Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Can't you just hear it? In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight... I was only a preteen, actually a baby(ha ha), when the song by The Tokens, The Lion Sleeps, Tonight came out. If you go to , you can listen to a portion of the song. I don't know how many times my friends and I sang it, but Hank Medress's voice piercing the night, brings back so many memories of my youth. I can pretty much remember hearing it in passing in Virginia, but really enjoying it, as we walked down the street in Ft. Clayton on the Panama Canal Zone. At that time, you could hear music streaming out of homes and passing cars more frequently. Not the blaring sound like today, but just a normal sound. In fact, in our Twilight Zone existence on the Canal there wasn't much choice as to what was being picked up by the cars or homes since we only had one English speaking radio or TV station on base, AFCN. Armed Forces Communications (?) Network, which played mostly country and actually pretty fun Rock and Roll music, including The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Louie Louie (whoever understood the words) , Cherry, It's My Party, and eventually the Beatles with She Love Me.

Sadly, I just read on the web that Hank Medress who did the vocals, died at the age of 68 after a battle with cancer. May he rest in peace. He had a good life and if you want to read more about him and his life you can go to The link has pictures and an interview which relates a lot of interesting information about how the song came about, the royalties controversy associated with the song, and how it catapulted him into the music business.

I always enjoyed the music of the 50's and 60's a lot! Don't get me started.


Ana said...

aw. I am sorry to hear that. I enjoyed that song too. I remember one year when we did a trip from CT to Boston, Titi Doris made a cassette copy of her Time Life collection of 50's and 60's classics and how we grooved all the way there and back listening to them.

Just such fun songs.

Elba said...

How music is interweaved into layer upon layer of our lives. Thanks for reminding me. I'll let Titi Doris know since I am going to go to Naranjito with her in a few minutes.