An old, collectible concert poster known as the Fantabulous Rock ’N Roll Show of ’57, with a great line-up of rhythm & blues musicians including Bo Diddley, The Coasters, The Drifters and Ruth Brown.
This scarce, collectable rock ’n’ roll window card functioned as a “tour blank” which traveled from town to town in the spring & summer of 1957, with differing ticket-sales information printed in the white space up top for each individual show along the tour. This poster shown today was for a gig in Charleston, West Virginia.
Globe Posters drew up this gorgeous concert placard using bright colors, pictures of each musician, some song titles and even each artist’s corresponding record label.
This authentic Globe Posters cardboard concert poster advertised tickets to a traveling group of all-African-American musicians who also helped form the basis of rock & roll.
For my money, it’s the riveting colors on the Fantabulous Rock and Roll Show of 1957 concert placard that makes it better than most. The look of the yellows and reds alternating on the light-blue backdrop… is just lovely design work.
And it’s fascinating the way this concert billboard states “Mr. Bobby Parker – Blues Guitar.” I haven’t seen Bobby Parker’s name on a concert poster very often… he was mostly in the background. But what an illustrious career! Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page stole a Parker lick for “Moby Dick” on Led Zeppelin II, and subsequently tried to sign Parker to Zep’s Swan Song label. And Carlos Santana has cited Bobby Parker as his main influence for picking up a guitar. (P.S. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Bobby Parker concert poster where he’s the headliner.)
And a Smiley Lewis concert poster is not something you see every day, either, but here Smiley is, on this poster, at 44 years of age. It’s a shame that “I Hear You Knocking” and “One Night (Of Sin),” his two recent rock ‘n roll classics, weren’t used on this poster – instead, they opted for his current single, which went nowhere.
And then there’s The Spence Twins on a concert window card! They weren’t musicians per se, but rather exotic dancers who often created a hubub whenever they performed – especially in the conservative 50’s.
As for its size, this Globe Posters of Baltimore concert broadside tapes out at 22 x 28 inches. Globe would usually make two different sizes of their concert posters; this and a smaller size.
Here is the exact wording on this vintage, seminal rock & roll window display, just as it reads from the top down to the bottom:
(Tiny print at top): Coleman Attractions present (and then) CONCERT & DANCE – Charleston Municipal Auditorium – Saturday, June 22, 1957 – (back to the tiny print) 10 P.M. ’til 2 A.M. – Tickets On Sale at the usual places – Advance $2.00 – at Door $2.50
(And then the key line, and the first line of the permanent body of the poster): Danceland Attractions Presents “Fantabulous” Rock ’N Roll Show of ’57
(The top three superstars): Ruth Brown – The Mama Girl – “Lucky Lips,” “When I Get You Baby” – Atlantic Records. The Coasters – “Searchin,” “Young Blood” – Atlantic Records. Bo Diddley and His Trio – “Hey Bo Diddley,” “Mona” – Checker Records
(The next three, middle level): The Schoolboys – “Please Say You Want Me,” “Shirley” – Okeh Records. The Drifters – “Fools Fall In Love,” “Hypnotize” – Atlantic Records. The 5 Satins – “Wish I Had My Baby,” “Oh Happy Day” and “Wonderful Girl” – Ember Records
(Third & final row, starting with blue area, lower left, neither one pictured): Johnny Hartman – M.C. – Vocalist – “All Of Me” – Bethlehem Records. Mr. Bobby Parker – Blues Guitar.
(And then): Smiley Lewis – “Sweeter Words,” “You Are My Sunshine” – Imperial Records. (And finally, with no fanfare): The Spence Twins.
(Red stripe at bottom): Paul Williams and his Hucklebuck Orchestra. Globe Poster – Baltimore.
Scarce, collectible Fifties rock-concert window cards are tough to find, because poster collectors like me grab them whenever they come up for sale. And as you know, most of these old rock & roll posters were thrown away back in the ’50s; no one was thinking ahead back then.
This collectable rock n’ roll concert poster is happily presented by collector Peter Howard (cell phone 805-540-0020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org). I pay the best prices in the world for old concert placards like this, or a finder’s fee if you point me to one!
To see more great examples of early, vintage telephone-pole posters from rock’s earliest days, just dial up this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/multi-act_1950s.htm