To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
On this day in music history: December 22, 1958 - "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" by The Chipmunks & David Seville hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. Following the chart topping success of the single "Witch Doctor" in April of 1958, David Seville (birth name: Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.), will follow it up with his most popular and enduring creation. Seville's youngest son Adam will provide the inspiration for what will become "The Chipmunk Song". The idea for the song will come about when the young boy asks his father in September "if it's Christmas yet?" Seville take the idea and run with it. He will create the characters Alvin, Simon, & Theodore, three cartoon chipmunks who are named after Liberty Records executives Al Bennett and Si Waronker, and recording engineer Ted Keep. Employing the same tape varispeed technique used on "Witch Doctor," the vocals on the song will be sung by Seville by recording his voice with the tape running at 1/3 normal speed, producing the high pitched "chipmunk like" vocals upon playback. Released right before Thankgiving in November of 1958, the single is an instant and massive success. Entering the Hot 100 at #62 on December 1, 1958, it will pole vault to the top of the chart three weeks later. At the time of its release, "The Chipmunk Song" will become one of the fastest selling singles of all time, when it sells over 4.5 million copies in seven weeks. At the first Grammy Awards it will win three awards including Best Comedy Recording, Best Engineered Recording, and Best Children's Recording. The record will re-chart on the Hot 100 three more times between 1959 and 1962, peaking at #41, #45, and #39 respectively. When interest is revived in The Chipmunks in December 2007 with the release of the film Alvin And The Chipmunks, the original recording of "The Chipmunk Song" will re-enter the Hot 100, peaking at #66. "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.