The Lion Sleeps Tonight Tight Fit



” The Lion Sleeps Tonight ” is by Tight Fit, the 1980s British pop group made up of Steve Grant, Denise Gyngell and Julie Harris. The song was written by Solomon Linda, Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, George David Weiss and Albert Stanton.
The producer for this version of the song was Tim Friese-Greene. The English musician and producer worked with the group Talk Talk from 1983 until they disbanded in the early 1990s.
The song was released in January 1982 by record label Jive and taken from the group’s second album ( but first under this line up ) of the same name.
” The Lion Sleeps Tonight ” first found life in 1939 called ” Mbube ” which translates as ” The Lion “. The song was based on a Zulu folk song ” Wimoweh ” and first recorded by Soloman Linda ( Soloman Ntsele ) and the Evening Birds.
He’d written the song in the 1920s while working as a cleaner and record packer for the Gallo Record Company in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Gallo Record Company’s in-house talent scout, Griffith Motsieloa, discovered and signed them. The group recorded many songs in the studio, including ” Mbube “, which became a big success in South Africa with sales of over of 100,000 in 1949.
Soloman Linda, sold the rights for ten Shillings to the record company after he had made the recording. By selling the rights, he had forfeited any right to future royalty payments.
The song has been covered many times. In the 1960s the American folk group, The Weavers, had a number six US chart hit with their version of this song called ” Wimoweh “. The lyrics had been changed slightly by David Weiss; the song was copyrighted as a new composition.
” The Lion Sleeps Tonight ” which was another new version of Soloman Linda’s original ” Mbube ” made Number One in the United States and peaked at number eleven in the United Kingdom for the Tokens in 1961.
In 1982 Tight Fit released their cover. The group formed in 1981 by Ken Gold, the record producer put together session singers to release a medley of 60s hits called ” Back to The 60s ” to cash in on a trend set by the Stars on 45 singles by Starsound.
Later that year record producer Tim Friese-Greene made a recording of ” The Lion Sleeps Tonight ” with a different group of session singers. The song was released in 1982 using the name Tight Fit. The song started to get attention, so a new group was put together to perform under the name.
The new lineup consisted of the male model, dancer and singer, Steve Grant. The Welsh singer, actress and model Denise Gyngell ( Failed an audition for chart toppers Bucks Fizz ) and Julie Harris who was part of Zoo, a dance troupe that appeared on British TV music show, Top of The Pops.
The three were put together just to front Tight Fit; they didn’t sing the vocals for the single. The vocals were provided by Roy Ward from the 1970s rock band, City Boy.
The original writer and performer Soloman Linda died in 1962, although he sold the rights a provision in British copyright law from 1911 stated that all rights revert to the composer’s estate 25 years after his death.
In 2004 Disney was sued for $1.6 million in royalties for the use of the song in both film and stage productions of the Lion King. Payments of $3,000 a year were made by Richmond Organization to his estate.
Linda’s descendants settled in February 2006 with Abilene Music Publishers, who held the worldwide rights and had licensed ” The Lion Sleeps Tonight ” to Disney, to place all royalties into a trust set up to administer the song’s earnings.
The song was a success for the new lineup of Tight Fit. It entered the UK Singles Chart on the 23rd of January 1982 and reached Number One on the 6th of March. The song held the top spot for three weeks. It spent eight weeks in the Top Ten and a total of fifteen weeks on the UK chart.

BillBoard Highest Chart Position: N/A

UK Highest Chart Position: 1

Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Ö3 Austria ( Top 40 ) 8, Belgian Ultratop 1, German Media Control Charts 3, Danish Singles Charts 1, Dutch Singles Charts 1, Irish Singles Charts 1, New Zealand Singles Charts 3, Swedish Sverigetopplistan Charts 17, Swiss Ultratop Charts 8

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