Monday, December 22, 2008

The Chipmunks

In the winter of 1958, America met The Chipmunks through a record (released December 22nd) created by Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. (aka David Seville).

"The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)," featured the singing skills of the chipmunk trio. One phrase in the chorus has Alvin wishing for a hula hoop, which was that year's hot new toy. (Click the hula hoop link to read the whole story posted previously.)

The record was highly successful, selling more than 4 million copies in seven weeks, and it launched the careers of its chipmunk stars.

It spent four weeks at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from December 22, 1958 to January 12, 1959. It also earned three Grammy Awards and a nomination for Record of the Year.

At the height of its popularity, Bagdasarian and three chipmunk hand-puppets appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, lip-synching the song. "The Chipmunk Song" appeared on the Chipmunks' debut album, Let's All Sing with the Chipmunks, in 1959, and was repeated on Christmas with the Chipmunks, released in 1962. The song also has been included on several compilation albums.

1 comment:

Bob McDonnell said...

I wrote an opinion piece for the Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette which was printed last Christmas Day.
I was remembering working at Bishop's Cafeteria in 1961-63. Our company Christmas party featured a group that lip-synced. They did some of the Chipmonk songs, and we thought it was high-class entertainment.