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Vaughn Meader
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    (March 20, 1936-October 29, 2004)
    Born Abbot Vaughn Meader in Waterville, Maine
    Recorded 'The First Family' (1962), 'The First Family Part Two' (1963) and 'The First Family Rides Again' (1981)
    His act was severely limited (one trick pony).
    He started imitating John F. Kennedy in his stand-up act as a lark, and it wound up taking over his entire routine.
    He referred to November 22, 1963 as 'the day I died.'
    On that day, when a Milwaukee cab driver told him, 'Hey, did you hear about Kennedy in Dallas?' he thought it was a JFK joke and said, 'No, how does it go?' He then went straight to his hotel room and got drunk.
    He developed a serious problem with drugs and alcohol after Kennedy's death and his career bottomed out.
    'The First Family Rides Again' is a Rich Little vehicle on the Ronald Reagan presidency, and Meader appears on only one track, and not as Kennedy. It's better known for Michael Richards' impersonation of Ron Reagan Jr.
    After a cabbie stabbed him (an event he may have hallucinated while high) he gave up comedy for a career as a musician in Maine.
    Copies of 'The First Family' have been clogging up Goodwill bins for years.
    Meader became an overnight sensation because of his uncanny impersonation and decent resemblance.
    'The First Family,' a humorous take on the Kennedy family and lifestyle, is still the fastest selling album of all time (ultimately selling almost eight million copies), and won the Grammy for best album--the only time a comedy album has won that award.
    Kennedy loved the album, and gave it out as Christmas presents.
    His sequel, 'The First Family Part Two' had been released not long before the assassination, and was quickly pulled from stores.
    He recorded a single for Christmas with Kennedy and Santa Claus that was sent out to radio stations the very week of the assassination. No known copies exist.
    Lenny Bruce said, 'They put two graves in Arlington--one for John Kennedy and one for Vaughn Meader.'
    He received death threats after the assassination.
    He vowed never to do his JFK imitation for anyone after the assassination, and was faithful to that promise until his death.

Credit: Art Gremashlo

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