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Encyclopedia > Vaughn Meader
Vaughn Meader (center, right) featured on the cover of The First Family, c. 1962
Vaughn Meader (center, right) featured on the cover of The First Family, c. 1962

Abbott Vaughn Meader (March 20, 1936October 29, 2004) was an American comedian and impersonator whose achievement of fame with The First Family album spoofing President John F. Kennedy was equalled only by his obscurity after Kennedy's assassination in 1963. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The cover of The First Family The First Family is a comedy album recorded on 22 October 1962 as a good-natured parody of President John F. Kennedy, both as Commander-in-Chief and as a member of a large, well-known political family. ... March 20 is the 79th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (80th in leap years). ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... October 29 is the 302nd day of the year (303rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... shelby was here 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A comedian, or comic, is an entertainer who amuses an audience by making them laugh. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The cover of The First Family The First Family is a comedy album recorded on 22 October 1962 as a good-natured parody of President John F. Kennedy, both as Commander-in-Chief and as a member of a large, well-known political family. ... An album or record album is a collection of related audio or music tracks distributed to the public. ... Most of this article is about heads of state. ... John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), also referred to as John F. Kennedy, JFK, John Kennedy or Jack Kennedy, was the 35th President of the United States. ... President Kennedy with his wife, Jacqueline, and Texas Governor John Connally in the presidential limousine just moments before his assassination The assassination of John F. Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, took place on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, USA at 12:30 p. ... Year 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Early life

Meader was born in Waterville, Maine, during one of the worst floods ever to hit New England (he often said he was born on "the night the West Bridge washed out"). He enlisted in the United States Army directly out of Brookline High School near Boston, was posted in Germany, and married a German woman. While in the Army, he joined a GI band. Waterville is a city in Kennebec County, Maine on the west bank of the Kennebec River. ... This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... Military service is service in an army or other military organisation, whether as a chosen job or as a result of an involuntary draft (conscription). ... The United States Army is the largest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ... Nickname: Location in Massachusetts Coordinates: Country United States State Massachusetts County Norfolk County Settled 1638 Incorporated 1705 Government  - Type Representative town meeting Area  - Town  6. ... Main article: Secondary education High school is a name used in some parts of the world, and particularly in North America, to describe the last segment of compulsory education. ... Nickname: Location in Massachusetts, USA Coordinates: Country United States State Massachusetts County Suffolk County Government  - Mayor Thomas M. Menino (D) Area  - City  89. ... This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ... GI may stand for: Galvanized Iron Gastrointestinal, a division of the human anatomy in medicine Generic identifier Geodætisk Institut, a former Danish cartographic institute Geographical indication Game Informer, a video games magazine Government issue, meaning army enlisted personnel Government Issue, A 1980s Hardcore Band G.I. Joe, a...


Meader began his career as a singer and piano player. Upon his return from Germany, he began a stand-up comedy act in New York City, where his skill at impersonating Kennedy was discovered. With his New England accent naturally close to the Kennedy's familiar (and often parodied) Harvard accent, he needed to adjust his voice only slightly to sound almost exactly like the President. Meader also mastered the facial expressions that allowed him to bear a passable resemblance to Kennedy. A singer is a musician who uses his or her voice to produce music. ... A short grand piano, with the top up. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... “New York, NY” redirects here. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Official website: http://harvard. ... A look-alike is a person who bears a close physical resemblance to a celebrity, politician or royalty. ...


The First Family

On October 22, 1962, Meader joined writers Bob Booker and Earle Doud and a small cast of entertainers and recorded The First Family, which would become the fastest-selling record in the United States. By that Christmas, one million copies of the album had been sold; by the following year, it had sold an astonishing 7.5 million copies—unprecedented for any album, let alone a comedy album. October 22 is the 295th day of the year (296th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... One million (1,000,000), or one thousand thousand, is the natural number following 999,999 and preceding 1,000,001. ...

Vaughn Meader in a publicity photo for The First Family
Vaughn Meader in a publicity photo for The First Family

In his 20s, Meader was suddenly famous, rich, and in constant demand. He was profiled in Time and Life magazines, appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, and played to packed houses in Las Vegas. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The cover of The First Family The First Family is a comedy album recorded on 22 October 1962 as a good-natured parody of President John F. Kennedy, both as Commander-in-Chief and as a member of a large, well-known political family. ... Wealth from the old English word weal, which means well-being or welfare. The term was originally an adjective to describe the possession of such qualities. ... Time, (whose trademark is capitalized TIME) is a weekly American newsmagazine, similar to Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. ... “LIFE” redirects here. ... Ed Sullivan The Ed Sullivan Show is an American television variety show that ran from June 20, 1948 to June 6, 1971, and was hosted by former entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan. ... For further information, see Las Vegas metropolitan area and Las Vegas Strip. ...


At the time, many Americans could recite favorite lines from the record (including "the rubber schwan [swan] is mine," and "move ahead ... with great vigah [vigor]," the latter lampooning the President's own words). The album poked fun at Kennedy's PT-109 history; the rocking chairs he used for his aching 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 and her redecoration of the White House; among many other bits of knowledge that the public consumed voraciously. PT-109 redirects here. ... Lady on a rocking chair by Victor Borisov-Musatov, 1897 A rocking chair or rocker is a chair with two curved bands of wood (also know as rockers) attached to the bottom of the legs (one on the left two legs and one on the right two legs). ... “Hurting” redirects here. ... Look up Back in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A family in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1997 A family consists of a domestic group of people (or a number of domestic groups), typically affiliated by birth or marriage, or by analogous or comparable relationships — including domestic partnership, cohabitation, adoption, surname and (in some cases) ownership (as occurred in the... Womens Australian rules football is a team sport. ... United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ... “Children” redirects here. ... For other uses, see White House (disambiguation). ... Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (July 28, 1929 – May 19, 1994) was the wife of John F. Kennedy from 1953 to 1963 and was known as Jacqueline Kennedy or Jackie Kennedy. ... Consumers refers to individuals or households that purchase and use goods and services generated within the economy. ...


The parody was fairly good-natured. Kennedy himself was said to have given copies of the albums as Christmas gifts, and once greeted a Democratic National Committee group by saying, "Vaughn Meader was busy tonight, so I came myself."[1] At one press conference, Kennedy was asked if the album had produced "annoyment [sic] or enjoyment." He jokingly responded, "I listened to Mr. Meader's record and, frankly, I thought it sounded more like Teddy than it did me. So, now he's annoyed."[2] Christmas is an annual holiday that marks the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. ... Former Vermont Governor Dr. Howard Dean is the current Chairman of the DNC. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is the principal campaign and fund-raising organization affiliated with the United States Democratic Party. ... Edward Moore Ted Kennedy (born February 22, 1932) is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. ...


The First Family album won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1963. That March, Meader recorded a follow-up album, The First Family Volume Two, a combination of spoken comedy and songs performed by actors and comedians portraying members of the President's family and White House staff. The Grammy Award for Album of the Year is the most prestigious award category. ...


Assassination aftermath

After John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas, Texas, in November, 1963, sales of The First Family albums plummeted, and stores removed the records from their shelves as the nation went into mourning. Meader and others commented through the years that the assassin's (presumed to be Lee Harvey Oswald) bullet killed not only Kennedy, but also Meader (or, Meader's career). His act was no longer in demand and even appearances that were already booked—including those for the Grammy Awards show, the Joey Bishop show, and To Tell the Truth—were canceled. Nickname: Motto: Live Large. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Lee Harvey Oswald diary Lee Harvey Oswald (October 18, 1939 – November 24, 1963) was, according to two United States government investigations, responsible for the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Joey Bishop (born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb on February 3, 1918 in The Bronx, New York, USA) is a Jewish American actor. ... Nipsey Russell, Peggy Cass, Bill Cullen and Kitty Carlisle from the 1969-78 version. ...


According to several sources, avant-garde comedian Lenny Bruce appeared at a New York nightclub only days after Kennedy's assassination. As if testing his audience's readiness to find something funny so soon after tragedy, Bruce was silent for several moments before announcing, "Vaughn Meader is screwed!" [1] Certainly, Meader discovered that he was so completely typecast as a Kennedy impersonator that he could not find anyone willing to hire him for any of his other talents. He recorded comedy albums for Verve Records, including sketches on almost anything except the Kennedys, but sales were virtually nonexistent. A work similar to Marcel Duchamps Fountain Avant garde (written avant-garde) is a French phrase, one of many French phrases used by English speakers. ... Lenny Bruce (October 13, 1925 – August 3, 1966), born Leonard Alfred Schneider, was a controversial American stand-up comedian, writer, social critic and satirist of the 1950s and 1960s. ... // This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... An audience is a group of people who participate in an experience or encounter a work of art, literature, theatre, music or academics in any medium. ... For other meanings, see typecasting. ... Verve Records is an American Jazz record label, founded by Norman Granz in 1956, which absorbed the catalogues of his earlier labels: Norgran Records and Clef Records (founded 1953). ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Meader sank into depression as his source of income and employment vanished, and as his newfound famous friends and associates stopped calling. His non-Kennedy albums and act interested almost no one, because the public associated his face and voice with the late President. He began using his given name, Abbott, and vowed to never again do a Kennedy impersonation (a vow he kept until his death). He also began using alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. [2] Look up Appendix:Most popular given names by country in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Cocaine (see also: crack) is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. ... Heroin ((INN) Diacetylmorphine, (BAN) diamorphine) is an opioid synthesized directly from the extracts of the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum. ...


Later life

Meader tried several times to revive his career, but achieved only moderate success, and then mostly outside of show business. He appeared briefly in the 1974 movie Linda Lovelace for President and on the Rich Little comedy album, The First Family Rides Again, which both parodied Ronald Reagan and paid homage to the original The First Family album. Show business is a vernacular term for the business of entertainment. ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... Rich Little performing (as George Burns) in 2004 Richard Caruthers Rich Little (born November 26, 1938) is a Canadian comedian best known for his celebrity impersonations. ... Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981 – 1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967 – 1975). ...


Eventually, Meader resumed a career in bluegrass and country music, becoming a popular local performer in his native Maine. Bluegrass music is considered a form of American roots music which has its own roots in Irish, African, Scottish and English traditional music. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...


Meader was married four times, the last for 16 years to his wife, Sheila, until his death. The couple lived briefly in Gulfport, Florida, from 1999 to 2002, but eventually returned to Maine. Gulfport is a city located in Pinellas County, Florida. ... Year 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar). ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ...


External links

  • NPR tribute to Vaughan Meader
  • Comedy Stars site biography
  • Geocities biography
  • Amazon.com album listing with audio excerpts

  Results from FactBites:
 
Vaughn Meader - Biography - AOL Music (647 words)
By the early '60s Meader was performing in comedy clubs in New York City; one night Meader spontaneously broke into an imitation of then newly elected President John F. Kennedy and his impression was so good that the audience response was encouraging.
On October 22, 1962, Vaughn Meader and a cast under the direction of Bob Booker and Earle Doud recorded The First Family, a satirical sendup of Kennedy and his family and administration, featuring Meader in the role of the popular president.
Meader was propelled to overnight stardom; he appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, packed clubs in Las Vegas, and forged friendships with other influential stars in show business.
Vaughn Meader - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (883 words)
Abbott Vaughn Meader (March 20, 1936 – October 29, 2004) was an American comedian and impersonator whose meteoric rise to fame with The First Family album spoofing President John F. Kennedy was equalled only by his meteoric crash into obscurity with Kennedy's assassination in 1963.
Meader was born in Waterville, Maine, during one of the worst floods ever to hit New England (he often said he was born on "the night the West Bridge washed out").
Meader and others commented through the years that the assassin's (presumed to be Lee Harvey Oswald) bullet killed not only Kennedy, but also Meader (or, Meader's career).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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