Frank Sinatra Window Card 1943 Hollywood Bowl Concert – 75 Cents Admission!

An original, genuine Frank Sinatra concert poster from his show at Los Angeles’ famous Hollywood Bowl on August 14, 1943.

This could be Frank’s earliest known concert poster, as he had just become a legit solo artist only the previous year.

Adding to the collector’s cache of this Frank Sinatra fence poster is the fact that I’ve seen almost no other Frank concert posters from his 1940s-1950s days. Either he didn’t conduct formal tours that much, or else his management preferred the other two advertising choices of the day, radio and newspaper ads.

Even Rat Pack concert posters of the 1960s don’t exist… I know of only one, from 1963. They did a lot of Vegas casinos, but never regular tours. Then again, this Hollywood Bowl show wasn’t part of a regular tour, either… it was pretty isolated. So it’s a head-scratcher.

This Frank Sinatra concert sign does not say “1943” on it anywhere, because that would’ve been completely unnecessary… its entire life span was meant to be just a few weeks.

But most unusually, it does state the date and time of the concert twice on the poster, using the exact same wording. “Sat. Aug. 14, 9:00 P.M.” appears at both the top and near the bottom; quite unusual.

It’s also a bit unorthodox the way the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra is almost hidden with such small print on this Frank Sinatra billboard. It’s almost like the promoters wanted to downplay their involvement.

This was about the third time Ol’ Blue Eyes had performed with a full orchestra in the summer of ’43; previously, he had attempted the same scenario in both New York and Cleveland.

One major attention-grabbing aspect of this Frank Sinatra concert placard is the fact that General Admission tickets were only 75 cents… imagine that, such a legend with a full orchestra at a hallowed venue for less than a buck admission! Unbelievable.

I don’t know if GA in this case meant standing or sitting… I’m guessing the latter… but Reserved seats were much more normally priced at $1.10, $1.65 and $2.20, “tax included.”

As for where you could buy them, a couple of old-fashioned phone numbers are given across the bottom of this Frank Sinatra show poster. “HO. 3151” is an abbreviation for “Hollywood 3151,” back when phone numbers were only six digits. I don’t know what word “TU.” stood for.

In addition to the phone numbers, “all Mutual Agencies” and the Southern California Music Company on Hill Street in downtown L.A. are given as locations where ducats could be bought.

Perhaps the most striking feature of this Frank Sinatra ticket poster is the fact that it completely lacks any color. I usually disdain plain old black & white concert posters, but in this case, the simplicity really works for me.

It was laid out and printed by a company I’ve never heard of, before or since – the Alles Printing Company right there in L.A. But it does carry the all-important printer’s union bug.

It’s a shame there are no song titles on the Hollywood Bowl’s Frank Sinatra in-person poster. Not only did Blue Eyes chart four number one’s with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, he topped the charts on his own in the spring with “All or Nothing At All.” Would’ve been nice to see that one on there.

But when you start speculating or wishing like that, you might as well wish for added color, his record label’s logo (Columbia) and even a photo of Frank… that would’ve all been great, too. But as us collectors always say, “It is what it is.”

So since this Frank Sinatra tour placard doesn’t have a photo of Ol’ Blue Eyes, I show you a few in this video blog. I hold up pictures of Frank backstage at this gig and on stage at this gig, too. It’s great to see what he was wearing on this special occasion, and how young he looked.

In fact, the Hollywood Bowl has a little museum that features photos from this night, the microphone Frank used on stage, and even an audio recording of the concert that you can listen to.

There’s another photo I show you in this video that has this Frank Sinatra window poster in it – four of them, in fact! Sinatra’s hanging out backstage with his pianist, and the posters are just casually scattered about… it’s a real trip to see them in this fashion.

There’s another page here on my Web site in which I solicit original pictures of concert posters actually in use at the time – on fences, in store windows, etc. I couldn’t ask for a better one of this Sinatra backstage shot with his posters… it’s just amazing.

This Frank Sinatra poster board has dimensions of 14×22”, which should come as no surprise because that was the standard size of the day.

It was made of rigid cardboard stock, not paper, also a standard feature of the era… these things had to last outdoors for a few weeks leading up to the concert.

This Frank Sinatra concert advertisement is shown off and lectured upon by me, Pete Howard, in California. I can be reached either by calling 805 540 0020, or emailing As a serious collector and Frank fan, I will pay TOP DOLLAR, PERIOD for this or any other early Sinatra broadsides advertising his shows. Thank you.

Posted in **All Posters, Boxing-Style Concert Posters, Jazz & Big Band | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beatles ’65 / Beatles Story Rare 1964 Promo Poster – Capitol Records

An original Beatles ’65 in-store poster produced by Capitol Records to promote the group’s newest waxing at the very end of 1964.

This poster also promotes the group’s previous LP, The Beatles’ Story, released just the month before.

The first thing that jumps out at you from this Beatles ’65 promo poster is the semi-sarcastic headline at the top… ‘Yeah, Yeah, We’ve Got It,’ it states in red letters.

That headline alludes, of course, to the chorus of “She Loves You,” and also the long wait fans had from the group’s previous summer release of new songs, until this one in mid-December.

A big thing that I love about this Beatles ’65 point-of-purchase poster is that – in spite of it being somewhat small in size – it actually displays twenty Beatle faces! Sixteen on the big album, of course, and four on Story. You can’t beat that visual!

And then there’s the importance of the word “Beatlemania,” found near the top of the Story album cover. That word is so important in reference to the Fab Four in 1964, so it’s awesome to have it on this poster.

This Beatles ’65 record-store merchandising poster appears to have been made “on the cheap”… it lacks the full color of the album cover, and as I said, it’s fairly small in size.

This leads me to believe that it might not have been a national marketing piece for Capitol, but rather a regional item that was designed and printed by one of the label’s many local branches somewhere around the U.S.

Adding credence to that speculation is the fact that Capitol manufactured a big, full-color Beatles ’65 retail poster that was merely a blow-up of that LP’s cover, with no further embellishment. I show you that in a separate entry here on my video blog.

Now, some collectors would prefer to have that larger, full-color cardboard item, but others undoubtedly prefer this one, with its fun proclamations at both the top and the bottom.

Speaking of clever wording, I was a bit puzzled by the way this Beatles ’65 record-store poster pushes the big album, but then calls The Beatles’ Story the “gift-of-the-year.” A little bit of a diss for the bigger album, don’t you think? Ah, I’m probably just making too much of these tiny decisions that some marketing executive made on the fly.

But notice how the poster’s designer added seven red arrows to the layout, to draw eyeballs to the two items being advertised. Six for the big album and one for the afterthought… oops, I mean the “gift-of-the-year.”

Even though this Beatles ’65 in-store merchandising poster was obviously produced on a budget, they didn’t cut corners with the paper quality… it was printed on very thick paper, giving it a nice, robust feel.

And maybe I’m giving them too hard a time for not going full-color on this poster… for, after all, red was the predominant color on both LP covers in question, so that important base was covered.

And last but not least, you have the iconic Capitol Records oval logo on this poster in three different places, greatly adding to its pizazz for Beatle collectors who love stuff like this. I sure do!

Speaking of me loving stuff, this Beatles ’65 in-store promotional poster is presented to you by veteran Fab Four collector Pete Howard. That would be me, and I can be contacted through 805-540-0020 or by emailing I don’t have this poster myself, so I will pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, PERIOD for this poster, as well as many other original 1960s Capitol Beatle promo posters.

And to read my story on collectable promo posters from the sixties – including all known Beatles ones – just skip over to this page right here on my site:

Posted in **All Posters, *Beatles, British Invasion, Promo Posters & Displays | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Janis Joplin, Electric Flag, Sweetwater Concert Poster 1968 Santa Barbara, CA

A very unusual 1968 concert poster for Janis Joplin with Big Brother And The Holding Company in Santa Barbara, CA, that ignores Janis and instead shows the poster artist’s girlfriend prominently at the top.

This was a Jim Salzer Presentation, as it says along the bottom of the poster… he was the primary concert promoter for this area north of Los Angeles in the late 1960s.

So not only do you have some random chick adorning this poster, you have the Electric Flag pictured prominently in the middle, with no other mention anywhere of BBHC and future superstar Joplin.

Frank Bettencourt was the graphic artist who created this poster; he was a Salzer regular who did many late-60s concert poster designs for this promoter.

Big Brother was right on the verge of getting national attention, with a Columbia Records showcase two weeks later in New York that garnered rave reviews. The following month, they began recording their masterpiece, Cheap Thrills.

But it’s easy to overlook the headliners and just consider this a 1960’s Electric Flag concert poster, with Barry Goldberg, Michael Bloomfield, Nick Gravenites, Harvey Brooks and Buddy Miles included in the group photo. Even further to this point is the fact that the poster has American flag colors… red, white & blue.

It’s also odd that this poster doesn’t give you a lot of information. The show took place, as usual, at Santa Barbara’s Earl Warren Showgrounds, but all it says is “Earl Warren” below the Electric Flag’s name… how many people must’ve thought that was just another opening act?

And what about tickets? They aren’t mentioned anywhere, including pricing and where you can buy them. Heck, the poster doesn’t even say “In Concert” or “Live” on it anywhere… man, this was one odd duck of a concert poster!

Sweetwater has a nice footnote in rock history… they were the first group to take the stage at Woodstock, 18 months after this concert. They were supposed to open the festival, period, but got delayed, so Ritchie Havens did the honors with just his acoustic guitar. Then Sweetwater followed him.

This vintage item of 1960’s rock music memorabilia is discussed by collector Peter Howard, a resident of the Central California coast. That would be ME – smile – and I can be contacted thru or [805] 540-0020. Please remember that I pay the BEST PRICES, PERIOD for vintage ’60s rock & roll memorabilia.

To see a few more of these nice posters, just head over to this page, also here on my Web site:

Posted in **All Posters, **Psychedelic Posters Only, *Janis Joplin | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps Concert Poster 1950s Rock ’n’ Roll

A genuine, original Gene Vincent window card used to promote his concert in Coquille, OR on June 6, 1958.

This “tour blank” poster was designed to be used at many different shows on the tour, with each stop along the way getting their own unique information up in the white area at the top.

Tilghman (pronounced “TILL-man”) designed and printed this Gene Vincent poster board.

Its dimensions are 14 by 22 inches, very much the standard size of the day for these, and it was manufactured on cardboard.

Notice how this Gene Vincent appearance poster promotes only the star, and not any opening acts… zero are mentioned. On tours like this, local groups usually provided the support, changing from city to city.

Tilghman liked this “stand-alone” concept with its concert posters… just the headliner, nobody else listed. Probably very effective, because only the stars sell tickets, not the warm-up groups.

Tilghman used a bright, florescent red color on their Gene Vincent tour poster, very much an attention-grabber.

All they needed to do was add a big splash of that color, and their otherwise B&W presentation became a very colorful affair.

My favorite part of this Gene Vincent billboard is the half-a-dozen song titles given in various willy-nilly fashion… it’s just extremely eye-catching.

Those songs are surrounding Gene’s happy face, presented right smack in the center in “floating-head” style… together, it makes for a fabulous presentation.

And it’s no coincidence that his most famous song, “Be-Bop-A-Lula,” gets the most prominent position on this Gene Vincent window poster – in the upper left, right by his pompadour.

And then Vincent’s only other national Top 20 hit, “Lotta Loving,” is listed directly below that… so the Tilghman lay-out person really had a handle on his biggest hits when designing this.

Another one of the song titles on this Gene Vincent concert placard has quite a misrepresentation… see the title “Bi Bickey Bi”? It’s supposed to be, ““Bee-I-Bickey-Bye, Bo-Bo-Go.” No wonder they shortened it! But they also messed it up in the process.

Directly above that is “Blue Jean Bop,” which was a Top 20 hit over in England two years earlier, but missed the charts altogether in the U.S., surprisingly.

Let’s examine the venue info printed at the top of this Gene Vincent tour placard. I’m talking about the white area that is blank when the poster is first struck, and then filled in with a second, small press run for every date on the tour.

First it starts by saying, “Community Hall – Coquille.” Most people in the world don’t know how Coquille is even pronounced, let alone where it’s located. (It’s “co-KEEL.”) Which really underscores the point that this was a local advertising piece, distributed only within a certain distance from the town. So it would’ve been silly for them to put “Oregon” on there.

Likewise for the date given… “Friday night, June 6.” Remember, this Gene Vincent ticket poster was designed to exist for just a few weeks… so putting the year on there would’ve been asking people to react, “Well, DUH!”

And then it proclaims, “Show and Dance” – not “Concert.” Back in the 1950s, teenagers loved to dance to the early rock ’n’ roll acts, interacting with the opposite sex. It would be another 10 years before most rock show-dances morphed into sit-down concerts, as patrons began listening and studying their rock heroes rather than dance to them.

Finishing off the venue information on this Gene Vincent concert announcement is the simply stated “From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.” Hey, at least they got the “PM” and “AM” correct… I can’t tell you how many old concert posters I’ve seen that carelessly state things like “from 9 to 1 PM.”

It amounts to a very simple, uncluttered presentation of all the important info that customers needed to know, and nothing more. Trust me, this was very deliberate by Tilghman – you only have people’s attention for a minute.

That being said, it’s a little surprising that this Gene Vincent boxing-style concert poster doesn’t give the ticket price. That’s always a big factor for teenagers, when deciding whether or not to attend something.

Since there was no reserved seating at a dance-oriented show like this, usually there were just two price levels… in advance, and at the door (or day of show). Those price options are given on a million old concert posters like this.

A subtle but fun element of this Gene Vincent street sign is the multitude of musical notes and little stars spread throughout the red area. They’re not what you focus on, but they greatly enhance the piece’s overall visual impact.

This poster design template was used by Tilghman for many other touring acts of the mid-to-late-’50s, and I show you photos of a couple right here in my video. Or, to see a Jerry Lee Lewis specimen using this exact same template, just take a peek at this page right here on my Web site:

ERRATA: in my video, I accidentally state that Vincent was in the Navy from 1952 to ’58. I should have said from ’52 only until ’55.

This Gene Vincent concert poster is delightfully shown off by Pete Howard of San Luis Obispo, Calif. That’s me, and feel free to email me at or give me a ring at 805.540-0020. And please remember that I will pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY for this Vincent poster from any stop along the tour, or any other vintage rock & roll window card. Thank you!

Posted in **All Posters, 1950s Rock ’N' Roll, Boxing-Style Concert Posters | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Acid Test Handbill 1966 Watts / Southern California by Wes Wilson

A fun, collectible Watts Acid Test event flyer for a public LSD party that took place on Feb. 12, 1966.

This particular Acid Test had great notoriety surrounding it, and contributed significantly to the downfall of the series.

This Watts Acid Test handout was printed on bright Day-Glo red paper, surely grabbing everyone’s attention that came within eyeshot of it.

There was also a salmon, or pink, version of this item printed, which I show you in my video blog entry which ran just before this one. Those two are blank in the oval area, whereas this one is filled in.

The first thing about the Watts Acid Test event handbill that jumps out at you is its crazy psychedelic patterns. Credit San Francisco poster artist Wes Wilson with creating that design.

Wilson’s very first Family Dog concert-poster design was only one week behind this event, on February 19. He would go on to design a whole slew of important S.F. concert posters throughout ’66.

This particular Watts Acid Test flier has been cut down to size, probably to fit into a window box or frame. You can see its original size in that separate video blog that I just referred to.

The details for this event are supplied down in the venue-information oval in the lower-left area. Interestingly, they just cut the four lines out of a publication, most likely the L.A. Free Press.

For many collectors, especially rock fans, the strong point of the Watts Acid Test slinger is the presence of the Grateful Dead. That makes this a nice, early Dead concert piece.

Among the other entertainers listed are The Merry Pranksters (naturally), the esteemed Neal Cassady, Acid Test veteran Roy’s Audioptics, “The Bus” (the Pranksters’ Further bus), “many noted outlaws” and “the unexpectable.” Sounds intriguing!

Historically, this event is sometimes known as the “Who Cares Test,” because the LSD was extra strong, one woman in particular freaked out, and “Who cares?” was repetitively chanted over the PA system for much of the night.

The little informational paragraph in the lower left corner of this Watts Acid Test herald states, “ACID TEST (to integrate Watts).

“Ken Kesey’s bunch (without Kesey) at 13331 South Alameda, 8 PM. $1 admission.”

And then, weirdly, “(See article on Page 10 this issue).” Obviously meaning that it’s source was a publication of some kind.

What’s weird is that this Acid Test event didn’t take place in Watts at all… it was held at the Youth Opportunities Center in Compton, right next to Watts.

This Watts Acid Test showbill is examined and lectured upon in this video by veteran collector Pete Howard, who can be reached by either 805-540.0020 or That’s me, and I will pay the BEST PRICES, PERIOD for any early Acid Test advertising materials like this. Thanks very much.

Posted in **Psychedelic Posters Only, *Grateful Dead, Handbills & Flyers | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment