Join 3,433 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


1961. The Alvin Show
December 21, 2007 2:22 PM   Subscribe

The Alvin Show, 1961. The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late). The Witch Doctor, Pop Goes The Weasel, Chipmunk Fun and The Alvin Twist
posted by R. Mutt (16 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
That came out when I was 7. We really liked it. (But we liked Bullwinkle better.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:27 PM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


I still want a hula hoop :(
posted by unknowncommand at 2:29 PM on December 21, 2007


Two-weeks ago CBS Sunday Morning interviewed Ross Bagdasarian Jr., the son of Ross, Sr. who created the Chipmunks:
“…by the end of the '50s, Bagdasarian's career had stalled. Broke and struggling, he took a chance on an idea:

‘My dad and the three kids, family, mortgage, $200 left in the bank, my dad should what any really crazy person would do: 'I'm taking $190 and buying a tape machine,' Bagdasarian said. ‘About two weeks later he has written 'Witch Doctor,' because that tape machine allowed him to slow the machine down, change speeds.’

Bagdasarian wasn't the only one near bankruptcy - so was his record label.

‘They just looked at him and said, 'What are we gonna do with this?' He said, 'Well look, you guys are about to go bankrupt. If it's a flop, you're gonna go bankrupt anyway. But if it's a hit, you guys will have a business,'‘ Bagdasarian said.

The song bewitched the record-buying public. And David Seville - Bagdasarian's performing name - found himself with a number one hit. Liberty Records soon came calling for another novelty song.

‘About that time, my brother, who was about four, is asking in the middle of July,’ Bagdasarian said. ‘It's really hot outside and he's wondering if it's Christmas yet. So that gave my dad the idea of kids that can't wait for Christmas.’

Ross wrote 'The Chipmunk Song' in the fall of 1958. Alvin, Simon and Theodore were named for executives at the record company.

The record broke records. Millions were sold. David Seville and the Chipmunks became stars. They won three Grammys.

Over the next ten years, the Chipmunks popped up everywhere: Ed Sullivan, Tribute Records, commercials, and even a show on CBS.

By the end of the decade, Ross Sr. decided he was ready to retire the Chipmunks and start something new. But he never got the chance. Ross Bagdasarian died in 1972 at 52 years old. The Chipmunks fell silent.

But Ross Jr., then in his '30s, missed Alvin, Simon and Theodore.

In 1975, he met his wife Janice, a young actress in Los Angeles, and enlisted her help to bring back his old friends.

‘And he said, 'Do you think they could be viable today?'‘ Janice said. ‘And I said, 'Absolutely. I loved the Chipmunks.'‘

So, for the last three decades - with Ross Jr. and Janice voicing almost every part - the Chipmunks have been busier than ever. And this week: Alvin, Simon and Theodore hit the silver screen - starring in a live-action Hollywood movie. Actor Jason Lee plays David Seville.”
The Official 'Alvin & The Chipmunks' website.
posted by ericb at 2:43 PM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey, it's the soundtrack to my own personal hell!
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 3:28 PM on December 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


I work in a call center, and in keeping with the Christmas spirit, they have had the TVs playing some holiday music channel (all shitty music, all the time!)

For about an hour the other day, it was only playing Chipmunk music. For an hour. Chipmunk music.

An hour's worth of it.

Extreme and horrific violence was imminent, until I realized that I had a remote capable of controlling the TV. I so I kept reducing the sound by one click per minute or so. No one even noticed as it slowly faded away.

And my sanity was, as it were, preserved.
posted by quin at 3:40 PM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ouch. Medical bill $5. That's gotta hurt. *sigh*
posted by Deathalicious at 4:13 PM on December 21, 2007


I love Christmas songs that involved adopted children being screamed at.
posted by GavinR at 4:26 PM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


The really funny thing about the "Alvin Twist" is they start out singing "Yellow Rose of Texas", a number one hit for Mitch Miller. He became the head of A&R for Columbia and was known for his dislike of rock 'n roll music, so much so that he refused to sign rock artists.
posted by rsclark at 5:37 PM on December 21, 2007


they start out singing "Yellow Rose of Texas"

Hmm, although they also appear on the soundtrack to my own personal hell, I would kinda like to hear the Chipmunk's singing Because I could not stop for Death.
posted by whir at 6:57 PM on December 21, 2007


I didn't realize that Ross Bagdasarian, creator of the Chipmunks, was also Dave Seville, singer/songwriter of such songs as The Witch Doctor.

I had to look it up when the Chipmunk's Dad Dave, in the YouTube video, gave us a clue when said he didn't want to sing The Witch Doctor because "I made that record once."

I also never dreamed I'd learn anything from the the Chipmunks, such as the types masks the various Native American tribes used (assuming this is in any way accurate).
posted by eye of newt at 8:37 PM on December 21, 2007


For your listening enjoyment:

Alvin & The Chipmunks sing the Christmas Song - slowed down
posted by thewalrusispaul at 9:02 PM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Comedian Patton Oswald on the same theme, thewalrusispaul. (warning, REAL audio, unfortunately.)
posted by Dave Faris at 11:44 PM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you can only hear one Alvin and the Chipmunks song it should be Japanese Banana. That's the worst banjo player I've ever heard.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:09 AM on December 22, 2007


I have a love/hate relationship with Chipmunk music. Their Christimas tunes are funny the first time I hear them, and I'd like to hear it maybe once every few Christmases or so, but it's times like these when one gets inundated with them that it becomes annoying.

To be fair, the Saturday morning cartoon show wasn't all that bad. The basic plot formula is ..well, formulaic: Alvin gets obsessed with some kinda get rich quick scheme and the gang gets in trouble and Dave yells at them and then through Three Stogges like antics they happen to fall out of trouble. Again that gets old. This ain't Hemingway, but it performs as advertised. It entertains. The Chipmunks don't pretend to do anything more than that.

I think if anything's evil about the Chipmunks it's the "Chipmunk Punk" album. The first time I heard them ruin Billy Joel's song, I wanted to punch someone in the head.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:02 AM on December 23, 2007


Stogges = Stooges

*sigh*
posted by ZachsMind at 10:03 AM on December 23, 2007


...oh. And if I see another billboard with "ALVIN!" in really big yellow letters one more time, I'm gonna punch someone in the head.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:45 AM on December 23, 2007


« Older Armed guards in church?...  |  Like Victor, the Wild Boy of A... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments