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Chapter 70: Green Sugar

60s pop and African-inspired pop

Up until The Lion King, the average American music fan’s only exposure to African music was the occasional fluke radio hit. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Grazing In The Grass” are both covers of covers of African folk melodies, becoming American hits through a game of pop telephone. “Pata Pata,” meanwhile, is an actual African pop tune so undeniable it charted worldwide. All three songs have a certain sugary sweetness and playful melodicism, qualities shared by the rest of this set of chartbusters and pop oddities.
1. The Tokens

The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)

2. Manfred Mann

Do Wah Diddy Diddy

3. Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs

Sugar Shack

4. Miriam Makeba

Pata Pata

5. Free Design

2002 - A Hit Song

6. Booker T & the MGs

Green Onions

7. The Archies

Sugar, Sugar

8. Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen

The Green Leaves of Summer

9. The Friends of Distinction

Grazing In the Grass

10. The Tornados