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Iconic Songwriter, George David Weiss, Passes Away at 89

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It’s near impossible to avoid chiming in on the Afrobeat-inspired jungle tune “Wimoweh” that was made famous by the Tokens and became children’s’ favorite sing-a-long when the lovable safari animals all sang together “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in the Disney movie The Lion King.

This is just one song classic that has gone down in history and will forever be engrained in our heads, and it was all thanks to legendary songwriter [lastfm]George David Weiss[/lastfm] who helped transform this tune and pen many other classics that were made famous by artists from [lastfm]Elvis[/lastfm] to [lastfm]Frank Sinatra[/lastfm].

His name may not ring a bell right away, but his prolific and catchy songs are known by most. Songwriter George David Weiss spent his life behind the spotlight penning iconic songs for big name artists like Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and Louie Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”

Weiss passed away in his home in Oldwick, New Jersey on Monday from natural causes at the age of 89. He’s lived a long and fruitful life as a respected songwriter to the stars, which helped him get inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1984, and serving as the President of the Songwriters Guild from 1982-2000.

Weiss helped write many well-known songs that were performed by artists including [lastfm]Frank Sinatra[/lastfm], [lastfm]Ella Fitzgerald[/lastfm], [lastfm]Sammy Davis Jr.[/lastfm], [lastfm]Nat King Cole[/lastfm], [lastfm]Tom Jones[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Janis Joplin[/lastfm]. He transformed African Zulu musician Solomon Linda’s 1939 classic “Mbube” (or lion) from Pete Seeger’s version “Wimoweh,” which was rewritten by Weiss and became the [lastfm]Tokens[/lastfm]‘ hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

In addition to penning songs for A-list musicians, Weiss collaborated on many Broadway musicals and scored music for films. His captivating songwriting journey may have come to an end, but Weiss leaves behind a legacy of notable songs that will forever be a part of music history and enjoyed by fans for years to come.

[Source: Rolling Stone]

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