Alfi & Harry

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Alfi & Harry was the first pseudonym used on Liberty Records by songwriter/producer Ross Bagdasarian. It's good for exactly three singles, "The Trouble With Harry" b/w "Little Beauty" (Liberty 55008),…
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Alfi & Harry was the first pseudonym used on Liberty Records by songwriter/producer Ross Bagdasarian. It's good for exactly three singles, "The Trouble With Harry" b/w "Little Beauty" (Liberty 55008), "The Word Game Song" b/w "Persian on Excursion" (Liberty 55016), and "Safari" b/w "Closing Time" (Liberty 55066). Of these records, only the first one, "The Trouble With Harry," had any impact on the charts -- it entered at its highest position at number 50 on January 26, 1956, and bounced around in the lower regions of the Top 100 for about six weeks before finally being knocked off by Les Baxter's version of the original movie theme.

The label copy reads: "Inspired by the Paramount Picture Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble With Harry." Bagdasarian was no stranger to Hitchcock, as he had worked with the famed director as an actor portraying the role of the frustrated musician in Rear Window. However, the record is a spoof -- in it, a pianist who seems stuck in a groove plays the same repetitive tune over and over as Bagdasarian shouts instructions from the control booth. The identity of "Harry" is not known; some sources suggest it may have been studio musician Mark McIntyre, however the piano on the record sounds like Bagdasarian himself.

After Bagdasarian started using the name "David Seville," he hardly needed the Alfi & Harry persona anymore and stopped using it in 1957. With the smash hit "Witch Doctor" released that year, Bagdasarian lifted the lowly novelty single out of the depths of the charts and placed it in the top spot for an unprecedented three weeks. Alfi & Harry is primarily of significance as Bagdasarian's first step along that road.