Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ross Bagdasarian, 1919-1972

Ross Bagdasrian with Alfred Hitchcock making his cameo in Rear Window (1954)

Today marks the birth anniversary of Ross Bagdasarian. Bagdasarian was a musician/record producer who did a bit of acting in the 1950s. Perhaps Bagdasarian's best-known acting role comes in the movie Rear Window, where he plays the composer trying to come up with a tune who is one of the people James Stewart watches along the way; eventually, the composer winds up with "Miss Lonelyhearts". Bagdasarian also appeared in Destination Gobi, which I blogged about during the last cycle of airings it had on the former Fox Movie Channel four years ago.

Of course, Bagdasarian is known for his work outside of acting. Under the stage name David Seville, he had a #1 hit as a soloist with the novelty hit "Witch Doctor", but is even better-remembered for speeding up some voices under the conceit that they were coming from the animated chipmunks Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. "The Chipmunk Song" became a Christmas classic in 1958 and has remained so ever since, while the Chipmunks got their own animated TV series, and ultimately a movie a few years back.

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