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David Seville

David Seville

David Seville


Rostom Sipan Bagdasarian (January 27, 1919 – January 16, 1972), American pianist, songwriter, actor, and record producer was born in Fresno, California, and was of Armenian ethnic descent. During his professional life he was better known by the stage name David Seville, which he used on his recordings featuring The Chipmunks. His first musical success was Rosemary Clooney's "Come on-a My House", which he based the lyrics on dialogue from his famous cousin William Saroyan's novel The Human Comedy. Read more on Last.fm
Rostom Sipan Bagdasarian (January 27, 1919 – January 16, 1972), American pianist, songwriter, actor, and record producer was born in Fresno, California, and was of Armenian ethnic descent. During his professional life he was better known by the stage name David Seville, which he used on his recordings featuring The Chipmunks. His first musical success was Rosemary Clooney's "Come on-a My House", which he based the lyrics on dialogue from his famous cousin William Saroyan's novel The Human Comedy. He had a moderate hit in 1956 under the name Alfi & Harry with the novelty record "The Trouble With Harry." As David Seville, he had another #1 record in his song, "The Witch Doctor", which was also his first experiment with the technique of speeding up the playback of an audio track to get the "most-distinctive" higher pitched squeaky comical sound. This success led to his recording of "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" with The Chipmunks. Bagdasarian also appeared in minor film roles, including Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954), in which he plays an obsessed, piano-playing songwriter who composes, plays, and sings a song called "Lisa." Bagdasarian's dialogue is not clearly heard, and he appears only in long shots, but he is the only other person seen during Hitchcock's notorious cameo appearance.

He also had bit parts in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), Viva Zapata! (1952), Destination Gobi (1953), Stalag 17 (1953), Alaska Seas (1954), The Proud and Profane (1956), Three Violent People (1956), Hot Blood (1956), The Deep Six (1957), and The Devil's Hairpin (1957). He also provided the voice for the David Seville character in the Chipmunks' 1961 animated television series The Alvin Show. Bagdasarian died of a heart attack at the age of 52. He was subsequently cremated at the Chapel of the Pines Crematory in Los Angeles, California. His son, Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., continued to release Chipmunks recordings and took over as the voice for the Chipmunk characters in subsequent iterations of the cartoon. Read more on Last.fm.

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