The Origin of The Chipmunks.
"Ross Bagdasarian Sr. (who went by the stage name "David Seville") was an actor who appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window and on Broadway in William Saroyan's Time of Your Life. He wrote novelty dialect songs, including Rosemary Clooney's huge hit "Come On-A My House", and released a few records but his successes never seemed to result in very much money in his pocket. He bought a tape recorder with his last $200 and played around with shifting the speeds, coming up with a novelty song titled "Witch Doctor". He got the single released and two weeks later, he found himself appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show performing the song
The success of "Witch Doctor" gave him the idea of creating characters with sped up voices, so he quickly knocked out a Christmas demo titled "The Chipmunk Song"
and took it to record executives Simon "Sy" Waronker, Theodore "Ted" Keep and Alvin "Al" Bennett at Liberty Records." [more inside]
Move over Alvin & the Chipmunks
. The BBC has "been out talking to animals all over the UK to discover exactly what they'd like for Christmas...find out what they had to say here
!" [more inside]
Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue
was an animated drug prevention television special starring many popular cartoon characters from American Saturday morning television. Airing in 1990 and financed by McDonald's, it was simulcast on all three major American television networks. The VHS home video edition of the special also opened with an introduction from then-President George Bush Snr and Barbara Bush. And thanks to the wonders of the interwebs, you can watch the whole thing here
. And you really should. After all, where else are you going to get to hear cartoon characters like Garfield and Winnie the Pooh talking about smoking crack and shooting juice? [more inside]
If you slow down an Alvin and the Chipmunks recording by just the right amount you can hear the voices of the original singers
"I am sitting in a room (mp3),
different from the one you are in now." is the opening phrase from Alvin Lucier's (Wikipedia)
best known work, simply titled 'I am sitting in a room'
. The piece involves playing a recording of a short speech
back into the room and re-recording the result. This is done again and again, with the resonant frequencies of the room
reinforced each time, until all that is left are the characteristics and resonances of the room.
(Interview and documentary
also available at ubu.com