Born: August 24, 1942
Birthplace: Chicago, IL
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
Career and Life
Marshall Thompson is an American soul/R&B singer and musician. Thompson is best known as an original member of the Chicago-based vocal group The Chi-Lites, who had many hits in the 1970s. Their songs included Pop and R&B hits" Oh Girl", "Have You Seen Her", "The Coldest Days of My Life (Part 1)", "Stoned Out of My Mind" and "(For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People". Twenty-one of their recordings appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Chart and thirty-nine appeared on Billboard Soul/R&B Chart, with 11 making the Top Ten list.
Thompson was born to musician William "Nose" Thompson and Mary Thompson. He grew up on the south-side of Chicago where he attended Hyde Park High School in 1958 and then learned his craft at DuSable High School under the direction of the famous music teacher, Captain Walter Dyett in 1959.
While still in High School, Thompson along with Eugene Record, Robert "Squirrel" Lester, Clarence Johnson, and Creadel "Red" Jones, started a vocal group in 1959 calling themselves The Hi-Lites. In 1964, The Hi-Lites recorded a song entitled, "You Did That to Me", but soon changed their name due to prior use by another group. To honor their hometown, they change their name to The Chi-Lites.
In 1967, Thompson played drums for Gladys Knight & The Pips while they were performing a two-week stint at The Regal Theater in Chicago. He also traveled with singer Major Lance as a drummer.
In late 1968, The Chi-Lites got their big break when they signed a recording contract with Brunswick Records out of Chicago. They recorded their first charting single, "Give It Away" and "Let Me Be The Man My Daddy Was" in 1969.
Between 1970 and 1974 The Chi-Lites were on a roll recording hit after hit including "I Like Your Lovin' (Do You Like Mine)" No. 11, "Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)" No. 8, "(For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People" No. 4, "Have You Seen Her" No. 1 and (No. 3 Pop), "Oh Girl" No. 1 Pop and R&B, "The Coldest Days of My Life (Part 1)" No. 8, "A Letter to Myself" No. 3, "Stoned Out of My Mind", No. 2, "Homely Girl" No. 3, "Toby" No. 7, and "That's How Long" No. 7.
1n 1973, Jones left the group and was replaced by Stanley Anderson, who was soon replaced by Willie Kensey.
By 1977, Record who was lead singer and wrote most of the hits for The Chi-Lites, left to pursue a solo career. The Chi-Lites continued on with Thompson, Lester and new member Doc Roberson who replaced Kensey.
In 1980, Thompson and Lester were reunited with Jones, and continued touring as a trio with Lester as the lead singer. Record soon rejoined the group and stayed until the mid 1980s.
Original member Creadel "Red" Jones died on August 25, 1994 at age 53.
In 1997, Thompson's wife Connie died in a car accident while traveling with The Chi-Lites as they were returning from a concert in Pennsylvania.
Thompson along with Lester kept the group together with a different line-up performing on the Classic Soul circuit and corporate events.
In 2003, Thompson released two singles, "Low Key" and "Still In My Head" on Mar-Ance Records. Beyonce sampled The Chi-Lites song "Are You My Women (Tell Me So)" for her hit Grammy winning single, "Crazy In Love", with Thompson playing congas on the track.
Original lead singer and songwriter Eugene Record died in 2005. Original member Robert "Squirrel" Lester died in 2010.
By 2011, Thompson was the last man standing from The Chi-Lites original lineup. He released the single, "Hold On To Your Dreams" on Mar-Ance Records.
In 2014, while on the Soul Train Cruise, Thompson suffered a stroke after a performance with The Chi-Lites. That same year, Thompson was featured on TV One's Unsung episode, The Story of The Chi-Lites. Thompson also released his book, "The Last Man Standing", in November of that year.
Thompson, in 2019 received a Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) Award for The Chi-Lites song "Oh Girl" placing No. 36 for song of the century (1900 - 1999). The BMI announcement was made on December 13, 1999.
On September 4, 2019, singer Jackie Wilson posthumously received a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star and Thompson was one of the guest speakers at the ceremony. Wilson was a label mate of Thompson on Brunswick Records.
As of 2020, Thompson is continuing The Chi-Lites' legacy as the last surviving member. On June 17, 2020, Hollywood Walk of Fame announced their Class of 2021 to received stars on Hollywood Blvd., and The Chi-Lites were named as one of the honorees.