Sunday, August 9, 2009

Off Beat: Witch Doctor

In 1958, the novelty song Witch Doctor hit #1 in America. The song was written and performed by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. - better known as David Seville.

Witch Doctor was the first occasion that Seville experimented with tape speeds in the recording studio. His most successful use of varied tape speeds was with Alvin and the Chipmunks. They released Christmas Don't Be Late in 1959 and never looked back, launching a career of records, cartoons and television shows. Here's Seville on the Ed Sullivan show in the 50s "performing" Witch Doctor...


  1. You really dig deep for this stuff, don't you? I think I vaguely remember hearing this somewhere. Dr. Demento? But then you pull it out. Great stuff as usual. Thanks.

    Of course, now I'm going to have that stuck in my head all maybe I shouldn't be thanking you. ;)

  2. You may be right about Dr. Demento. Stuck in your head? It's been stuck in mine for about a week - check my right side bar...

    PS - Thanks for stopping by and adding dufusdownbeat to your blog roll, guy.

  3. Ah Dr. many of those old cassettes stuffed in boxes. And of course, this one is one one of play lists...

  4. subtorp77: He really kept many of these songs alive...and gave Weird Al his start.