Theodore Keep

Theodore "Ted" Keep is a record producer. He was a co-founder of Liberty Records.[1] In his role as chief of engineering at the label and afterward, Keep introduced a number of innovations to commercial sound recording.[2]

During the 1950s, Keep provided the synchronization process that allowed Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. to combine his speed-doubled voice technique with full orchestration on "Witch Doctor" and the series of Chipmunks recordings. For the latter, Keep received Grammy Awards in 1959 and 1960. Keep's Liberty Studios was the first commercial recording studio to employ solid state mixing equipment, retaining its claim as "the world's only transistorized recording studio" into 1960.

Keep also brought innovations to electronic music. Working with the Richard Marino Orchestra, Keep combined custom-built synthesizers and audio signal processing circuits to achieve the unique sounds on the 1961 exotica album Out of This World. This release built upon Keep's stereo mix experimentation that lent a surreal quality to the early Martin Denny recordings. He is also credited with supplying electronic effects on the spooky LP Fantastica: Music From Outer Space, by Russ Garcia and His Orchestra.

In 1962, Keep loaned to a friend, trumpeter Herb Alpert, a tape he had made of bullfight crowds in Tijuana, Mexico. Alpert used the sound effects as the basis for The Lonely Bull, the first hit recording for Alpert's Tijuana Brass.

Into the 1960s through 1980s, Keep chose to focus on television and film audio. Among the better known soundtracks he recorded were the John Williams compositions for The Towering Inferno and Jaws.

Keep is also known for lending his name to the character of Theodore from The Alvin Show and The Chipmunks,[3] and for choosing The Ventures to record the Hawaii Five-O theme.


  1. ^ "US Labels and Company Sleeves 1955-1983". Liberty. 45-Sleeves. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  2. ^ Edwards, David; Callahan, Mike (20 January 2001). "The Liberty Records Story". Both Sides Now Publications. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  3. ^ Pantera, Gabrielle (29 September 2009). "DVD: Alvin and the Chipmunks TV Shows". Hollywood Today. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2011.