Alfred Hitchcock and Ross Bagdasarian on the set of “Rear Window”, 1954

Rostom Sipan “Ross” Bagdasarian (January 27, 1919 – January 16, 1972) was an American pianist, singer, songwriter, actor and record producer of Armenian descent. He was better known by the stage name David Seville. If that doesn’t ring a bell, he was the creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks. The voices of the group were all performed by Bagdasarian, who sped up the playback to create high-pitched voices. This oft-used process was not entirely new to Bagdasarian, who had also used it for two previous novelty songs, including “Witch Doctor”, but it was so unusual and well-executed it earned the record two Grammy Awards for engineering. Bagdasarian, performing as the Chipmunks, released a long line of albums and singles, with “The Chipmunk Song” becoming a number-one single in the United States. Bagdasarian also played minor roles in films, the best known of which is his appearance in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 murder mystery Rear Window, portraying a piano-playing songwriter who composes, plays, and sings the song “Lisa”.

Alfred Hitchcock and Ross Bagdasarian on the set of Rear Window