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Recently I stumbled on a Captiol compliation of "lounge music," and included on it was a version of "Wimoweh" (traditional African melody which served as the basis for the Tokens' 1960s hit, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"). This version is sung by Yma. The song doesn't appear anywhere in my fairly extensive collection of Yms LPs and CDs. The compliation was budget-priced, so there's no annotation/liner notes/etc. The style of the arrangement is similar in its brassiness to the material on Mambo, but doesn't otherwise fit that genre. Could it have been in the can all this time? Did she record any other music of this sort? Anyone have any info, dates, etc?

Allan Smith
posted by Archive Entry on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1999 at 11:53:00 AM

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Hello Allan, Wimoweh was the flip side to Babalu, a 78 rpm single issued by Capitol Records. I believe it was also issued as a 45 rpm single. These two tracks were never included on any of her albums since they don't really match the album themes but one or the other have been available on several CD and cassette compilations for a number of years, the first being the short cassette tape, Enchantress. If you would look in the Singles section of the extensive Discography on this site, you will find it listed. The CD, Mambo! ...and More has Babalu, while the CD, Voice of the Xtabay and Other Exotic Delights has Wimoweh. Both CDs also include other previously-unreleased material. Both are available through this site's Shopping area.

Try a site search on Wimoweh or Babalu to find what other compilations may include them. There should be several others. I hope this helps!
response posted by Archive Entry on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1999 at 12:05:00 PM

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