February 20, 2014
Ross Bagdasarian, who as David Seville, had a huge numbeer one hit with “With Doctor,” in which he speeded-up the voices in some of the lyrics. While driving one day, he just missed hitting a chipmunk in the road and so an idea was born.
Al Bennett was the president of Liberty Records. His partner was Si Waronker, Ted Kemp was a recording engineer for the company. And so Alvin, Simon, and Theodore entered music history.
“The Chipmunk Song” sold over 2 and 1/2 million copies. It reached number one on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 December 22, 1958, and remained at the top for four weeks.
The Chipmunks are one of very few 1950s artists who are still active today. Their movies remain popular and their albums still sell millions of copies.
November 11, 2013
Ross Bagdasarian (1919-1971), better known as David Seville, and most famous for his creation Alvin and the Chipmunks, had the first of his two number one songs when “With Doctor” reached the top of the charts April 28, 1959.
I was in the third grade at the time but I remember this song as one I heard over and over again on the radio. It was a novelty song with the vocal at double speed; a technique he would use with Alvin and the Chipmunks. It was a unique concept that would define his career.
“Witch Doctor” did not top the Most Played By DJ’s Chart but spent one week at number one on the Most Sld In Stores Chart and three weeks at the top of the BILLBOARD Top 100 Chart. It even reach number one on the R&B Chart, which a real real stretch.
Seville would go on to place 22 songs on the charts before his career and concept petered out in 1962.
We are left with one of the memorable line of the pre-Beatles rock and roll era – “Oo-ee-oo-aa-ah, ting-tang, walla walla bing-bang.”