Birthplace: Ladysmith, Zululand
Location of death: Johannesberg, South Africa
Cause of death: Kidney failure
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: South Africa
Executive summary: Wrote The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Zulu musician, had a hit song in South Africa with "Mbube" (Zulu for "Lion") in 1939, as Solomon Linda and the Evening Birds, 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.
Wife: Regina (m. 1949)
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