In some cases, no one will get behind a wacky idea until there's nothing left to lose. Such is the case with Ross Bagdasarian Sr. who recorded a novelty song called "The Witch Doctor". As his record company was close to bankruptcy, three executives went along with recording a chorus of three sped-up voices he called The Chipmunks.
Production commenced and in just a few months leading up to Christmas of 1958, the record shot to the top of the charts, becoming one of the best selling singles of all time. Bagdasarian won two Grammy Awards, Liberty Records was saved from bankruptcy, and the Chipmunks became a household name with children all over the world.
And that's just the beginning of the story of Simon, Theodore, and Alvin. http://www.animationarchive.org/2009/10/animation-history-of-chipmunks.html -via Boing Boing