[78-L] 1st Family

Cary Ginell soundthink at live.com
Sat Mar 6 16:37:41 PST 2010

Druggie humor was not my bag back then (or even now). The first shocking comedy album I ever heard was George Carlin's "FM and AM," which came out around 1972. The FM side was the one with the filthy language; the AM side had his button-down act that he did before he grew his hair long. I had to listen to this album in my room with the volume down so my parents wouldn't hear it. I never cared for Richard Pryor, and Lenny Bruce was too sophisticated for me when I was a kid. But I loved Shelley Berman's angst-ridden telephone calls, Mort Sahl's stream-of-consciousness diatribes, and Nichols and May's ad-libbed vignettes. I remember having to memorize a monologue for a television production class during my first year in college and I chose Berman's "Flowers" - I still remember it ("so, no matter how mean or cruel or rotten you might have been throughout this day, every time you breathe out, you make a little flower happy.")

Cary Ginell

> Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2010 19:32:41 -0500
> From: dlennick at sympatico.ca
> To: 78-l at klickitat.78online.com
> Subject: Re: [78-L] 1st Family
> True, Cosby sold well. Newhart had flamed out by about the 4th album. He 
> remained funny but his material was barely half polished. Maybe one good sketch 
> per album by that time. Cosby and Newhart were lucky enough to have lasting 
> power on television.
> [Hey, man, why you no mention Cheech 'n' Chong?]
> dl
> Cary Ginell wrote:
> > Not necessarily. Bill Cosby released his first LP after the JFK assassination and each of his albums was not only funny, but best sellers, all the way through to the early '70s when he finally left Warner Bros. Another comedy star who flamed out quickly was Allan Sherman, whose "My Son" trio of albums (Folk Singer, Celebrity, and Nut) were hits, but he then scrambled with inferior material until he gave up around 1967. Bob Newhart still did well for a few years during the '60s, and the Smothers Brothers, on Mercury, had a successful series of LPs until their TV show was axed in the late 60s. All that happened was The Beatles and rock and roll took over the album charts from the comics and the folkies. There were still good comedy albums to be had in the '60s. They just weren't selling as well as they were pre-Beatles.
> > 
> > Cary Ginell
> > 
> >> Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2010 17:53:10 -0500
> >> From: dlennick at sympatico.ca
> >> To: 78-l at klickitat.78online.com
> >> Subject: Re: [78-L] 1st Family
> >>
> >> 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.
> >>
> >> dl
> >>
> >> 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 sa
> id
> >>  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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