Hi Everybody, I hope you had an eventful week-end, I sure did!!!
Riding around tonight listening to the oldies station, I heard a forgotten old rendition of the Box-Tops great hit "The Letter". It was a slow version, and the group was called The Arbors.
There are many hits that have been redone, remember Jose' Feliciano's slower version of The Door's hit "Light My Fire"? How about Jimi Hendryx's version of Bob Dylan's hit, "All Along The Watchtower"?.....Well since this is Musical Monday, and I AM Mr. Knowitall, I think that you will find the following little story interesting......Remember the song by The Tokens' called "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"?
The original title of this song was "Mbube"(which means lion); The subject was a sleeping lion..
The real lyrics went something like..."Hush! Hush! If we will all be quiet, there will be Lion meat for supper". It was sung with a haunting Zulu refrain, that sounded to the English like "Wimoweh"..
"Mbube"was popular on the boats that is now Swaziland. In the 1930's a South African singer named Soloman Linda recorded it...It soon was passed down as folk music. In the 1950's, Miriam Makeba recorded it in it's original Zulu....And an American folk group named The Weavers adopted a version that actually reached #15, called "Wimoweh"!
In 1961 a Brooklyn doo-wop group named The Tokens, were offered a try-out with RCA Records. Since the country was Folk Music crazy at the time, they auditioned with "Wimoweh". The RCA execs liked the song, but decided it needed new lyrics, so they wrote "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"for The Tokens--not knowing that the original version was also about a lion..The Tokens' record hit #1 in 1961, and a singer named Robert John had a #3 hit with it in 1972...
Lotsa mileage out of a song about a lion eh?
I hope you learned something today......Peace!