Anchored by the Kennedy impersonation by entertainer Vaughn Meader, The First Family was a full cast comedy album recorded in front of a live audience and released in November 1962. By today’s standards, it is a gentle satire, poking fun at the President’s New England accent, the presence of children in the White House, the public athleticism of the Kennedys and other well-known aspects of the family and administration. It was a smash hit, selling 7.5 million copies and staying #1 on the Billboard 200 for twelve straight weeks, becoming the fastest-selling record in history up to that time. It won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1963 and was followed by a sequel, The First Family, volume 2, in March of that year.
President Kennedy distributed 100 copies of The First Family album as Christmas gifts in 1962, and he reportedly played the full record at a Cabinet meeting. And Vaughn Meader was a Kennedy fan, as demonstrated by a telegram to President Kennedy promising that his impersonation was done “with great affection and respect.”
The commemorative 3-CD set includes The First Family and The First Family, volume 2, as well as a bonus CD with special audio features.