Alvin and the Chipmunks are those amusing and trouble making chipmunks that sing and have been entertaining people for many years. Their delightful antics and music have made people laugh since their inception. But do you know how these animated characters started and when they were first created though? Read on to learn some history and other fun facts about these delightful characters.
Ross Bagdasarian Sr. the Creator
Ross Bagdasarian Sr. created the animated musical group of Alvin and the Chipmunks in 1958. This animated group was made up of 3 chipmunks that could sing and were anthropomorphic in nature. Alvin was the most mischievous one of the group which made him popular quite quickly. Simon was the sensitive and intelligent one wearing glasses and Theodore was the chubbiest of the three with a very impressionable side. Their manager was David Seville- also their ‘father’, who happened to be human. The truth is that David Seville was the stage name of Ross Bagdasarian Sr.
Bagdasarian did all the chipmunk’s voices along with David Seville’s. He sped the playback up to get the voices higher pitched. This also worked well for the songs they performed including the ever popular “The Witch Doctor”. The Chipmunks actually won two of the Grammy Awards in the engineering category for this particular song as well. These fictitious characters did record many more singles and albums including “The Chipmunk Song” which wound up being the number one single throughout the USA. After the death of Ross Bagdasarian Sr., which came about in 1972, the voices of the group were then done by Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and also Janice Karman during the 1980s and the 1990s.
Some History of Alvin and the Chipmunks
Alvin and the Chipmunks appeared for the first time officially in a novelty record, which Bagdasarian released in the later part of 1958. The song was originally called “The Christmas Song” (Christmas Don’t Be Late) and it had the chipmunks singing it. One part of the song had Alvin wanting a hula hoop; this toy was the latest, greatest toy of that year. This record in a short seven weeks sold over 4 million copies. It successfully launched the Chipmunks’ careers. They went on to even perform on The Ed Sullivan Show as hand puppets singing this song. In 1959 The Chipmunk Song was released on the Chipmunks’ first album called “Let’s All Sing with the Chipmunks” and then again in 1962 with the album “Christmas with the Chipmunks”. It has also been included with various compilations.
The Chipmunks’ Get A TV Show
The Alvin Show appeared on TV from 1961 to 1962. It was the first TV series that starred the three chipmunks and David Seville (resembling Bagdasarian) in animated form. This series only ran one season on CBS in prime time, but went on into syndication where is found new life.
In 1969, the last Chipmunks album came out with the original conception; it was called The Chipmunks Go to the Movies. Unfortunately in 1972 Ross Bagdasarian Sr. died of a heart attack which delayed any further Chipmunks projects until in 1979 in which NBC became interested in using The Alvin Show reruns on Saturday mornings. After this, Chipmunk Punk, a new album, came out with Ross Bagdasarian Jr. performing the characters’ voices. In 1981, A Chipmunk Christmas, a Christmas special, had David Seville and the Chipmunks return to the TV screen. The group then had a name change to Alvin and the Chipmunks.
In 1983, Alvin and the Chipmunks animated series came back to TV. This series was close to the original concept of the Alvin Show. It had a much longer run that the Alvin Show did though as it went on for 8 seasons. The Chipettes were also introduced during this time frame which included 3 female chipmunks named Jeanette, Eleanor and Brittany, each having their own distinct personalities.
The Chipmunks Go Hollywood
In 1996, Universal Studios purchased the rights to these adorable characters and they created several movies which included the cartoon movie “Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolman”.
This group stayed popular for the following years and then in December 2007 the animated movie came out which made them appear life like called ” This group stayed popular for the following years and then in December 2007 the animated movie came out which made them appear life like called “Alvin and the Chipmunks, following up with a sequel 2 year later- “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel”. These characters have had a quality about them to last through the years and delighted both children and adults for over 50 years and continue to do so. Currently no movies are in the works for this fun trio but the future still seems bright for these megastars.
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