David Seville was the stage name
of Ross Bagdasarian
, since taken over by his son, Ross Jr. The original David Seville had a few hit songs in the 1950s
. One of these was "Witch Doctor
;" for part of the song, as a novelty, he sped up his own voice via a recording trick.
He liked the effect so much that he created Alvin and the Chipmunks as the names behind the weird high-pitched voice. Alvin, Simon, and Theodore had a big hit with "The Chipmunk Song," and made a name for themselves recording covers of other famous songs in their own unique style.
In the 1980's, Alvin and the Chipmunks became a cartoon series. Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., provided the voices for David Seville, Alvin, and Simon in that series. On the show, the story of how Dave came to help The Chipmunks find success is somewhat different than in real life...
The cartoon David Seville was, at one time, a struggling songwriter. He lived in a very small home in the outskirts of a large forest. One rainy night, as he was working on his next song -- "Witch Doctor," oddly enough -- he heard a knock at his door. He glanced out the window but saw only a glimpse of a hooded figure running back into the woods.
He went to the door to see what was going on, where he found a basket on his doorstep. Inside were three toddler chipmunks, with a note attached giving their names -- Alvin, Simon, and Theodore -- and asking him to care for them.
Much later, The Chipmunks would find out that their mother had left them on Dave's doorstep after the family was forced from their home due to a harsh winter. The woodland creatures were facing famine, and she couldn't take the youngsters on the long journey to find food for the winter. After knocking on the door, she had not fled, but instead waited behind a tree until Dave took them into his small house. Only then did she turn away and leave, in tears. She'd returned after the winter passed, but finding her children safe and happy with Dave, she reluctantly decided it was in their best interests that she stay away.
Dave was a kind man, if poor, and he saw little choice but to take in the young chipmunks. He soon discovered that they had quite a knack for music, particularly the one named Alvin. But he still had this song to deliver...
He brought the toddlers with him to the recording studio when he'd completed his song; although he still felt it was missing something, he had a deadline to meet. In typical fashion, the triplets managed to get into all sorts of trouble in the studio, and they eventually found their way into a recording booth. Just as Dave and the studio manager were coming out of a meeting, they heard Dave's new song being sung -- by three high-pitched but in-harmony voices.
Dave's song was a hit, thanks to The Chipmunks' unique voices, and their rise to stardom was quick. It wasn't long before Dave was able to move himself and the Chipmunks to a large home in the suburbs. Dave cared for the boys as if they were his own sons, managing their career and presumably continuing to write some songs for them as well. They kept him quite busy, though, as they were more than a little mischevous -- particularly Alvin.
It would seem that he continues to do so today, as the Chipmunks continue to produce albums from time to time. And they, superstars that they are, owe their success to a kind composer named David Seville.