May 22, 5:55 PM EDT
'ALVIN!' Chipmunks, David Seville Are Back
By JOHN ROGERS
Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Forty-eight years ago, songwriter Ross Bagdasarian was taking a drive through California's Yosemite National Park when a chipmunk scampered out in front of his car and stared him down in the way a matador might challenge a charging bull.
"My dad just fell out of the car laughing," Ross Bagdasarian Jr. recalled recently from his home in Santa Barbara.
It was the birth of a pop culture phenomenon known as Alvin and the Chipmunks. The three squeaky voiced cartoon rodents, and their father figure, "David Seville," would release "The Chipmunks Song" later that year and it would become one of the most popular recordings of 1958. TV series, movies and more than a dozen albums followed.
Almost 50 years later, the Chipmunks - Alvin and his brothers Simon and Theodore - are still singing - voiced now by Bagdasarian's son and his son's wife, Janice Karman. They're also still driving the hapless Seville crazy, prompting him to scream out "ALVIN!" every few minutes.
With the release this week of the DVD of 1987's feature film, "The Chipmunk Adventure," Bagdasarian and Karman are also at work on a script for a new movie they hope will be ready in time to mark the Chipmunks' 50th birthday.