William Saroyan

William Saroyan  (August 31, 1908 – May 18, 1981) was an American dramatist and author.  He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1940, and in 1943 won the Academy Award for Best Story for the film adaptation of his novel The Human Comedy.  An Armenian American, Saroyan wrote extensively about the Armenian immigrant life in California.  Many of his stories and plays are set in his native Fresno.  Some of his best-known works are The Time of Your Life, My Name Is Aram and My Heart’s in the Highlands.  He is recognized as “one of the most prominent literary figures of the mid-20th century”.  Stephen Fry describes Saroyan as “one of the most underrated writers of the [20th] century”.  Fry suggests that “he takes his place naturally alongside Hemingway, Steinbeck and Faulkner”.  (More from Wikipedia)

Rosemary Clooney had a long singing career in the years leading up to the rock and roll revolution.  Her breakthrough hit, “Come on-a My House” in 1951 was co-written by two Armenian American cousins, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Saroyan and Ross BagdasarianBagdasarian, under his stage name David Seville went on to great fame by experimenting with recordings using speeded-up vocals.  The first result was a #1 hit in the summer of 1958 called “Witch Doctor” – remember “Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang, walla walla, bing bang, ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang, walla walla, bing bang”?  He is best known of course for creating Alvin and the Chipmunks, whose popularity continues to the present day. 


(June 2013/1) 


Last edited: March 22, 2021