Friday, October 04, 2013

Record #0505: The Lion Sleeps Tonight / Tina – THE TOKENS

RCA Victor 47-7954 (original) USA, Oct. 1961
Words & Music by:  Side AGeorge David Weiss, Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore; Side B – Marion Roberts
Musicians: Jay Siegel (lead falsetto), Mitch Margo (first tenor), Hank Medress (tenor), Phil Margo (baritone), Joe Venneri (guitar), with an orchestra and chorus conducted by Sammy Lowe
Recording sessions: Produced by Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore at RCA Recording Studio, New York, NY, Jul. 27, 1961
Highest chart positions:  US #1, US R&B #7, UK #11

I didn't use to dig this song much, but with age I've grown to like it a tad more. Especially the lead falsetto part is great (not the female falsetto ... still don't dig that one).

This was the only #1 and Top 10 hit for The Tokens.

The title song was originally "Mbube" and it was written by Solomon Linda, who also did the original recording in South Africa in 1939. This single doesn't show any credit for him. There were some copyright issues around this.

List price:  Very Good+ is $12.50, Near Mint is $25

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