December 23rd, 2013
It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I realized the Chipmunks (which I had always known as cartoon characters from my childhood) were actually, as pop-cultural entities, much older — dating back to their eponymous novelty Christmas record in 1958 or, arguably, the “Witch Doctor” song all the way back in 1952. There was a short-lived cartoon in 1961, but the Saturday-morning cartoon that I and people of my generation are most familiar with didn’t come around until more than 20 years later (1982-1990).
The audio trick that creator Ross Bagdasarian used to create the sound of the Chipmunks’ voices was so simple, and the resulting songs so popular in the late 50s and early 60s, that I figured they must have spawned some knockoffs. Sure enough — enjoy the squeaky sounds of:
The Nutty Squirrels (singing “Uh Oh”)
The Grasshoppers (singing “Shortnin’ Bread”) (More info)
The Three Happy Crickets (“We Wish You a Merry Christmas”)
Woody Woodchuck’s Christmas Sing Song (info only)
Sing Along with the Busy Beavers (album download)
BONUS LINK: The Happy Hamsters sing “Ghostbustin’”, a few decades later. Full album here.