It was originally recorded with the Evening Birds (Song by Solomon Linda originally titled just “Mbube”), for the South African Gallo Record Company in 1939.
Originally composed only in Zulu, it was adapted and covered internationally by many 1950s pop and folk revival artists, including the Weavers, Jimmy Dorsey, Yma Sumac, Miriam Makeba, and the Kingston Trio.
In 1961 it became a number one hit in the U.S. as adapted in English by the doo-wop group The Tokens.
It went on to earn at least US$15 million in royalties from covers and film licensing. (source Wikipedia)
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