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The Music of the Tokens: A Lion Sleeps...

49 pages33 minutes


In 1939, South African Solomon Linda turned a chant into a local hit. Years later a copy of the record found its way to New York and Decca Records. Pete Seeger interpreted the song's relentless chant to be "wimoweh" and thus recorded it. In the early 1960s, a group of New York City doo-woppers who called themselves The Tokens, recorded it with new lyrics. Within six weeks the song went to the top of America's singles charts. "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" became one of the top-selling songs for the year. The Tokens would go on to have a long career as recording artist, record producers and record company owners. They were instrumental in creating number one hits while working with The Chiffons and The Happenings, all the while continuing their highly successful recording career. The Music of the Tokens relates the story of this enduring group, their classic song, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and many others.

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