After the Chipmunks' initial success in 1958, plans were almost immediately made to make them into an animated cartoon series. Unfortunately, there were some initial art direction snags (specifically with the character designs) and the show was delayed. This gap resulted in a race between the Chipmunks and an imitative group created by jazz musicians Don Elliott and Alexander "Sascha" Burland, which they called the Nutty Squirrels.
Both musical groups featured the defining sped-up voices, but Ross's Chipmunks favored popular music while the Squirrels favored jazz, particularly of the bebop variety. Ultimately, the Squirrels made it to television first (appearing in September 1960), but they were not as popular as the originals (at least partly because of the less popular nature of jazz music at that time) and quickly faded from view.
In 1976 Bob Milsap resurrected the act, at first with a novelty single based on the current CB citizens band radio craze, "Hey Shirley (This Is Squirrely)" followed by two albums (one a Christmas release) . Due to legal reasons, his version of the creation went credited under the individual character names—Shirley and Squirrely. Time heals all wounds, as Ross Bagdasarian, Jr, even collaborated with Milsap, on the Nutty Squirrels' final album, Shirley, Squirrely and Melvin - "Live" (1981) on Excelsior, the same label as Bagdasarians' 1980 "Chipmunk Punk".
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