In 1958, a man named Ross Bagdasarian (aka Dave Seville) bought a new, top of the line, reel to reel tape recorder. It was with this device that he'd begin to experiment with what would later become Alvin and The Chipmunks. By recording and playing back his voice at different speeds, he was able to alter the sound of his voice. With this he was able to create the iconic squeaky sound the Chipmunks are known for. The first song he released using this method was "Witch Doctor" in which the witch doctor character was created using the sped up vocals. Once the song became a hit, he decided to do more with this method. This was how the Chipmunks: Alvin, Simon, and Theodore were born.

The first song released under Dave Seville and The Chipmunks, "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)", hit the radio waves for the first time on November 18th, 1958. It immediately became a hit, and has been a Christmas staple worldwide ever since. The song featured Dave desperately trying to manage the mischievous Chipmunks, with witty banter throughout. The dynamic between Alvin and Dave became the highlight of the franchise's content throughout the late 50s and into the 60s. With Alvin constantly causing trouble and getting on Dave's last good nerve. The humor became centered around a rebellious child and his frustrated parent. Dave's iconic "ALVINNN!!!" yell became a staple of the franchise and has been featured in every iteration throughout its history.

The Chipmunks became a hugely successful novelty act, gaining a multitude of records, merchandise, comic books, and even an apperance on The Ed Sullivan show. But it wasn't until 1961 that Dave, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore would make their prime time animation debut.

Throughout the 1960s, various Chipmunks records were released. But the biggest thing to happen to the franchise during this decade was the premiere of "The Alvin Show" on October 4, 1961. This was the first full TV series for The Chipmunks and further expanded on the characters of Alvin, Simon, Theodore, and Dave. The series aired for one season of 26 episodes until September 16, 1962. It continued to be broadcast in syndication and reruns throughout the next few decades.

The Alvin Show further established each of the characters personalities. With Alvin continuing to be the mischevioius and confident one, Simon being the smart and eligant one, and Theodore being the sweet and giggly one. Dave continued playing his role as the Chipmunks' manager and caregiver, and the show would continue to follow the dynamic between Alvin and Dave that was established during their very first song.

The Alvin Show had a variety show format. With a story segment, a song segment, and a segment featruring new characters, Clyde Crashcup and Leonardo. This formula would carry the show through its entire run. The song segments used songs from The Chipmunks' albums, the story segments featured Dave and the Chipmunks on various misadventures, and the Crashcup segments featured Clyde attempting to invent things that already existed. Such as: "baseball", "the bathtub" and "the baby". Clyde was very rarely ever featured outside of The Alvin Show era, but did get some merchandise during its run.

During The Alvin Show's run, more albums and singles continued to be released. Including two full Christmas albums, "Christmas with The Chipmunks: Vol. 1" and "Christmas with The Chipmunks: Vol. 2". These two christmas albums would be re-released in various forms throughout the decades. further establishing Dave and The Chipmnks as a Christmas staple.

The Chipmunks continued to thrive through albums, singles, TV appearances, and advertising campaigns throughout the 1960s. In 1969, Ross would release the last album featuring Dave and The Chipmunks, "The Chipmunks Go To the Movies" before retiring the group. A few years later on January 16, 1972, Ross unfortunately died to a heart attack at age 52.

In 2007, Alvin and the Chipmunks would return again as a series of CGI/live action hybrid films. The first film, "Alvin and the Chipmunks" released on December 14, 2007, followed by three sequels: "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel"(2009), "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked"(2011), and "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip"(2015). These films featured fresh, new redesigns of the characters and more Chipmunk covers of poopular songs of the time. The Squeakquel would mark the official return of The Chipettes, and they would remain in the following two sequels.

The films would feature a more realistic approach to the character designs of the Chipmunks and Chipettes. Showing them as much more animal-like than their former anthropomorphic cartoon designs. Each film would feature better CGI animation as the technology used to create them improved.

The CGi/live action Alvin and the Chipmunks film franchise became incredibly successful. The films were heavily promoted with TV spots, fast food tie-ins, and merchandise. The film series continued on for 8 years, with the final film, The Road Chip, releasing on December 12, 2015.

In 1980, Alvin and the Chipmunks would make a comeback. With a desire to continue his father's legacy, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. revived the franchise with this wife, Janice Karman. The first album to be released under this new iteration of the Chipmunks franchise, Chipmunk Punk, was released on June 15, 1980. Later that year, Alvin and the Chipmunks returned to TV in a new prime time animated Christmas special, A Chipmunk Christmas. The special first aired on December 14, 1981 and would continue to rerun yearly for many years after.

Throughout the early 80s, more Alvin and the Chipmunks albums were released. These new albums had Ross Jr. taking on his father's roles as Dave, Alvin, and Simon, with Janice playing theodore. These albums featured covers of popular 80s songs and new original songs. It wasn't until 1983 that The Chipmunks would return to TV again with a new animated series.

On september 17th, 1983, "Alvin and the Chipmunks" aired its first episode block on NBC. "Alvin and the Chipmunks" ran for 7 years and ended in 1990 The series continued to have syndicated reruns through the 90s and into the early 2000s. This series brought the dynamic between Dave and the Chipmunks into a family sitcom format, and featured brand new characters, The Chipettes.