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The Lion Sleeps Tonight is a famous song written by Solomon Linda (original recording with The Evening Birds) and later covered by many others. The original song is taken from 1939, but the best known version, which by The Tokens, comes from 1961.
"Mbube"(Zulu for" lion ") was originally recorded by Solomon Linda and The Evening Birds in 1939. "Mbube" became a hit throughout South Africa and sold about 100,000 plates around 1940. The song was so popular that the term "Mbube" was acquired as description for African a capella music.
Alan Lomax brought Pete Seeger in contact with the song, after which he with his group The Weavers covered the song live. After they had played numerous times during their performances, they took on their own version, called "Wimoweh".
- 1939 Mbube- Solomon Linda's original version with The Evening Birds
- 1960 Mbube- Miriam Makeba
- 1988 Mbube- Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Coming to America
- 1993 Mbube- Mahotella Queens, Women of the World
- 1999 Mbube- Ladysmith Black Mambazo, In Harmony
- 2006 Mbube- Mahotella Queens, Reign & Shine
- 2006 Mbube- Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Long Walk to Freedom
- 1952 Wimoweh- The Weavers
- 1952 Wimoweh- Jimmy Dorsey
- 1952 Wimoweh- Yma sumac
- 1957 Wimoweh- The Weavers (live Carnegie Hall album)
- 1959 Wimoweh- The Kingston Trio
- 1961 Wimoweh- Karl Denver Trio (1962)
- 1962 Wimoweh- Bert Kaempfert on "That Happy Feeling" album
- 1993 Wimoweh- Nanci Griffith with Odetta, on Other Voices, Other Rooms
- 1994 Wimoweh- Roger Whittaker on Roger Whittaker Live!
- 1961 The Tokens
- 1961 The Strangers (As "Oek'andana". The melody is the same, but it's going to be another text and a different theme.)
- 1962 Henri Salvador (As "Le lion est mort ce soir". Note that in this version the lion does not sleep, but dead.)
- 1965 The New Christy Minstrels
- 1971 Eric Donaldson
- 1972 Robert John
- 1972 Dave Newman
- 1975 Brian Eno
- 1982 Tight Fit
- 1982 The Nylons
- 1984 Hotline
- André van Duin (1985 as "a bolt and a nut and a screw and a nippeltje". The melody is the same, but it's going to be another text and a different theme.)
- 1989 Sandra Bernhard
- 1990 Ladysmith Black Mambazo
- 1992 They Might Be Giants with Laura Cantrell, under "The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)"
- 1993 Pow woW (Cover of "Le lion est mort ce soir")
- 1993 r.e.m. (B-side of "The SideWinder Sleeps Tonite")
- 1994 Film and 1997 Broadway versions of The Lion King
- 1995 Lebo M for Rhythm of the Pride Lands, an album of songs inspired by the music of The Lion King
- 1997 * NSYNC
- 1999 Helmut Lotti
- 2000 Laurie Berkner
- 2001 the Baha Men, on the single "You All that".