Biggest Show of Stars Concert Poster – 1960s R&B Soul Music Stars

A beautiful, collectible Dorton Arena concert poster featuring the Biggest Show of Stars for 1965 in Raleigh, North Carolina on May 20 of that year.

This highly attractive Biggest Show of Stars for ’65 poster board contains a big sampling of R&B musicians from the mid-sixties… many of whom had success on the pop charts as well.

But really, it’s the bright, Day-Glo colors here that first impress you… it’s simply gorgeous with its blue, pink, green, black and white coloring.

Globe Posters out of Baltimore is the company that designed and printed this Dorton Arena window card. Their credit appears down at the poster’s bottom.

I’m especially impressed the way Globe used blue ink to convey the venue information found at the top of their Biggest Show of Stars for ’65 street sign. Black is the color most commonly used up there, but the blue hue adds a fifth color and really helps “set off” that portion of the poster.

It was not unusual for Globe to manufacture these Dorton Arena concert advertisements for the famed, odd-shaped venue… many other Dorton posters exist, and I’ve already blogged a few of them prior to this.

Then you have the talent line-up on this Biggest Show of Stars for ’65 show poster… what variety, what hit-making prowess! Just as it states, “13 Big Acts – 2 Bands – All In Person.”

Those two “bands” were the Joe Tex Orchestra and Jamo Thomas Orchestra, which are literally the bottom-most words found on the poster. The very term “Orchestra,” held over from the early days of post-war R&B and rock ’n’ roll, was becoming quite outdated by this point in time.

This Dorton Arena in-person poster is comprised entirely of African American musicians touring the southern United States, but as already pointed out, many of the stars crossed over to the pop charts as well – especially The Drifters, The Impressions and Betty Everett.

For poster collectors like me, this Biggest Show of Stars for ’65 broadside marked the end of an era… 1965 was the last year that Super Enterprises ran their Biggest Show of Stars concert series. The shows commenced in 1957 and wrapped up this year, with several showcases usually occurring every year.

Measuring 22 by 28 inches, this Spectacular Stars of ’65 poster board is called a “jumbo” within the concert business, and in fact within the hobby as well.

Notice all of the ticket information presented at the top of this Biggest Show of Stars for ’65 placard (as mentioned, in blue ink). Tickets could be bought at Thiem’s Record Shop and the Village Pharmacy Camera Shop in Raleigh, plus a local record-store chain called The Record Bar in both Durham and Chapel Hill.

You’ll notice that it says “Spring Edition” in the upper right-hand corner of this Dorton Arena tour poster. There were usually fall editions of the BSOS as well, and occasional winter ones, too. But I’ve never seen a summer one.

Don’t you just love the amazing colors on this Biggest Show of Stars for ’65 window display? The pink and green are so pleasing to the eye to begin with, and then when you creatively add black, white & blue, it really takes off.

This is also true for a sister to this poster, the Supersonic Attractions’ Spectacular Stars of ’65 placard… bright pink is used to sterling effect on that poster, too.

I guess you could say the Impressions are top-billed on this Dorton Arena billboard, with their upper left-hand position. This would be because they had just finished a run of seven consecutive Top 20 pop hits.

But nobody is really singled out for headliner status here, other than getting into the top row.  This was common with caravan tours in the ’50s and ’60s… promoters didn’t want to give one act the edge over everyone else.

Gene Chandler is right next to the Impressions on this Biggest Show of Stars for ’65 window poster. In hindsight, you and I would probably prefer to see his classic, “Duke of Earl,” given on the poster, but instead we get his current hit of the day, “Nothing Can Stop Me.”

And then check out Jerry Butler… he got three song titles on this Dorton Arena concert placard. But there’s a catch… the two song titles in the little white box were actually duets with the gal below him, Betty Everett, which is why they’re part of her graphic space, too.

Speaking of Ms. Everett, her “Shoop-Shoop Song” listing (abbreviated by one word) is one of my favorite parts of this Biggest Show of Stars for ’65 event poster. It was a Top 10 pop hit in 1964, and is still heard frequently on oldies radio to this day.

Then you have the Drifters, holding down the bull’s-eye middle spot on this Dorton Arena appearance poster. Their presence here is somewhat nostalgic, as “At the Club” would be the last hit record (Top 10 R&B) of the group’s legendary career.

And in a passing of the baton, right below the Drifters is Walter Jackson, and “Suddenly I’m (All) Alone” was the first hit of his career, which progressed well into the 1980s.

And then right above Joe Tex, there’s Billy Butler and the Chanters on this Biggest Show of Stars for ’65 show placard. Yep, Billy was Jerry’s brother, but didn’t have nearly the success that Jerry did.

And then there’s the “sleeper” on this Dorton Arena ticket poster: Miss Tammy Montgomery. Just a teenager when this concert occurred, she would soon get married, use the name Tammi Terrell, and record six hit duets with Marvin Gaye over the next few years.

And then isn’t it funny that Joe Tex is bottom-billed on the Biggest Show of Stars for ’65 tour placard… because 1965 was the biggest year of Joe’s career, at least on Billboard’s R&B charts. He somehow managed to chart seven Top 20 rhythm & blues hits this year… whew!

So at least Joe’s bottom-billed position is neutralized somewhat by the banner “Extra Added Attraction.” With a year like he had, I would certainly hope so!

I know this is minor, but the words “Globe Poster – Baltimore” are printed in an unusual fashion at the bottom of this Dorton Arena street sign. Usually Globe’s credit is centered at the bottom of a poster, but in this case, the design mandates that it be shifted off to the left a little bit, and in smaller print than usual.

You might think it’s crazy to focus on such a small detail like that, but Globe was a very important poster-maker in the 1950s and 60s, so every little design variation is usually met with great interest by us collectors.

Although originally printed on pure white, over the years, florescent lights or direct sunlight tanned or “toned” this Dorton Arena concert sign.  Still, the poster maintains all of its wickedly cool original appearance, so no harm.

Matter of fact, this Biggest Show of Stars for ’65 street poster is in much better shape than many I’ve seen over the years, especially given its age of a half-century plus.

Keep in mind that this Dorton Arena concert announcement is only one in a long series of posters for the BSOS stage shows.  And like this one, most of them are highly attractive.

As always, the Biggest Show of Stars for ’65 fence poster is shown to you by me, collector Pete Howard… and I can be reached by email at pete@postercentral.com or (805) 540.0020 (phone). I will pay TOP DOLLAR, BAR NONE for this or any of the other Biggest Show of Stars original concert posters that I don’t already own. Thank you.

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