In 1961, The Tokens recorded "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" on the RCA label. The song soared up the charts to become the number one hit in the nation. To date, it has sold 15 million copies throughout the world. In a survey conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Record Industry Association of America The Tokens’ classic recording of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” placed 159th in the top 365 records of all time.
The Tokens' other hits include "Tonight I Fell in Love," "I Hear Trumpets Blow," and "Portrait Of My Love." They have also produced many number one recordings for groups such as The Chiffons ("He's So Fine," "One Fine Day"), The Happenings ("See You In September," "I Got Rhythm") and Tony Orlando and Dawn ("Knock Three Times," "Tie A Yellow Ribbon"). True rock pioneers, they were among the first to successfully use the falsetto lead voice, a sound that would later influence groups from the Four Seasons and the Beach Boys to Led Zeppelin and Rush. They were also the first group to play their own instrument tracks for recording sessions.
The Tokens received recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records. They became the first pop group to sing the national anthem in all 30 major league baseball parks in one season, as required for Guinness Book entry. The group also paid homage to America's national pastime by performing at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY, on June 20, 1999. In November of 1999, the popular music channel VH-1 named The Tokens “The Most Patriotic Group” and honored them on the special series “Rock and Roll Record Breakers” on February 25, 2000.
The Tokens have been inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and The Long Island Music Hall of Fame, and have taken the stage at venues such as: The Greek Amphitheater; The Universal Amphitheater; Radio City Music Hall; Disneyland; The Ritz Carlton in Cancun, Mexico for Equitable Life; and Walt Disney World. They've also made guest appearances on The Tonight Show and Howard Stern's talk show. Their blend of showmanship, humor, and excellent musicianship has made them a favorite headliner throughout the world.
In November 2017, founding member Mitch Margo died peacefully from natural causes at his home in Studio City, CA. He was 70. Mitch joined The Tokens with his brother as a 13-year-old in 1960.
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