Fronted by Solomon Linda, the Original Evening Birds pioneered a highly influential style that became known as 'mbube.' Mbube groups wore uniforms, danced perfectly executed steps, and (their defining characteristic) presented a falsetto male lead backed by a four-part all-male bass harmony. Their first hit, "Mbube" (The Lion), became the basis for two American hit singles, "Wimoweh" by the Weavers (1950) and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by the Tokens (1961), both of which still retain the Mbube style. "Mbube" was the first recording on the continent of Africa to sell 100,000 copies. This event truly marked the beginning of Zulu a cappella as a musical force to be reckoned with.
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