HOLLYWOOD — A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honoring the Grammy-winning animated singing group Alvin and the Chipmunks was unveiled March 14 as part of the celebration of their 60th anniversary.
The star was accepted by Ross Bagdasarian Jr., the president and CEO of Bagdasarian Productions, which produces the Chipmunks projects, and his wife, Janice Karman, the company’s co-president, at a late-morning ceremony in front of the Hollywood Toy & Costume Shop on Hollywood Boulevard.
Bagdasarian became emotional when recalling the death of his father, also named Ross, who created Alvin and the Chipmunks, 11 days before what would have been his 53rd birthday in 1972.
“As a way of keeping him alive, I listened to the songs and I watched ‘The Alvin Show’ over and over and over,” Bagdasarian said. “It was like he was still there. I met Janice shortly thereafter. I told her I wanted to bring the Chipmunks back of out hibernation and really wanted her help.
“She thought that was an odd request of someone she had just met. But she said loved Alvin and the Chipmunks growing up and she agreed. Here we are more than 40 years later. None of this would have been possible without her amazing talent and passion.”
Bagdasarian supplies the voices of Alvin and fellow Chipmunk, Simon, and their manager and human adoptive father, Dave. Karman supplies the voice for the third Chipmunk, Theodore, and The Chipettes, Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor.
The Chipmunks made their debut with the 1958 novelty Christmas song, “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” written and sung by the elder Bagdasarian. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles chart and won Grammys for best comedy performance and best recording for children at the inaugural Grammy ceremony in 1959.
“The Chipmunk Song” was also nominated for record of the year in a field that also included Frank Sinatra’s “Witchcraft”; Perry Como’s “Catch A Falling Star” and Peggy Lee’s “Fever.” The winner was “Volare,” sung by Domenico Modugno.
Alvin and the Chipmunks are best known for their various television and movie projects. “The Alvin Show” ran in prime-time on CBS in the 1961-62 season. A prime-time special “A Chipmunk Christmas” aired on NBC in 1981. The series “Alvin & The Chipmunks” ran Saturday mornings on NBC from 1983-90 and introduced The Chipettes.
A computer-generated animated series “ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks” has aired on Nickelodeon since 2015.
Alvin and the Chipmunks also starred in five theatrical films — 1987’s “The Chipmunk Adventure”; 2007’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks”; 2009’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel”; 2011’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked”; and 2015’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip”; and three direct-to-video films, 1999’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein”; 2000’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman”; and 2003’s “Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks.”