The Greatest Lives

The Greatest Lives

The Story

When one of the Greatest record company men, Terry Ellis (who discovered Jethro Tull, Billy Idol, Pat Benatar, Blondie), heard “The Greatest Lives,” he gave co-writers Anne Leighton and Joe Deninzon the thumbs up, and an ultimate compliment, “Great Chorus.”

Simply put, this tribute to Muhammad Ali is a labor of love for two friends that were influenced by the Midwestern humanitarian/poet/boxer.

“A big, loveable man that moved and spoke with grace and determination,” Anne says. “I speak up for the underdog—including myself because of his influence!” As a result, Anne’s been able to make opportunities happen for herself and friends as a writer, music services person, publicist, music manager.

Signed to South Africa’s Sheer Music Publishing on the strength of one song plus championing a range of South African artists since the early 1980s (notably Wouter Kellerman, Sharon Katz & the Peace Train, PJ Powers, Sonny Okosun…), Anne’s fourth book, The Leighton Explosion sold well enough to help her create a demo. An active poet, who is working on her first poetry album, she appears on the Grammy-nominated album, HEALTHY FOOD FOR THOUGHT: GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT, and has done publicity for Jethro Tull/Ian Anderson, Grand Funk Railroad, Phoebe Legere, Dean Friedman, Orleans’ John Hall, and social media for the Yardbirds, and music services for Sharon, John Hall, Joe Deninzon.

Joe Deninzon ( pronounced “Den-in-Zone” ) has been hailed by critics as “The Jimi Hendrix of the Violin,” and leads the band Stratospheerius. Like Ali, Joe is a relentless fighter, proving himself every day, “In the music world, you gotta fight to prove yourself. Never give up. I was always inspired by Ali’s charm and unshakable confidence!”

Joe’s determination got his recent Stratospheerius album, GUILTY OF INNOCENCE a record deal with Melodic Revolution Records, on the USA Top 5 Jamband charts and top 80 in the Indie European charts. A favorite on the festival circuit, like the upcoming ProgStock, Joe’s also great in the studio. His music has been heard on over 100 commercials and film and TV scenes. The author of the electric violin method book. PLUGGING IN, he’s–recently– played live with Bruce Springsteen, the Who, 50Cent, KISS’s Peter Criss, Renaissance, and as a soloist with Jazz at Lincoln Center, the New York City Ballet, and the Muncie Symphony Orchestra with his Dream Diary Concerto for Electric Violin and Orchestra.

Thembeka Mnguni (pronounced—Tem-Bekka mm-Guuu-ni –spelling)

Joe and Anne listened to singers from all over the world, even posted on social media looking for friends. Anne had been a fan of Thembeka’s ever since hearing her on the 2016 season of the Voice South Africa. When Joe heard her, he said, “I want to work with her!”

Thembeka loved THE GREATEST LIVES’ message about having strong character. Chosen, because both Joe and Anne thought she was one of the greatest singers they ever heard, the vocalist showed she was (as the song says) a master by coming in second on “the Voice South Africa.”

She loved the lyrics, like the first line, “I won’t look down on those who look up to me.” Thembeka feels that music belongs to the masses, “It’s my job to give people hope by being honest, by being true, by being relevant and sensitive all at the same time. It’s important to always remember that I’m nothing without my supporters ‘cause they drive me by just looking up to me. Though it’s a heavy load but it comes with the job. That’s why I speak so openly about my son, life, past abuse and my current….

Thembeka is signed to South Africa’s Universal Music, and on the verge of releasing her first album. Her greatest cause is as a spokesperson for Austism. She is also a brand ambassador for MUD Designer Makeup SA and for Body Confidence International. Thembeka sings on “The Crossing,” the all-star tribute to Johnny Clegg. Visit her on social media at


I won’t look down on those
that look up to me
we all wanna shine bright
but sometimes there’s reason to fight

It’s always the season
to fight for equality
Some may hate what we achieve
but we got reason to believe

CHORUS: The Greatest lives for the greatest lives
there’s light and there’s fight in your inner child
The Greatest lives for the greatest lives
To face all our fears and to Never Say Die

Character matters
and strong action make us masters
Ali says Protect them
so they won’t be suffering.

Sometimes we feel alone
Because others just don’t know
Raise up your fist
and find our courage to resist

CHORUS: The Greatest lives for the greatest lives
There’s light and there is fight in our inner child!
The Greatest lives for the greatest lives
To face all our fears and to never say die

BRIDGE: And even though you feel like screaming
at all the hatred in this world
It’s so surreal you must be dreaming
It’s time to let your love unfurl

Repeat chorus twice

Once you can substitute “your” inner child for “our” inner child

© 2019 Joe Deninzon (FiddleFunk Music) and Anne Leighton (Sheer Publishing)
All Rights Reserved

Lead Vocals, background harmonies: Thembeka Mnguni
Jeremy Beck: piano and Hammond B3
Joe Deninzon: Producer, background vocals, additional percussion, co-writer
Anne Leighton: Assistant Producer, co-writer
Dale Wardell: Durban Engineer
Sequoia Duncan: Durban assistant
Jz Barrell: Drums Engineer
Alex Salzman: Mix
Fred Kevorkian: Mastering
Arie Monroe: Art Work

Studios: the Deninzoo-Dumont, NJ ; Randyland-Manhasset, NY; Gold bee Productions-New York, NY; AudioSuite-Durban, SA
Published by Sheer Music Publishing (Leighton) and Fiddlefunk Music (Deninzon)
Contact: Sheer Publishing:, + 27 11 438-7000 and

Thembeka Mnguni EPK: