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Old 11-07-2016, 10:18 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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There was nothing unusual about this technique even in 1958.

The Alvin and the Chipmunks page says:
The technique was by no means new to the Chipmunks. For example, the high and low pitched characters in The Wizard of Oz were achieved by speeding up and slowing down vocal recordings. Also, Mel Blanc's voice characterization for Daffy Duck was sped up to some extent. ...

The technique was used extensively in the British puppet show Pinky and Perky, which pre-dated the Chipmunks.
Another contemporary was The Purple People Eater, released in mid-1958, whose page says:
The voice of the purple people eater is a sped-up recording, giving it a voice similar to, but not quite as high-pitched or as fast, as Mike Sammes's 1957 "Pinky and Perky", or Ross Bagdasarian's "Witch Doctor", another hit from earlier in 1958; and "The Chipmunk Song" which was released late in 1958.
And if you check the Pinky and Perky page:
Pinky and Perky spoke and sang in high-pitched voices, created by re-playing original voice recordings at twice the original recorded speed; the vocals were sung by Mike Sammes[1] while the backing track was played at half normal speed (Sammes did the same job for Ken Dodd's Diddymen, as Ross Bagdasarian did for the original Chipmunks in the early 1960s)—hence the expression "Pinky and Perky speed", when an LP record is played at 45 rpm or 78 rpm instead of the correct 33⅓ rpm.
The Wikipedia page got it right in the first place and supplies all kinds of evidence for the use of the technique other than the Chipmunks. I wonder how all this information got ignored by the OP.