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Johnny Wakelin
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    (1939- )
    Born in Brighton, England, United Kingdom
    Recorded the singles 'Black Superman -- Muhammad Ali' (1975) and 'In Zaire' (1976)
    He was a one-hit wonder in the US, a two-hit wonder in Britain.
    Both hits were novelties cashing in on the Ali-Foreman 'Rumble in the Jungle.'
    His song inspired DC Comic's goofy 'Superman vs. Muhammad Ali' (1978).
    After a decade without hits, he returned to boxing, recording a song about British heavyweight champ Frank Bruno. It flopped.
    He developed his singing talent entertaining fellow patients while hospitalized for three years in his teens following a serious motorcycle accident.
    He was discovered by the same producer who had recorded 'Kung Fu Fighting' with Carl Douglas -- a man who clearly knew how to turn a reggae-inflected novelty into a hit.
    He said he latched onto the 'Rumble in the Jungle' theme because 'I needed something to write about that would catch people's eye. Something which would almost guarantee it being a hit.'
    'Black Superman' spent six months on the Billboard singles chart (peaking at #21), went Top 10 in England and was a #1 hit in Australia.

Credit: C. Fishel

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