The 101 number one song of the day had its origins in South Africa and wound up in Brooklyn where a group originally calling themselves “Those Guys” were, at first, embarrassed by their recording.
Phil Margo – one of the group members, said he tried to convince the producers not to release their version of a song that previously was sung in Zulu by Miriam Makeba. Although new lyrics were written for this record, group members were unhappy with the results. The record company thought otherwise and they were right. It was released on October 17 and by December 18, 1961 it was at number one where it would stay for three weeks. The label wouldn’t let the group use “Those Guys” as a name so one of the group members thought back to their high school days when he was in a singing group with Neil Sedaka. The name used back then was being used at the time so they decided to use it for themselves and that’s how they became “The Tokens” (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)