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Nutty Squirrels

Alvin & the Chipmunks may did it first, however when it found cartoon-pop rodents, no one did it much better than the Nutty Squirrels. The brainchild of jazz vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Don Elliott and jingle composer Alexander “Sascha” Burland, the Nutty Squirrels utilized exactly the same sped-up vocal playback methods as Ross Bagdasarian’s Chipmunks, but put into the combine a far more powerful musical strategy, a sharper, hipper love of life, and the studio room support of jazz greats including saxophonist Cannonball Adderley. And even though the Chipmunks defeat their many competitors within the competition to record shops, the Nutty Squirrels in fact outpaced Alvin, Simon, and Theodore to tv by a calendar year. Both Elliott and Burland acquired enjoyed industrial success before the Nutty Squirrels’ 1959 development — the previous was arguably the most known proponent of the jazz mellophone and a gifted and innovative scat vocalist, tinkering with multi-tracking and tape rates of speed to dub as much as nine different vocal monitors per melody on his LP The Voices of Don Elliott. Burland, on the other hand, was a Hollywood-based orchestra head perhaps most widely known for composing the theme melody for the strike game display What’s My Range? The writer of several industrial jingles (including, most famously, Alka-Seltzer’s “NO REAL MATTER WHAT Form Your Stomach’s In”), for Riverside he documented the recording Swingin’ the Jingles, a series marrying advertising styles with jazz. (The program actually included an appearance by Maynard Ferguson.) From the past due ’50s, both Elliott and Burland had been devoting a lot of their energy to composing marketing music for Madison Avenue, so when “The Chipmunk Music” surfaced as a massive hit in past due 1958, their very own industrial instincts started to dominate. The Chipmunks — the creation of composer Bagdasarian, aka David Seville — had been the product of the clever studio room procedure whereby vocals had been documented at 16 rpm and performed back over doubly fast at the traditional 33-and-one-third rpm acceleration, producing a chirpy, high-pitched sound comparable to the standard human being voice following a inhalation of helium. Following the substantial achievement of “The Chipmunk Music,” imitators prearranged in droves, but few if any boasted the pedigree or ingenuity of Elliott and Burland. Unlike the bland, cutesy Chipmunks, the Nutty Squirrels had been awesome, with goatees, dark fits, and berets, filled with beatnik lingo to complement. Sketching upon Elliott’s singular scat strategy, the duo capitalized upon stereo system technology to split up their vocals to 1 loudspeaker apiece, and recruited top-flight jazzmen like Adderley, flutist Bobby Jaspar, and clarinetist Sam Many to slice the Nutty Squirrels’ self-titled 1959 debut, released on comedian Steve Allen and maker Bob Thiele’s Hanover label. Once the solitary “Uh-Oh, Pt. 2” damaged the pop Best 20 at year’s end, programs to get a Nutty Squirrels cartoon series had been quickly announced. File format Films had currently announced an cartoon Chipmunks program, however when creation was beset by complications, rival Transfilm-Wilde could rush-release 100 five-minute Nutty Squirrels cartoons into syndication in Sept 1960. (The Chipmunks didn’t premiere until a 12 months later.) Even though Squirrels’ “radical” jazz content material prompted many small-market channels to spread the show, it had been popular in bigger metropolitan markets, specifically Chicago, where it shown on superstation WGN six times a week. Another LP, Bird Viewing, made an appearance that same season, but didn’t enjoy the graph achievement of its forerunner. After one last cooperation, the Beatles tribute The Nutty Squirrels Sing ‘A Hard Day’s Evening’, in 1964 Elliott and Burland divide.

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