Biography


The Tokens


In 1961 THE TOKENS, four boys from Brooklyn, recorded, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" on the RCA label. The song (originally a Zulu folk song called "M'bube" and Anglicized to "Wimoweh") soared up the charts to become the number one hit in the nation. To date it has sold over 15 million copies and is known 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 & DAWN ("Candida," "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 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.

In 1998 THE TOKENS became the first and only group to sing the National Anthem in all major league ballparks in one season. This accomplishment landed them into the Guinness Book of World Records. On July 6th of 2005, The Tokens were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Their blend of showmanship humor and excellent musicianship has made them a favorite headliner throughout the world.

Mitch Margo - The Tokens - The Lion Sleeps Tonight Mitch Margo

The youngest of the original founding members, Mitch was only 14 years old when The Lion Sleeps Tonight was recorded. He has been the creative force behind The Tokens since before he could drive. He has penned such Tokens’ classics as I Hear Trumpets Blow, Animal, and Only In My Dreams. His lead vocals on Tonight I Fell In Love and The Lion Sleeps Tonight bring audiences to their feet every performance. He has also has a plethora of original solo material and has composed music for both TV and films. As well as his musical talents Mitch is an incredible artist and is responsible for the fabulous artwork that adorns two of the recent album projects.

Mitch and Damien have developed a free tool for learning how to read:
The Margo Reader (also on YouTube)

Phil Margo

Phil is an original founding member and Mitch's older brother. His creative force both in and out of the music business is something to be reckoned with. Phil managed Robert Guillaume during the Soap/Benson years and beyond. He has written and/or produced several television movies, hour dramas and half-hour sitcoms. Phil is also an inventor, currently holding a patent on the Spare Pocket, an adjustable waist –side, carrying device. Most recently he has been spearheading a unique solar project. His latest foray is in publishing where he has just released his first novel, the science-fiction epic…The Null Quotient. Phil is married to the effervescent Abbie and resides in Southern California with his wife and four cars.
Phil Margo - The Tokens - The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Noah Margo - The Tokens - The Lion Sleeps Tonight Noah Margo

Noah, (Phil's son and Mitch's nephew) is a genetic original who has been with the group for over fifteen years. Besides keeping time Noah is an accomplished writer with two published children’s books. He also taught elementary school for ten years. Outside of the creative realm, Noah became a developer and built (or rebuilt) several homes in the Los Angeles area. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his lovely wife, Laura, and three children; Solomon, Jax and Reese.
  

Mike Johnson

If there's a mountain, Mike will climb it. If there is an ocean, Mike will swim it. If there is a banana bread, Mike will bake it. Mike is an incredibly talented musician and the one person in the group that everyone would rather be if they weren’t too busy being themselves. He single-handedly created the “Jungle Turkey,” and keeps the band in tune and in harmony. He currently resides in the prestigious Hollywood Hills of Southern California because the paparazzi has not located him yet.
Mike Johnson - The Tokens - The Lion Sleeps Tonight
  

Jay Leslie - The Tokens - The Lion Sleeps Tonight Jay Leslie

Besides the Tokens, Jay has played for many incredible acts including Sha Na Na. His showmanship is unparalleled. He has put the "work" into "foot work." When Jay's on stage, everyone is movin' and groovin', reelin' and rockin' and having the time of their lives. In fact, Jay is so good, that one saxophone isn't enough. (You have to see it to believe it.) He has also worked on several solo projects and has served as the Musical Supervisor to televisions The Young and the Restless. Jay resides in New York City and is always up for a cup of Joe and a schmooze-fest.
  
Ari Margo
(Guest Performer)

Ari is Mitch's younger son, Phil's nephew and Noah's cousin. In 6th grade Ari was forced into middle school choir by his mother and ended up loving every minute of it! He stayed with the choral program throughout high school. With 7 years of choral experience, Ari does a great job of filling in on vocals when performing with The Tokens. He is also responsible for maintaining this website and writing about himself in the third person.
 Ari Margo - The Tokens - The Lion Sleeps Tonight
  
Damien Margo - The Tokens - The Lion Sleeps Tonight Damien Margo
(Guest Performer)

Damien is Mitch's older son, Phil's newphew and Noah's cousin. He is a fantastic harmony vocalist and a remarkable drummer. He's so talented in fact, he fills in the shoes of both Jay and Noah.