 1986 and his last Top 40 single (and last chart single to date) was "Quietly Crazy" in 1987.
During this time, Bruce began to act and do commercials. One of his biggest acting roles was as the second lead on the television revival of 1957's Maverick, called Bret Maverick. Starring James Garner as a legendary western gambler, the series ran on NBC-TV during the 1981-82 season but was unexpectedly cancelled despite respectable ratings. Bruce also sang and wrote the theme song to the show, while Garner himself sang the same song over the end titles at the show's close, albeit while being relentlessly interrupted by network announcements about upcoming programming.
After the 1986 album entitled Night Things and a 1988 self-titled follow-up, Bruce made a conscious decision to cut back on his music to focus on his acting career, appearing in several made-for-TV films. He hosted two shows in the late 1980s, Truckin' USA and American Sports Cavalcade Bruce has also appeared in several theatrical releases, including Fire Down Below with Steven Seagal.
 (Info edited mainly from Wikipedia)

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

John Hughey born 27 December 1933

John Hughey (December 27, 1933 – November 18, 2007) was an American musician. He was known for his work as a session pedal steel guitar player for various country music acts, most notably Conway Twitty to Vince Gill to Elvis Presley. A member of the Pedal Steel Guitar Hall of Fame, Hughey was known for a distinctive playing style called "crying steel", which focused primarily on the higher range of the guitar. 

John Robert Hughey was born December 27, 1933 in Elaine, Arkansas. He began playing guitar at age nine, when his parents bought him an acoustic guitar from Sears. In the seventh grade, he befriended a classmate named Harold Jenkins, who would later become a prominent country singer under his stage name Conway Twitty. (Hughey and Jenkins also attended high school together.)

Influenced by Eddy Arnold's steel guitarist, Little Roy Wiggins, Hughey asked his father to buy him a lap steel guitar. Along with Jenkins and other high school friends, Hughey performed in a local band called the Phillips County Ramblers. Hughey first played professionally as a member of Slim Rhodes and The Mother's Best Mountaineers, a Memphis, Tennessee-based band.

In 1968 he met up with his childhood friend Conway Twitty and became a member of Twitty’s backing band, the Lonely Blue Boys. His steel guitar playing was featured on Twitty’s first US country number 1, ‘Next In Line’. The Lonely Blue Boys evolved into the Twitty Birds and for a time, also included John’s brother, Gene. His steel guitar with its ‘crying’ sound was featured on most of Conway’s chart-topping singles, but by 1980 Hughey was becoming frustrated. Twitty had sold the franchise for his souvenirs to another company and so his backing musicians no longer received their percentage cut on the sales. Twitty was also moving away from the steel guitar and after several unhappy years, Hughey finally left in 1988.
Hughey also recorded with various other acts, such as Marty Stuart, Willie Nelson, Dickey Betts and Elvis Presley, From Elvis In Memphis and Back In Memphis. By the 1980s, he began playing for Loretta Lynn, then moved on to play steel for Vince Gill for twelve years. Hughey's method of steel guitar playing was known as the "crying steel" method, because of his use of vibrato on the instrument's higher range. Vince Gill has cited Hughey as giving "definition" to his music, citing the single "Look at Us" (from 1991's Pocket Full of Gold) as an example. According to Gill, that song's steel guitar intro "makes that song recognizable by what happens before any words even get sung. 
"Marty Stuart, for whom Hughey played on the 1992 album This One's Gonna Hurt You, described him as "a top drawer statesman who helped define the whole 20th century sound of country music.

Hughey was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1996. His Hall of Fame plaque refers to him as the master of "bar shiver." In the 2000s, he and several other Nashville musicians formed a Western swing band called The Time Jumpers, who performed every Monday at a club in Nashville. An active session musician, Hughey’s work was also featured in movies, television series and specials, commercials and music videos. 

Hughey died in Nashville on November 18, 2007 from heart complications, one month after having had a stent put in his heart. His funeral was held on November 21, 2007 at the First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee. (Info mainly edited from Wikipedia)

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Régine Zylberberg born 26 December 1929

Régine Zylberberg, (born Regina Zylberberg, 26 December 1929) better known as Régine, is a Belgian-born French singer and night-club impresaria. She dubbed herself the "Queen of the Night". 

Régine was born in Etterbeek, Belgium to Polish-Jewish parents. and spent much of her early life in hiding from the Nazis in occupied wartime France. It was here, she told writer-director Michael Feeney Callan, who documented her home life in his television series, My Riviera, through deprivation and poverty, she developed a lifelong obsession with shoes: "We were poor, we had nothing, so shoes became a symbol of freedom."

After the war, Régine became a torch singer and by 1953 was a well-known nightclub manager in Paris. She is widely attributed with the invention of the modern-day discothèque, by virtue of creating a new, dynamic atmosphere at Paris' Whisky à Gogo, with the ubiquitous jukebox replaced by disc jockeys utilising linked turntables. In 1957, she opened Chez Régine in the Latin Quarter, which quickly became the place to be seen for playboys and princes.  

As Régine's celebrity expanded she established other venues under the name Chez Régine's in London, New York, Monte Carlo and elsewhere. These were ultra selective venues in prime urban locations, all featuring her signature "disco-style" layout. It is commonly accepted that Régine's Paris Whisky à Gogo became the inspiration for the later establishment of the Whisky a Go Go nightclub in Los Angeles. Her two attempts at opening clubs in London both failed within months and she blamed this on what she called the British "lack of style". She also established Jimmy'z, a nightclub in Monaco, in 1974. 

Aside from inventing the discothèque concept, Régine introduced France to the Twist, having seen the Paris cast of West Side Story warming up to Chubby Checker records. Thereafter, she famously taught public figures, like the Duke of Windsor, to do the Twist. Her circle of celebrity friends was large and for more than a decade she presided over an ever-growing multimillion-dollar international nightclub empire. She was fêted in the French media particularly and paralleled her business life with a career in performance, scoring a notable hit single with the French version of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive". Through the 1970s, she also appeared in small roles in a number of French films.

During the expansion of her business empire in the 1970s, Régine moved to New York and lived in a suite of the Delmonico Hotel where she opened one of her clubs on the ground floor of the hotel. The club served food under the direction of French chef Michel Guerard. At this time there were 25 clubs bearing her name across three continents and it was said you could party at a Régine's somewhere in the world 17 hours out of every 24. In the 1970s, she designed a line of packable, unwrinkable evening clothes that were "Ready-to-Dance" which were sold at Bloomingdale's.. In 1988, she was in charge of the famous Ledoyen Restaurant on the Champs Elysées in Paris. 

A feisty and outspoken person by nature, in 1996 Régine and her son were arrested for refusing to comply with crew requests and smoking on an American Airlines flight. It was alleged that, though she was travelling economy, Régine had demanded a first class upgrade, which the airline declined. 

In June 2011, she appeared as Solange in Follies at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She lives with her husband in St Tropez. She has one son, Lionel, from her first husband Leon Rothcage whom she married when she was 16. (Info from Wikipedia) 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Jabbo Smith born 24 December 1908

Jabbo Smith, born as Cladys Smith (December 24, 1908 – January 16, 1991) was an American jazz musician, known for his virtuoso playing on the trumpet. He had one of the oddest careers in jazz history. A brilliant trumpeter, Smith had accomplished virtually all of his most significant work by the time he turned 21, yet lived to be 82.

Jabbo Smith was born in Pembroke, Georgia on Christmas Eve in 1908, the son of a barber and church organist. After the death of his father when Jabbo was very young he moved, at age four, to Savannah. His mother found it increasingly difficult to care for him and at age six Jabbo was placed into the Jenkins Orphanage Home in Charleston where he was nicknamed Jabbo. His mother also found employment in the Home in order to be near to him.  

 The Jenkins Home placed heavy emphasis on music education and produced a number of important Jazzmen who received their first public playing experience while touring with one of several student orchestras. It was in this setting that Jabbo took up trumpet and trombone at the age of eight and began touring the country with a student band at the age of ten.

After unsuccessfully attempting to leave the institution a number of times, Jabbo finally left for good at the age of sixteen to become a professional musician, at first playing in bands in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Atlantic City, New Jersey before making his base in Manhattan, New York City  where he made the first of his well regarded recordings. He made (and kept) a promise to his mother never to work for less than one hundred dollars a week, a good wage in those days.

During 1925-1928 he was with Charlie Johnson's Paradise Ten, a top New York jazz group that made some classic recordings. Smith was on a recording session with Duke Ellington in 1927 (resulting in a memorable version of "Black and Tan Fantasy") and played in the show Keep Shufflin' with James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. 

The high points of Smith's career were his 1929 recordings with his Rhythm Aces. These superb performances feature Smith playing with daring, creativity, and a bit of recklessness, displaying an exciting style that hints at Roy Eldridge (who would not burst upon the scene for another six years). But, although Jabbo Smith at the time was considered a close competitor of Louis Armstrong, he had hit his peak. His unreliability, excessive drinking, and unprofessional attitude resulted in lost jobs, missed opportunities, and a steep decline. 

Toward the end of the 1930's Jabbo gradually withdrew from serious music activity. He led a group for a while at the 1939 World's Fair in New York and gigged in a Newark, N.J. club called the Alcazar. It was there that he encouraged a 17 year old Newark singer who sat in at the Alcazar from time to time to enter a talent show at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. She won and got her start. The Singer? The Divine One, Sarah Vaughn. It seems Jabbo also had an ear for talent !  

Soon after, Jabbo moved to Milwaukee where he married, did some local playing and enjoyed the security of a steady job with a car rental agency. There Jabbo Smith, one of the top four or five most influential trumpet players of Jazz, languished in quiet oblivion for twenty years. This was indeed a catastrophic musical loss. Finally, around 1960, Jabbo was rediscovered. He subsequently recorded two albums (his style a mere shadow of his former heights) and in 1979 was a guest artist in the musical One Mo' Time which opened to rave reviews. He also made appearances at several Jazz festivals, toured Europe and performed at the West End Cafe, the Bottom Line and the Village Vanguard, all in New York. One of his last public performances was in Berlin in 1986 where he greatly impressed Don Cherry, the avant-garde trumpeter! 

Jabbo suffered a stroke in May of 1990 and was living in the Village Nursing Home in New York. Jabbo died in January of 1991 at age 82 from pneumonia, but not before learning of his acceptance to the Coastal Jazz Hall of Fame. (Info compiled and edited from All Music, Red Hot Jazz & Wikipedia)

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Eugene Record born 23 December 1940

Eugene Booker Record (December 23, 1940 – July 22, 2005) was a songwriter, producer, all-around instrumentalist and frequent lead vocalist of the Chi-Lites, one of the greatest soul groups ever to come out of Chicago.

Chicagoan Eugene Record became interested in music at an early age, first picking up the guitar. A big influence was his older sister, an accomplished pianist who practiced classical music everyday in the living room of his family home. Classic music motifs appear later in Record's original songs and record productions.  

The Chaunteurs (1961) : Clarence Johnson, Robert Lester, Eddie Reed, Sollie McElroy and Eugene Record

At 13, he shared his visions of owning his own record company with fellow teen Gus Redmond. While attending Englewood High School, he formed the Chanteurs with Robert "Squirrel" Lester and Clarence Johnson. The group recorded a couple of singles ("You Did That to Me") for Leo Ostell's Renee Records in 1959. Teaming with Marshall Thompson and Creadel "Red" Jones of the Desideros, the quintet became the Hi-Lites and started recording for the Daran label owned by Thompson's cousin James Shelton. Record, who was working as a taxi-driver, wrote most of their songs, often with his then wife Barbara Acklin. He also provided the distinctive lead vocal, fluttering between tenor and falsetto. 

The H-Lites : Top : Creadel "Red" Jones, Eugene Record, Robert Squirrel- Bottom : Marshal Thompson
 The band had several minor hits on the R&B chart in the 1960s,  In 1964, the single "I'm So Jealous" was a moderate hit and was leased to Chicago-based Mercury Records. Johnson left the group that same year.

Two more releases followed on Mercury's Blue Rock subsidiary while other singles were issued on Ja-Wes and Darin, including the Monk Higgins song "Go Go Gorilla." Their first big break came when Marshall Thompson ran into Otis Leavill while riding on a city bus. Leavill suggested that the group, now called the Chi-Lites, audition for producer Carl Davis, who had just opened his Dakar label. The Chi-Lites' first Dakar single was "Price of Love" in 1967.  

Davis signed the Chi-Lites to Brunswick in late 1968, releasing their first national chart hit, "Give It Away," which went to number ten R&B in early 1969. The double-sided follow-up was "Let Me Be the Man My Daddy Was" backed with "The Twelfth of Never." Davis hired Record to write songs for his Jalynne publishing firm in the late '60s. Collaborating with fellow Brunswick signee Barbara Acklin, who had a 1968 Top Ten R&B/pop hit with "Love Makes a Woman," Record had a hit with Peaches and Herb's "Two Little Kids."

Around this time, he and Acklin wrote the classic melancholy ballad "Have You Seen Her,"  but Record  had rejected it as a potential single on account of it being unusually long. Yet the huge success of Isaac Hayes's LP Hot Buttered Soul (1969) - which contained several lengthy, part-spoken tracks - convinced Record to dust off the tune, and its beseeching tone, combined with his soulfully romantic delivery propelled it to No 3 in the American charts. The group's country-ish follow-up, Oh Girl, though perhaps less memorable, did even better, reaching No 1. 

The Chi-Lites continued to enjoy success in the pre-disco days of the mid-Seventies, scoring four Top Ten hits in Britain, most notably Homely Girl. Record, however, was already turning to more ambitious, polemical fare such as There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God is Seated at the Conference Table), that hinted at his ultimate destiny as a gospel singer. 

Before then, tax problems at Brunswick hobbled the Chi-Lites for a time and, following several changes of personnel, Record quit the band in 1976 to try a solo career. He released three albums on Warner Records, including Trying to Get to You (1978), named after a Marvin Gaye track, but they failed to spark. In 1979, he had a disco hit called "Magnetism. In 1980 he re-joined the Chi-Lites. 

In1988 however, he left for good, attesting that he had heard God speaking to him while he was in the recording studio. He dedicated himself to gospel and to a simpler way of life, being able to live comfortably off his song-writing royalties. In 1990, for instance, MC Hammer recorded a version of Have You Seen Her which reached No 4 in the American charts, while among many other covers of his songs was Swing Out Sister's 1992 hit Am I The Same Girl?' 

In December of 2003, Record reunited with the Chi-Lites to film the PBS Special Superstars of Seventies Soul. The following year the hip hop generation knocked on his door once again as "Are You My Woman" was used as part of the Beyonce hit "Crazy in Love." The song used enough of his tune to garner a writing credit and earned Record his first Grammy Award. 

After a long battle with cancer Eugene Record passed away on July 22, 2005 at the age of 64. At the time of his death he was busy with ministry work and planning a re-release of his 1998 gospel album Let Him In.

(Info compiled and edited mainly from All Music & The Telegraph obit)