the chipmunks

Hearing “The Chipmunk Song” a few times this holiday season has made me curious. Did the original singer sing so slowly that when it was sped up to sound like chipmunks it sounded normal? How slow would you have to sing? Maybe the guy(s) sounded like that normally due to a severe birth defect. Or maybe helium was used.

My online search for the answer led me to a satisfying explanation.

Ross Bagdasarian was a genius.


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  1. Oh, THANKS. Now I’ve got that crud stuck in my head.

    “Please Christmas don’t be late.”

    Comment by Renee on December 22, 2003 @ 1:06 pm
  2. my Dad had an old reel-to-reel tape deck that was very easy to change the speed on. I recorded many “chipmunk” sessions in my bedroom. :)

    I never went as far as slowing down a real song and singing to it, though, maybe some day…

    Comment by mckay on December 22, 2003 @ 3:45 pm
  3. i have ALWAYS wondered exactly how they did that without having the words sped up faster as their voices went higher!

    Comment by jen on December 23, 2003 @ 4:11 am
  4. Do you guys remember the Police video to “Wrapped around your finger”? Sting’s running through this path of candles in slow motion but singing along with the song at normal speed.

    Comment by Renee on December 23, 2003 @ 10:26 am
  5. Heh, that’s cool! Now you’ve inspired me to look up Alvin & the Chipmunks. I’d forgotten all about them.

    Happy holidays!

    Comment by Meredith on December 25, 2003 @ 6:53 am

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