First Family: 50th Anniversary Edition
- Date First Available:
- March 11, 2007
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer:
- Rockbeat Records
- Number of discs:
- Original Release Date:
....pitch-perfect imitation of John F. Kennedy.... Jennifer Finney Boylan, The New York Times This represents the 50th Anniversary of the original release of The First Family album, originally available on November 12, 1962. Included are the original volumes 1 and 2 plus a special third CD containing a 28 minute BBC program about the album, Vaughn Meader's first TV appearance on Talent Scouts, which led to Bob Booker and Earle Doud using him on the album and a 1 minute 19 second clip of Kennedy talking about the album. After a stint in the Armed Forces and based in Germany, Vaughn Meader returned to the U.S. and in the early 60's, started performing a stand-up routine in night clubs. One evening, he tried something new, breaking into his now famous impression of the newly elected JFK...and his audience loved it. Soon, his eerie knack for capturing the pacing and timbre of Kennedy's distinct voice caught the eye of Bob Booker and Earle Doud and on October 22, 1962, they entered Fine Recording Studios in New York City and before a live audience, they recorded the legendary ''The First Family'' album. No one could have anticipated the overwhelming response to Meader's spot-on impression. The LP sold in excess of 300,000 copies in the first three weeks of release and over 7 ½ million copies in the first few months. Meader appeared on high profile TV shows such as Jack Paar hosted ''Tonight Show'', ''What's My Line'' and ''The Ed Sullivan Show'', filled nightclubs in Vegas and went back into the studios on March 18, 1963 to record a second volume of ''The First Family''. On November 22, 1963, JFK was assassinated and inside of a week, not a single copy of the LP was to be found in record stores. People removed the albums from their collections in horror...and Vaughn Meader's career ended as quickly as it began. November 22, 2018 is the 55th anniversary of the JFK assasssination This is still the best selling comedy album of all time JFK was a huge fan of the LP but felt Meader s impression sounded more like Bobby than him Kennedy himself was said to have given copies of the albums as Christmas gifts The First Family album won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1963 (plus one more Grammy) The LP was selling at more than a million copies per week for the first six and one-half weeks in release The album poked fun at Kennedy's PT-109 history; the rocking chairs he used for his painful back; the Kennedy clan's well-known athleticism, football games and family togetherness; children in the White House; and Jackie Kennedy's soft-spoken nature The LP was recorded the same night as JFK s Cuban missile crisis speech Honored as the ''largest and fastest selling record in the history of the record industry'' at that time. Review It went on to influence Firesign Theater, Credibility Gap and other beacons of the counterculture --Ben Manilla, PRI''...just flat out funny...'' --Steve Huey, AllMusic.com''...another side-splitting series of sketches...'' --Billboard Magazine
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