James Elphick. The U. Army first started training troops in the jungles of Panama in , just two years after the opening of the Panama Canal.
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But the saga of the song now known worldwide as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is anything but a lullaby. It is fraught with racism and exploitation and, in the end, plus years after his death, brings a measure of justice. Were he still alive, Solomon Linda might turn it into one heck of a ballad. Born in in the Zulu heartland of South Africa, Mr. Linda never learned to read or write, but in song he was supremely eloquent. After moving to Johannesburg in his mid's, he quickly conquered the weekend music scene at the township beer halls and squalid hostels that housed much of the city's black labor force. He sang soprano over a four-part harmony, a vocal style that was soon widely imitated. By , a talent scout had ushered Mr. Linda's group, the Original Evening Birds, into a recording studio where they produced a startling hit called "Mbube," Zulu for "The Lion. Linda's youngest surviving daughter, said it had been inspired by her father's childhood as a herder protecting cattle in the untamed hinterlands.
Linda's original was written in Zulu , while the English version's lyrics were written by George David Weiss. The song was adapted and covered internationally by many pop and folk revival artists in the s and s, including Henri Salvador , the Weavers , Jimmy Dorsey , Yma Sumac , Miriam Makeba , and the Kingston Trio. In , it became a number one hit in the United States as adapted in English with the best-known version by the doo-wop group the Tokens. It went on to earn millions in royalties from cover versions and film licensing. The pop group Tight Fit had a number one hit in the UK with the song in
When I acquired a personal testimony of the gospel as a teen, and made my own decisions regarding my faith, I felt very alone. You can't reason with fanatics, and you got one. It is much easier for the Holy Ghost to influence good people.