Topical comedy is the only thing in the world of aural excitement to date faster than a drum sound, so these mild satires on 1960s celebrity/political culture and the Nixon White House respectively exist less as funny stuff than historical documents. While the main players sound uncannily accurate, who apart from (American) adults who lived through the decade remember David Susskind, Georgie Jessel, Dean Rusk, Everett Dirksen, Joey Bishop, et. al, let alone appreciates obscure allusions now lost in the fug of that turbulent time.
Now I happen to know a little something of these people and events, but only vicariously through the voracious reading in the decades immediately following of 1960s Mad magazines. As it happens, Mad caricaturist Mort Drucker (wotta name!) supplied the cover art for the The New First Family, 1968 Lp. New Yorker cartoonist Edward Sorel illustrated the I Am The President sleeve. Most of the characters for both records were voiced by David Frye who did several other political comedy (mainly Nixon) records and who, co-incidentally, died just a month a half ago.
So now we won’t have him to kick around anymore, either.
One of the New First Family producers, Bob Booker, was also responsible for Vaughn Meader’s gentle and enormously successful (7.5 million sales in one year!) Jack Kennedy send-up, The First Family (1962). The album was, due to infamous events in Dallas shortly afterwards, a short-lived phenomenon. It did lead, however, to Lenny Bruce’s gloriously bad taste, gig-opening riposte on the night of November 22, 1963: walking on stage, shaking his head, he murmured, “….poor Vaughn Meader.”
These images were on the inner sleeve of President and show off Elektra’s new-found, Doors-funded wealth in four-colour glory.