Christmas with The Chipmunks was released in 1962 on Liberty Records. Mother bought this record for me, I was 4 years old, and I loved it. It is now referred to as Volume 1 since there have been 3 more releases with the same name, in 1963, 2007, and 2008. The tracks from this and its follow-up album, Christmas with The Chipmunks Vol. 2 have been in continuous circulation since their original releases.
Alvin and the Chipmunks, originally David Seville and the Chipmunks or simply The Chipmunks, are an American animated virtual band and media franchise first created by Ross Bagdasarian for novelty records in 1958. The group consists of three singing animated anthropomorphic chipmunks named Alvin, Simon, and Theodore who are originally managed by their human adoptive father, David “Dave” Seville.
The only original song is “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” written by Ross Bagdasarian (David Seville). The song won three Grammy Awards in 1958, for Best Comedy Performance, Best Children’s Recording, and Best Engineered Record (non-classical).
The song was very successful, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles chart, becoming The Chipmunks’ first (and only), as well as David Seville’s second and final, No. 1 single. The single sold 4.5 million copies in seven weeks, according to Ross Bagdasarian Jr. It eventually sold 12 million copies. The B-side was “Almost Good” written by Ross Bagdasarian Sr. and Mark McIntyre.
The original recording has been used in the feature films, Rocky IV (1985), Look Who’s Talking Now (1993), Donnie Brasco (1997), Almost Famous (2000), Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016), and The Fate of the Furious (2017).
Tracks Side 1
- Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman) 01:44
- Up on the House-Top (Benjamin Hanby) 01:32
- Silver Bells (Ray Evans, Jerry Livingston) 02:17
- Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Johnny Marks) 02:30
- Jingle Bells (James Lord Pierpont) 02:36
- Over the River and Through the Woods (Lydia Maria Child) 01:56
Tracks Side 2
- Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (J. Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie) 01:45
- It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Meredith Willson) 01:45
- Frosty the Snowman (Steve Nelson, Walter Rollins) 01:59
- White Christmas (Irving Berlin) 02:32
- The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) (Ross Bagdasarian) 02:21
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Traditional) 00:53
- Liberty Records was a record label founded in the United States by chairman Simon Waronker in 1955 with Al Bennett as president and Theodore Keep as chief engineer. It was reactivated in 2001 in the United Kingdom and had two previous revivals. [Back]
- “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is an English Christmas carol, listed as numbers 230 and 9681 in the Roud Folk Song Index. The famous version of the carol is from the English West Country. The greeting “a merry Christmas and a happy New Year” is recorded from the early eighteenth century; however, the history of the carol itself is unclear. Its origin probably lies in the English tradition wherein wealthy people of the community gave Christmas treats to the carolers on Christmas Eve, such as “figgy pudding” that was very much like modern-day Christmas puddings; in the West Country of England, “figgy pudding” referred to a raisin or plum pudding, not necessarily one containing figs. In the famous version of the song, the singer demands figgy pudding from the audience, threatening to not “go until we get some”. [Back]