Alvin & The Chipmunks
The brainchild of struggling singer and songwriter Ross Bagdasarian, the concept of Alvin & the Chipmunks, a group of three singing cartoon chipmunks, was created in 1958. Launched under the name David Seville and the Chipmunks (Seville was Bagdasarian’s stage name), Bagdasarian recorded a novelty Christmas song using sped-up tape to approximate chipmunk voices. The single sold millions of copies. In 1961, Alvin & the Chipmunks became a full-fledged visual cartoon, with each chipmunk--the mischievous Alvin, the brainy Simon, and the dreamy Theodore--working under the tutelage of their human keeper David Seville. The cartoons proved a great success, as did subsequent recordings such as SING ALONG, HERE’S LOOKING AT ME!, and ALVIN’S DAYDREAMS. The Chipmunks output continued, even after Bagdasarian’s death in 1972.