Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 Concert Poster – Fats Domino, Little Richard

An early, colorful Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 poster board containing four inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Unfortunately, this specimen was trimmed down to fit in a frame decades ago, so all of the white border area is missing – but all of the original poster image is completely intact.

This 1956 R&B poster board originally had thin, white borders on three sides, but it’s the top portion that’s really missed… the so-called “venue info” box that gave potential customers the city, date, ticket prices, etc.

The silver lining is that it’s now a perfect square, making it ideal for framing and still carrying that beautiful visual wallop of a vintage ’50s rock ’n’ roll piece.

You’ll notice that thick cardboard was used for the manufacture of this Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 show poster, largely to keep it intact during harsh weather conditions outside. Paper posters didn’t last nearly as long.

Its style and appearance will be very familiar to any collector of such vintage items… a typical design of splashy colors, photos of the artists and lots of song titles sprinkled throughout.

Naturally, it was the Globe Poster Printing Co. of Baltimore, MD that designed and printed this beautiful 1956 R&B billboard. But their name at the bottom was trimmed off along with the white border.

Globe usually produced these things in two sizes… 17×23 inches and 22×28 inches. It’s nice that this one was the latter, larger size… until the trimming took it down several notches, of course.

So looking at the musicians here, Fats Domino holds down the key spot on Globe’s Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 event poster. He dominates things with a large, smiling photo right up at the top.

“Bo Weevil,” unfortunately, is given as his song title… not that it’s a bad song or anything, it’s just that something more classic like “Blueberry Hill” would’ve resonated better with us today.

And then it says “and his GREAT BAND” beneath his name, on this 1956 R&B tour placard. But down below, Choker Campbell had his own band, too… or did he?

I’m guessing they were one & the same orchestras, as they called those outfits in the fifties. Choker probably was just the leader of the house band, and answered to Fats – that’s my assumption.

And then, do the Clovers get second billing on this Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 ticket poster, right up there next to Fats, or does Ruth Brown, whose picture is much larger and is featured in red color just like the headliner Fats?

I would venture to guess that it was a triple-headlining bill, because all three had remarkable R&B chart success leading up to this… Domino logging his 17th straight Top 10 hit, the Clovers doing likewise, and “Miss Rhythm” herself having just registered her 16th straight, with her 17th right around the corner. So how could you bill one above the other?

So that’s pretty stunning: this particular 1956 R&B street sign represented fifty Top 10 rhythm & blues hits amongst just those three headliners – and they weren’t done yet! And just think of the career that Little Richard was just emerging with!

And speaking of Richard Penniman himself, he’s listed kinda far down here, an unfamiliar position for him… but within just a few weeks, his “Long Tall Sally” would be #1 on the R&B singles chart for two full months, catapulting him to headliner status.

And there’s still another short-changed artist on Globe’s Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 concert advertisement… Rock ’n’ Roll Hall-of-Famer Little Willie John, who’s way down in a lower corner.

Just like Little Richard, John would soon release his first undisputed smash, “Fever,” which would soon rule the #1 spot for five weeks and move Willie up to the top of concert bills.

You couldn’t call this a 1956 R&B fence poster without the presence of a big band listed at the bottom, and Choker Campbell’s was about the most famous and ubiquitous of them all.

I’m thinking that only Paul Williams and his Hucklebuck Orchestra appeared as predominantly as Campbell on these ’50s package tours.

Close inspection reveals that the backdrop of this Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 in-person poster consists of diagonal lines that alternate between yellow and blue. Leave it to me to point out such minutiae!

But that’s a big reason why the red color here jumps out so effectively… it wouldn’t have had the same impact on just a plain white background.

It’s interesting to note how they used three different styles of photos on this 1956 R&B concert placard. They used standard group photos (as with the Clovers and Cadillacs), common “floating-head” shots (Fats and Little Willie), and unusual full-body renditions (Ruth Brown and Al Jackson).

Globe relied on their flat but bright Day-Glo colors to grab the human eye, always opting for straight B&W in the pictures… never have I seen color photos used on a Globe poster like this. For one thing, record labels and publicists used only B&W pictures to begin with.

This Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 window card is enthusiastically displayed and lectured upon by veteran music-memorabilia collector Pete Howard in California. That would be me, and I can be reached thru pete@postercentral.com or by phoning (805) 540-0020. And please remember that I, Pete, pay the TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, period, for vintage rock ’n’ roll concert advertisements like this.

To see another more classic, amazing 1950s R&B concert window cards much like this one, just slide your computer mouse over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/multi-act_1950s.htm

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

Jimi Hendrix Experience Poster 1968 Electric Factory, Philly

A really fun, wildly psychedelic Jimi Hendrix concert poster from the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, dating to Feb. 21 and 22, 1968.

Unfortunately, the poster artist who simply called himself “Strange” at the bottom of this poster has never been located by collectors in the modern era… so his (or her) identity remains a secret.

This vintage Hendrix Electric Factory concert poster is rather large and commanding… approximately 23 x 35” in size.

“Electric Factory” across the top refers to both the concert hall and the promoter’s company. When the Experience came into town, the venue had been open for business only since early February – just a couple of weeks.

The wildly imaginative artwork of the band that dominates this Hendrix Electric Factory in-person poster really blows the mind. It would take a long time to search through the entire artwork and find all the little hidden things like peace signs, the planet Saturn, etc. etc.

Adding to the fun is the color changes that swirl throughout the entire poster… with red and blue-green being predominant. It looks fairly random, but perhaps the designer or printer was specific about where they wanted which color. Can you please step forward, Mr. “Strange”?

The dates of the shows are clearly given on this Hendrix Electric Factory fence poster, but the show times are not. Who knows when things finally got underway at each of the four performances, but on the second night, Jimi’s set didn’t conclude until 3 o’clock in the morning!

Obviously, 1968 was before rock concerts became big business, and things became toned down to a sane level by local governments, heavy-handed managers, curfew laws, computer-generated backing tracks and so forth. Personally, I’ll still take the old days any day!

Luckily, the brilliant design of this Hendrix Electric Factory concert sign was not wasted on just one performance… it was used to sell tickets for four shows – early and late shows on both February 21 and 22.

As for what the band played, if only we knew for sure… but serious collectors know of no tapes that exist for any of the shows, and therefore no track lists for certain.

Two other bands were scheduled for these gigs as well, and their names on right there on the Hendrix Electric Factory street poster… Woody’s Truck Stop (a local outfit) and the well-known Soft Machine. The latter hailed from England and toured heavily with Jimi throughout 1968.

However, the Soft Machine’s organ, a key ingredient of their show, did not arrive in time for the first performance on February 21, so they only played the late show on that date.

I really enjoy the way the artist portrayed Jimi and his two bandmates on this Hendrix Electric Factory window poster; it’s very fleeting. But it was all in the interest of being trippy and psychedelic, as opposed to literal, like boxing-style concert posters were.

For example, we know that’s Jimi in the middle, but who’s to say if drummer Mitch Mitchell is on the left and bassist Noel Redding is on the right, or vice versa?

It’s a shame that this Hendrix Electric Factory event poster was the only great one that this Philadelphia promoter ever had made. It even says “No. 1” at the bottom, teasing that maybe it was the first in a series, like the Bill Graham stuff out west.

But alas, the promoter would never again produce such a masterpiece of a poster going forward. Not even for Big Brother & the Holding Company, which came along later in 1968. Can you imagine Janis Joplin’s rendition there in the middle, with other band members around her, in such a psychedelic rendering? That would’ve been so great.

This Hendrix Electric Factory broadside is discussed with great enthusiasm by collector Peter J. Howard. That’s me, naturally, and I can be found at pete@postercentral.com or by dialing (805) 540-0020. And please always remember that I would pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, bar none, for a vintage Hendrix Electric Factory concert advertisement like this, or most other Hendrix concert posters.

To see another great, vintage Hendrix window sign with the Soft Machine, just jam over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/psychedelic.htm

Posted in **All Posters, **Psychedelic Posters Only, *Jimi Hendrix | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can You Pass The Acid Test? Telephone-Pole Poster 1965 Palo Alto, CA – Part 2

PLEASE VIEW PART 1 OF THIS VIDEO FIRST… everything will make more sense! :-)

A pair of scarce, attractive Acid Test telephone-pole posters dating from Dec. 1965 at the Big Beat youth club located in Palo Alto, California.

In this video, I show you two different announcements for the same event… one has the venue information written in by hand, while the other one simply has a business card stapled in there.

From a musical standpoint, the most amazing thing about these two Can You Pass the Acid Test? ticket posters is that the Grateful Dead is on there. This makes them about the only known 1965 Grateful Dead concert posters to have ever surfaced.

The reason ’65 Dead posters are so rare is that they were known as The Warlocks for most of that year, and had even recorded as “The Emergency Crew” a month earlier.

Both of these Acid Test advertisements were cut in half along the dotted line, like the instructions say to do, and stacked one half on top of the other. That created a tall, thin poster for this famous pop culture happening – the third public Acid Test ever held (and fourth overall).

In this way, they are almost unique. In all my years of collecting concert and event posters, I don’t recall ever seeing one quite so skewed toward being very tall and very narrow – a perfect fit for any outside lamp or pole.

These two Can You Pass the Acid Test? fence posters differ in one significant way… they give slightly different addresses for the gig’s location. One says “998 San Antonio Road,” which the other one says “988.” Oops! The person who wrote in the location was off by one digit.

But we’re gonna let that slide, because the handwritten one here was done by none other than Captain Trips himself… the Dead’s Jerry Garcia! Can you believe that? The source, and provenance, is 100% solid on this. Wow.

Which turns the handwritten Acid Test pole poster into a staggeringly cool piece of Grateful Dead concert memorabilia. It was already way, way cool, but Jerry’s handwriting makes it drop-dead amazing.

And if you follow my video blogs, you’ve already seen my blog on the early 1966 version of this poster, in blue, with PigPen’s handwriting instead of Jerry’s. What a pair of collectibles these two make!

When it comes to color, given the choice, I’d choose this Acid Test show placard in the goldenrod color that these two are in, over either the white or blue versions, both of which I’ve also blogged already.

But sometimes, back in the day, the white one would be colored in by hand in psychedelic coloring, and that’s kind of unbeatable in appearance, too.

The entertainment, or “Happeners” as it says, found on this Can You Pass the Acid Test? poster were: the Dead of course, the Fugs, Allen Ginsberg, the Merry Pranksters of course, Neal Cassady and Roy’s Audioptics.

Just below the Dead’s name it says “Movies,” but not just any flicks… these events would show Ken Kesey and the Pranksters’ home movies taken on their legendary cross-country bus trip the previous year (’64).

As explained in my previous video blogs, this Acid Test show poster could actually be found today in no less than a dozen different forms… blue, white or this goldenrod; blank venue box or filled-in information; and cut & stacked, or uncut intact as printed.

It would take a real nut to want to collect all 12 variations, but my belief is that this is too scarce of a poster to be able to find everything.

These two Can You Pass the Acid Test? window cards are professorially presented by long-time music hound Pete Howard. That’s me, of course, and I can be reached at pete@postercentral.com or simply by calling [805] 540-0020. And please keep in mind that I pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, absolute dead certain, for vintage pieces of Acid Test memorabilia such as this.

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Can You Pass The Acid Test? Psychedelic Poster 1965 Palo Alto, CA – Part 1

An early, fun Can You Pass the Acid Test? event poster from Dec. 18, 1965 at the Big Beat nightclub in Palo Alto, CA.

This version, with its venue box filled in (by hand), is scarcer and therefore more collectible than a plain copy with a blank box in the lower right corner.

What’s thrilling is the immediacy of this piece… this Acid Test window poster was designed to be used for just one day… because notice it says, “Tonight! Saturday!” in the little box. Then, the following day, most of them were tossed.

Only once in a blue moon do I run across a concert poster that was configured to be used only on the day of the event… it’s very uncommon.

In this Part 1 of my video, I display and talk about a white, uncut version of the Can You Pass the Acid Test? street sign. Then in Part 2, I show and discuss two goldenrod, cut & assembled versions.

Printed as just a black & white poster, this specimen gets some added color from rust-colored-paint fingerprints on the front, and bleed-through red coloring from spray paint used on the back. It’s all very random and, therefore, trippy.

It’s amazing how mischievous and creative the artwork is on this Acid Test appearance poster. As I discuss in the video, the poster artist(s) is unknown, because people generally didn’t sign concert posters they designed in 1965.

But if this was a collaboration between several Merry Pranksters, a very real theory that’s been floated, then it would’ve cluttered up the poster (and belied the spirit) if everyone tried to sign it at the bottom, to get their credit.

Then again, if only a couple of artists were involved in designing this Can You Pass the Acid Test? window display, there was room for their names in the venue box, far lower right.

What was written into that little white square was,

at the “Big Beat”

San Antonio Road near Bayshore

Tonight! Sat!

…and then there’s some extra blank white area below that.

In this video, I go into the origins of the Big Beat nightclub, one of the earliest pop-music establishments of its kind in northern California.

The Big Beat club was run by one Yvonne Modica, who skirted around liquor-license laws by positioning her club as a youth-oriented pizza joint. As a result, sometimes she was able to stay open all the way until 6 AM on weekends.

This Acid Test in-person poster is enthusiastically discussed by long-time music, record & poster collector Pete Howard. That would be me, and I can be found at pete@postercentral.com or by dialing (805) 540-0020. And please remember that I pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, bar none, for vintage psychedelic Acid Test memorabilia like this.

Posted in **All Posters, **Psychedelic Posters Only, *Grateful Dead | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Concert Flyer 1969 Santa Barbara, CA

A genuine, collectible 1969 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young concert handbill.

This item was designed and printed weeks before the concert and distributed as an incentive to get people to buy tickets.

The guys were right in the middle of recording their 2nd LP, Deju Vu, when this 1969 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young window display was printed.

And just two days prior, they had put the finishing touches on the song “Helpless” from that album. I can’t recall if they sang it at the show…. yes, that’s right, I was there in person!!

This 1969 CSN&Y flyer is rather small… just 5” by 8.5”.

And it was made on very thin paper… pink paper, to catch the eye… so if posted outside, the weather would’ve quickly eaten it up.

Much better for the collector would be a 1969 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young poster, made of cardboard and of larger size.

Some have turned up from their few dozen dates in 1969, but not a whole lot – just the usual Bill Graham one.

The lettering on this 1969 CSNY concert leaflet is hand-drawn and very folksy… I love it, more than something professionally done.

In fact, it looks like a little goof was made in “Surprise” and it was just fixed on the spot, like you and I would do in a note to someone.

What I’d really like to find is a 1969 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tour poster, but maybe that’s being greedy.

But since I attended this show as a 16-year-old high school student, getting a poster of it, if they were made, would be awesome.

But anyway, this 1969 CSN&Y appearance sheet is frameable in its own right… it looks really cool in a small frame.

But I took it out of its frame just to shoot this video, so you could get a feel for the flimsy paper it was printed on.

The most obvious thing about my 1969 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young handout is that the photo shows… only half of them!

So that’s great for Graham Nash and David Crosby, but what happened to Neil Young and Stephen Stills? Weird, isn’t it?

Notice the way the lettering at the top of this 1969 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young concert slinger is somewhat psychedelic, but then quickly becomes normal halfway down.

I’m guessing that was the designer trying to make it look a little like the well-known S.F. posters of the day.

But I believe it’s wishful thinking to think there may have been a 1969 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young concert sign done for this show.

The handbill is too amateurish… surely they would’ve hired a pro to do the bigger and smaller pieces together.

I dig the fact that my 1969 CSNY herald is from Santa Barbara, CA… where both Nash and Crosby have lived at various times.

And not just Santa Barbara, but UCSB, too… who can ever forget the Bank of America that burned there at the hands of student protesters back in that era?

Have you noticed yet that Sweetwater’s name is on this 1969 CSN&Y showbill?

They were the Los Angeles group scheduled to open at Woodstock in August of that year, but they ran late, and instead were simply the first band to play at Woodstock – still not a bad claim.

If they even made a 1969 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young placard for this show, I wonder if it would’ve been on pink paper, too?

Probably not – because white cardboard was usually used for those.

As for the “Special Guest Star” teased on this 1969 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young billboard… any guesses?

Well, it was STEVE MILLER that was supposed to show up and surprise the crowd – which included me, remember – but alas, Miller never turned up. Instead, the L.A. band Dayspring took that slot.

You don’t run across a 1969 CSNY flier like this very often, because most of their stuff is from the 1970s-onward.

But the fact that this doesn’t state the year on it makes one have to research it to discover it’s from ’69.

Of historic note, this 1969 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in-person poster falls right between the foursome’s appearances at two famous festivals that year: Woodstock in August and Altamont in December.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have this item framed on your wall in between the posters for those two events… what a conversation starter that would be!

This item of 1969 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young concert memorabilia is enthusiastically dissected by collector Peter Howard, who is me, and I can be reached at pete@postercentral.com or simply by calling (805) 540.0020. And please do remember that I pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, period, for great, early CSNY collectibles like this.

To see a few more vintage collectable concert handbills and fliers, just slide over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/handbillsandflyers.htm

 

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