17
Jul 02

And speaking of plagiarism and cover versions,

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 407 views

And speaking of plagiarism and cover versions, here’s a fascinating (and exhaustive) look at the history of “Mbube” (aka “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”) It’s the rather sad tale of Soloman Linda, a South African who “who ‘sold’ his soul & song to Gallo Africa for a few Guinness – when technically & morally he should have earned approx. $10 Million dollars (US)!!!” (emphasis theirs.) Not sure if I quite agree with the statement that “[popular music] limped pale-skinned and anemic into the twentieth century but danced out the other side vastly invigorated by transfusions of ragtime and rap, jazz, blues and soul, all of whose blood lines run back to Africa via slave ships and plantations and ghettos.” The latter part is undeniably true, but the first…historical revisionism does no one any good, even in the cause of “righting a wrong.”

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