[78-L] 1st Family

David Lennick dlennick at sympatico.ca
Sat Mar 6 14:53:10 PST 2010

As a matter of fact, people stopped listening to the album after the 
assassination, Volume 2 was withdrawn, and sales of comedy albums were dismal 
for the next fifteen years. There were a few albums that attempted to continue 
the political humor idea, and Cary finds them funnier than I do (I did a series 
for the CBC on the history of political humor on record from the 1910s through 
1980 and I couldn't end it soon enough once we got past JFK). There were also 
Lou Jacobi and friends doing Yiddish for Yanks on a few albums, but the comedy 
record was a dead duck till Steve Martin rescued it (or buried it). "Let's Get 
Small" probably turns up in thrift stores more than any other album and that 
includes ABBA and Peter Frampton.


Cary Ginell wrote:
> Au contraire, mon ami! "The First Family" was hilarious and still is. It sold millions of copies well before JFK's murder. You just need to understand the context of it 50 years removed. Vaughn Meader's impression of JFK was impeccable; the writing on the album spurred a succession of similar Booker/Foster productions in the '60s, but none were as funny and well-scripted as this one was. JFK's assassination only dampened the humor, but we didn't become fans of the album because of the assassination. There was something perversely funny about the world's most powerful leaders sitting around a conference table ordering take-out sandwiches from a deli - with each person's choices so perfect for each character. The idea of a president playing with a "rubber schwan" in the bathtub, etc. etc. It was just a great, great comedy album. There were two tragedies - one was the death of a beloved president. The other was the death of Vaughn Meader's career (as Lenny Bruce famously said
 upon his first stand-up routine after the assassination: "Vaughn Meader is f***ed!"). 
> Cary Ginell
>> From: chaumelle at orange.fr
>> Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2010 22:43:41 +0100
>> To: 78-l at klickitat.78online.com
>> Subject: Re: [78-L] 1st Family  (was: It's BAAAACK!)
>> The last URL you sent us. So it must be that guide. Thanks to eBey for 
>> saving my life !
>> I know that comedy album; I've seen it several times at the flea 
>> market, here, in the old days. I found the cover unattractive, and I 
>> discovered Jonathan Winters, instead. As unattractive, perhaps, but 
>> very funny (in my opinion).
>> So you're interested by that album, not because it's supposed to make 
>> you laugh, but because it's about a president who had a violent death, 
>> isn't it ? If you happen to find a comedy album about Ike or Truman, 
>> you won't stop by ? The tragedy aspect is  'the main ingredient' ? Just 
>> curious.
>> BC
>> Le 6 mars 10, à 22:13, Michael Biel a écrit :
>>> Bertrand CHAUMELLE wrote:
>>>> eBey says >Unfortunately, access to this particular item has been
>>>> blocked due to legal restrictions in some countries.
>>> Was it the record (just a worn copy Tschaik 6th on Columbia) or his
>>> guide to losing 35 pounds in a week?  THAT woud kill you!
>>>> I was just wondering, Mike, why do you collect multiple copies of 'The
>>>> First Family' (LP)?
>>> For many years I have been planning to write the story of the 1962 Xmas
>>> season when this and My Son the Folk Singer sold millions in a few
>>> weeks.  Cadence had to use 10 pressing plants in the U.S. and I have
>>> copies from at least 8.  I want to include full descriptive data.  I
>>> already  have the complete inside story of the planning, pressing , and
>>> distribution of both of the albums, and the story of the sequels.
>>> Something always comes up when I plan to write it, but 2012 is the 50th
>>> anniv so this WILL be IT.  I will also do a follow up on the 63 Xmas
>>> season which was overtaken by the JFK assassination and several tribute
>>> LPs sold even faster than the First Family/My Son had the year before.
>>> I have several shelf feet of JFK LPs and a proper discography has never
>>> been done.
>>>> And, thanks for you previous 'calm and logical' replies. I think that,
>>>> now, I may have a better understanding of what makes you tick$  BC
>>> Good.  Now tell me!  (only kidding)
>>> Mike Biel  mbiel at mbiel.com

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