In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight…

The song was originally written and recorded by South African musician “Solomon Linda” under the title Mbube. It was adapted and covered internationally by many artists in the 1950’s and 1960’s. When “The Tokens” recorded the song in 1961 they added a few comprehensible lines in English and called it The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Initially released as a B-side it quickly became clear the song was no mere novelty, but a huge hit. The Tokens’ version included backup Soprano vocals by “Anita Darian” who had a classically-trained voice with a four-octave range. It rocketed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 this week in 1961 and remained there for three weeks. The song has endured thanks to its constant use in movies and TV, and also because of many cover versions.

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