The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Monday Music "Witch Doctor" by David Seville

 Todays edition of "Monday Music" is done on Tuesday, sometimes it happens due to my work load, I like blogging but I like sleep more, what can I say.  But in this case it was because Monday was "September 11th" and I felt that it would be inappropriate.
I decided to roll with this one, I remember playing it from my Ronco Record "Funny Bone Favorites"
I was in my early teens and I would get a record and play the mess out of it, and this one was one of the one that I would play.  I liked "Ronco" because they would get those hit compilations and you would get a bunch of "hits" rather than a regular album, and depending on the artist, you may get 1 to 4 hits off the album.  I was cutting grass to earn extra money for comic books and some munchies.  I would always be looking for ways to stretch my $$$ and Ronco would help me do that.   Funny how that works.    When I was doing research for this post, I found out that David Seville was the creators of Alvin and the Chipmunks.  In retrospect, it does make sense for the music style but I never made the connection....That was my *Duh* moment.

"Witch Doctor" is a song performed by Ross Bagdasarian Sr., and released in 1958 by Liberty Records under the stage name David Seville.

The song tells the story of a man in love with a woman who initially does not return his affections. Longing for her companionship, the man goes to see a witch doctor for advice. The wise witch doctor replies, "Oo ee oo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang" (a phrase which is repeated three times as the chorus of the song, alternating "bing bang" with "bang bang"). At the middle of the song, the man tells the woman he loves about his asking the witch doctor for advice.
The voice of the "witch doctor" was in fact Bagdasarian's own voice sped up to double speed, a technique later exploited by Bagdasarian to create Alvin and the Chipmunks (and which he had also used on at least one other pre-Chipmunk song, "The Bird on My Head"). Because of this, it is often referred to (even in later compilations) as the first song by the Chipmunks; this is not precisely true. For one, only one sped-up "chipmunk-style" voice is featured rather than three such voices singing in harmony. Furthermore, Bagdasarian (as Seville) insisted that it was not technically a Chipmunks song in an episode of The Alvin Show when he exclaims "I made that record once!" and Alvin responds "But not with us!" The first true song by the "group" was "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)."

The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Top 100, the predecessor to the Billboard Hot 100. The single was considered a major surprise hit on the chart, where it became Seville's first number-one single and stayed at number one for three weeks. The single peaked at number one on the Billboard R&B chart and on the Cash Box chart as well. The single sold over one million copies in the United States. Billboard ranked it as the No. 4 song for 1958.

The song had gained further popularity due to multiple covers performed by Alvin and the Chipmunks. The first was for their 1960 album Sing Again with The Chipmunks, which would later be adapted into a musical segment on The Alvin Show. In 1983, they would perform this song on the Alvin and the Chipmunks episode "The Chipmunk Story" and the soundtrack Songs from Our TV Shows. The song was used for the opening of the 1990 TV special Rockin' Through the Decades in the style of various artists. In 1996, a dance cover was recorded for the album Club Chipmunk: The Dance Mixes. In 2007, a DeeTown cover (featuring Chris Classic) was recorded for the live-action/CGI Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. In 2012, they released a duet cover with The Chipettes entitled "Witch Doctor 2.0" available for digital download on the iTunes Store (although iTunes only credits The Chipmunks).

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