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  • The First Family: Complete by Vaughn Meader
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The First Family: Complete by Vaughn Meader


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Audio CD, February 6, 2007
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 6, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 1962
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Rockbeat Records
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • ASIN: B000LXHK5O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,131 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Act I-Scene 1: The Experiment
2. Act I-Scene 2: After Dinner Conversations
3. Act I-Scene 3: The Malayan Ambassador
4. Act I-Scene 4: Relatively Speaking
5. Act I-Scene 5: Astronauts
6. Act I-Scene 6: Motorcade
7. Act I-Scene 7: The Party
8. Act I-Scene 8: The Tour
9. Act II-Scene 1: But Vote!!
10. Act II-Scene 2: Economy Lunch
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Act I-Scene 1: The Announcement
2. Act I-Scene 2: An Evening With JFK
3. Act I-Scene 3: 1958
4. Act I-Scene 4: The Trial
5. Act I-Scene 5: The Law
6. Act I-Scene 6: The Crisis
7. Act I-Scene 7: The Concert
8. Act I-Scene 8: The First Daughter
9. Act I-Scene 9: Biography
10. Act II-Scene 1: The First Family March
See all 17 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

In the late 50's, all the talk was about the charismatic John Fitzgerald Kennedy and how inevitable it seemed that he'd be elected our next President...everyone knew a change was in the air and in 1960, we did elect JFK. 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 7.5 million copies in the first few months. Meader appeared on high profile TV shows such as the 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. While he dabbled in music and comedy for years afterward, eventually returning to his actual name (Abbott Vaughn Meader), he could never match the success he enjoyed satirizing JFK. The action takes place in all the important and familiar places and with the people connected with The First Family...listening the these CD's will bring these events and people back to life.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 30 customer reviews
I ordered it right away, received it, and we have enjoyed it every since!
minihorse lover
Mr. Meader became an overnight sensation and sold several million albums which was unheard of then.
D. King
I was so surprised to hear the second album on the second CD I listened to it for the first time!
by Robert Wheeler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Bruce in Chapel Hill on March 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This review is being written because, at the time of this writing, there is no track listing provided for "The First Family: Complete" (2007), and, as yet, no other reviews. By contrast, the previous (1999) version of this CD -- which is listed separately on Amazon but which is no longer available ("The First Family, Vols. 1 & 2") -- explicitly includes all 34 of the tracks that, together, comprised both of the LPs that Vaughn Meader released in 1962-63. The Amazon posting for that earlier release also includes multiple reviewer comments. Having spent some time unsuccessfully trying to find out whether "Complete" includes both of Meader's original recordings, I would like to save other interested buyers from having to go through the same process I did.

"The First Family: Complete" is a 2-CD set that in fact includes all 34 of the tracks that were on both of Meader's 1962-63 releases. It is identical to the "Vols. 1 & 2" CD, the only difference being that Volume 1 and Volume 2 are now each on their own disc, rather than being combined onto one.

As far as the content of the "Complete" CD set is concerned, I basically agree with most of the reviewer comments posted for "Vols. 1 & 2". The heart of the humor is Meader's good imitation of JFK's voice and Boston accent. Meader's skits put silly words into the mouth of a President who, at the time, was viewed as being urbane and glamorous ("The rubber schwan is MINE!"). Unless you remember those 3 years when JFK was President -- i.e., unless you're approaching 60 or older -- much of that humor is going to be lost. This is a nostalgia piece for those of us who owned the original LPs.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By gsquared on January 13, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I remember listening to this as a child in the 60's. It's even funnier now that I understand the political and historical references. Younger kids who don't know much about the Kennedy years would probably not be interested. Great for Baby Boomers or students of history.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Newman VINE VOICE on March 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD
It's been over 50 years since the Kennedys have been in the White House but the humor in this album is priceless. From the message passing of The Malayan Ambassador to the hilarious business lunch with all the world leaders (Castro, Kruschev, Andenau, DeGaulle,), this album is packed with gut wrenching belly laughs. Vaughn Meader is so convincing as JFK and it is difficult to realize that he was not JFK himself. The comedy here is so good that it is timeless!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Johnson on July 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I first heard this as a child on an LP when it came out in the early 60's.
Listening to it now brings back fond memories and even funnier moments with lines like the 1st Family and their report on using Crest toothpaste..or the 1st Lady's White House Tour.."and we kept it as it was originally"..including the President.
It also made me realize the importance of that particular 1st family on this nation..and how we rarely laugh about them due to their personal loss and heartache. Vaughn Meader was a genius ...proven by the The First Family!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nancy A. Runkle on September 12, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Do you remember your family gathering around the black & white Zenith to watch Jackie Kennedy guide the tour of her new-and-improved White House? Do you remember the buzz that having Caroline and John-John in the White House caused? Do you remember Nikita Kruschev pounding on the table WITH HIS SHOE to make his point? Do you have a sense of humor?

If the answers to the above questions are all yeses, then I highly recommend this cd. If you were as lucky as I am, you grew up with this comedic interpretation of the Kennedy's experience as American Royalty in the White House.

I waited for a long time for this to come out on cd. Not being able to listen to Caroline's allowance being discussed or Jackie wanting to order a pizza for dinner caused deep regret at my chosing not to replace my turntable in the 90s.

This is good, clean fun. Even if you are one of the populace who had not been born when President Kennedy died, you will benefit from listening to Vaughn Meader's Kennedy. And if you're anything like me (and the subculture of people I've found who cherish this album) you will laugh each and every time you hear it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RJ on April 10, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I remember as a young kid in 1962 listening to this album with my parents. (That's somthing I thought I'd never say...) My Dad would laugh so hard he'd almost swallow his Marlboro and have beer coming out of his nose.. Most comedy recordings then and now are always on the short list of doom. One or two listens and then you put it away or give it to somone else. "Ok, that was a good laugh...next please?"..
The First Family is just plain damn funny..over and over. Almost 50 years old and its still fresh. Even though his career ended on November 22nd 1963, Vaughn Meader was waaayyy ahead of his time. To take stage comedy with multiple acting roles to manage other than his own, a live audience and make it funny as hell in an audio only release was the work of a magician in the 60's.. It wasnt until acts like the Firesign Theatre and others that came about in the later 70's could it be done nearly as well again.
So unplug from the tacky 21st century (easily done for most of us) and sit and enjoy excellent high-end modern comedy from the early cold war era. Kennedy was rideing a popularity tidal wave, camalot was becoming an empire and a family was closing in on being a dynasty. Fortunutly Vaughn Meador quickly saw it as all ready to go comedy material-at-hand and made a great album out of it..
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