Alvin, Theodore, Simon. The Chipmunks first officially appeared on the scene in a novelty record released in late fall 1958 by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. (aka David Seville, the trio's manager, human father and confidant). The song, originally listed on the record label as "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)," featured the singing skills of the chipmunk trio. One phrase in the chorus has Alvin wishing for a hula hoop, which was that year's hot new toy.

The novelty record was highly successful, selling more than four million copies in seven weeks, and it launched the careers of its chipmunk stars. It spent four weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from December 22, 1958 to January 12, 1959. It also earned three Grammy Awards and a nomination for Record of the Year. At the height of the record's popularity, Bagdasarian and three chipmunk hand-puppets appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, lip-synching the song. "The Chipmunk Song" appeared on the Chipmunks' debut album, Let's All Sing with the Chipmunks, in 1959, and was repeated on Christmas with the Chipmunks, released in 1962. The song has also been included on several compilation albums.

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