Mbube: Solomon Linda and the Evening Birds
For Solomon Linda, a Zulu musician (Mbube is Zulu for Lion), and the Evening Birds, this was a hit in 1939 reportedly selling over 100,000 78 records. One of those somehow found its way to American ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, who passed it on to Pete Seeger. Assuming it was an African folk song, Seeger transcribed the chant Uyimbube as Wimoweh and recorded it with his band The Weavers. Another band, The Tokens, renamed the song The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and made it a hit of their own in 1961. Dozens of other American bands have found success with the song, though Solomon Linda never received any credit for his composition during his lifetime, dying in poverty in 1962.