David Seville, whose real name was Ross Bagdasarian, was the creator of Alvin And The Chipmunks, a group made up of three animated chipmunks, which were really human voices pitched up to make them sound like small furry creatures.
Seville got the vocal effect by recording his voice into a tape recorder that was slowed to half speed and then playing it back at normal speed. "Witch Doctor" was his first song to use the technique, and at that point there were no "Chipmunks." (The squeaky voice was the witch doctor and had no physical form - Seville hadn't created the characters yet and used his own name for the recording).
Seville was a successful songwriter by the time he released this track as his first single - he had written the Rosemary Clooney hit "Come on-a My House" and a popular instrumental called "Armen's Theme." "Witch Doctor" was a huge hit, going to US #1 in April 1958 and staying for three weeks. Soon after, Seville created three distinct voices and branded his act "The Chimpmunks." Later that year, he released "The Chipmunk Song" which went to #1 for four weeks and became a Christmas favorite. Alvin And The Chipmunks got their own TV show (The Alvin Show) in 1961, again in 1983 (Alvin and the Chipmunks), and once again in 2015 (ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks). Several movies have also appeared, starting with The Chipmunk Adventure in 1987.
This song is the story of a gentleman seeking some help from a witch doctor in order to impress a woman he has fallen in love with. The wise witch doctor offers some words of advice in order to help the gentleman win the woman's heart by saying, "Oo ee, oo ah ah, ting tang, walla walla bing bang." It was said to be a call for love.
Sha Na Na recorded this, as did a Danish pop group known as Cartoons. Devo also covered it for the 1998 Rugrats Movie. Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo worked on the music for the film.
While it's quite a stretch to think of this tune as R&B, it was a #1 R&B hit. Many R&B chart toppers of the day were comedic or novelty recordings, including "Get A Job" by The Silhouettes and "Yakety Yak" by The Coasters.
Seville got the idea for this song from a story called Duel with a Witch Doctor, which was written by Jan de Hartog and published in Reader's Digest Condensed Books in 1957.
Some of the many uses of this song in the media include the TV shows The Simpsons and The Muppet Show, and the movie Homeward Bound.