The Best Albums of the JFK Presidency

President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, wearing a gown designed by Ethel Franken of Bergdorf Goodman, arrive at Sinatra's inaugural ball on the evening of Inauguration Day.

The day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated was also the day that the Beatles' second album, With the Beatles, was released. The band's first album, Please Please Me, had been released a mere eight months earlier. Although his short presidency (less than three years) barely overlapped with the Beatles-led British Invasion, some excellent music was released during JFK's administration. Bands and musicians like Roy Orbison (Crying), Beach Boys (Surfin' USA), Jimmy Smith (Back at the Chicken Shack), The Trashmen (Surfin' Bird), and Booker T. and the M.G.'s (Green Onions) were near or at the top of their recording game. Proving the greatness of the music released during JFK's time in office, none of those aforementioned albums crack the following list of the best albums released during JFK's time in office.

8. Surfer's Choice — Dick Dale and His Del-Tones

Who knew that laid back surfers could wreak such havoc on their amps and guitars? Quoting the Dick Dale website:

Leo Fender gave the Fender Stratocaster along with a Fender Amp to Dale and told him to beat it to death and tell him what he thought of it. Dale took the guitar and started to beat it to death, and he blew up Leo Fender’s amp and blew out the speaker. Dale proceeded to blow up forty nine amps and speakers; they would actually catch on fire.

That quote explains why the father of surf-rock is also considered by some the father of heavy metal. Regardless of his place in heavy metal history, Surfers’ Choice represents the birth of a genre that influenced not only music but culture in general.