The Lawyers Sleep Tonight

Every once in a while, a corporation does the right thing. Usually, too late, and only after being tortured in the press. pumba.jpeg.gif

This has finally happened in the case of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” – the famed song that Soloman Linda composed in 1939 but never saw a penny on.sololinda.jpg

A few years ago, my intrepid friend and music critic Jeff Miller slipped me a Xeroxed copy of Rian Malan‘s compelling Rolling Stone piece from 2000 about how Linda’s song was exploited by everyone but him. It’s great writing, and fortunately, it’s available on the web here (naturally, not on the useless Rolling Stone website).

Anyway, the BBC is reporting that Linda’s family has dropped a case against Disney after accepting an undisclosed settlement from the US owners of the copyright who’d originally loaned it to Disney, which put it in both “The Lion King” film and a Broadway show.

We hope its a large one, since the song has netted some $15 million in royalties over the years, and that more or less was what Michael Eisner spent on Snapple while he was CEO.