N.Y. Rock Festival Handbill 1968 – Doors, Who, Hendrix at Singer Bowl

A lovely 8.5 x 11-inch 1968 N.Y. Rock Festival concert flyer featuring The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and The Rascals at the Singer Bowl in Queens, New York.

As an added, hidden attraction, Big Brother & The Holding Company, featuring Janis Joplin, opened the show for Hendrix, along with the Chambers Brothers. Wow, what a talent line-up!

To see more amazing, collectible rock concert flyers from the fifties and sixties, just roll your mouse over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/handbillsandflyers.htm

Posted in *Janis Joplin, *Jimi Hendrix, *The Doors, Handbills & Flyers | Leave a comment

Tommy Dorsey Concert Window Card 1940s w/His Trombone & Orchestra

A really lovely 1940s Tommy Dorsey concert poster from when Frank Sinatra was a singer is his orchestra, and touring with him.

Sinatra’s name does not appear on the poster, however, leaving open the debate, “Is this an early Sinatra concert poster, or not?” I discuss that a bit in this video.

But regardless, this Tommy Dorsey window card is great in its own right, as Tommy was a major figure in 1940s big-band music, both with and without his brother Jimmy.

So eventually, I will blog for you a Dorsey Brothers window card, and in addition to this one, also a Jimmy Dorsey concert poster. I’ll do ’em all!

But back to this Tommy Dorsey placard… being almost 75 years old at the time of this blog, it’s becoming quite brittle and fragile.

That’s why I keep it, and all my old posters, in acid-free art holders until I decide whether to frame them or not.

Can you believe the admission price on this Tommy Dorsey tour poster was only $1.00? That’s a real highlight for me… even non-collectors gasp at that.

And the “Dancing 9-1” is so simple and direct, with no fluff… the promoter obviously liked to keep his ‘venue information’ as succinct and clean as possible.

The George F. Johnson Pavilion – plugged at the top of this Tommy Dorsey concert sign – was in Johnson City, New York (which is also explained up in the venue info).

All locals knew it, but for you and me, Johnson City was a suburb (more or less) of Binghamton, NY, in the south-central part of the state.

This Tommy Dorsey broadside was constructed of thick cardboard – printer unknown – and has dimensions of 14” by 22”, a typical size.

It used to have a bright white background, but either the sun or florescent indoor lights faded, or “toned,” its look over the years. No matter, I don’t believe the toning harms its appearance.

As you’ll hear in my video, this Tommy Dorsey street poster was a ‘tour blank’ that was used by his management for many years to sell tickets.

Tommy’s picture adorns it, which was actually a new development at the time; up until the late 1930s, artistic renditions of musicians’ faces were used.

Notice how this Tommy Dorsey window display calls him “The Sentimental Gentleman”… his moniker at the time, but curiously incomplete.

Other versions of this poster, which I show you in my video, have his more complete nickname… “The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing.”

And the management company takes a high-profile credit on my Tommy Dorsey show placard. It basically comes above everything else on the poster’s permanent (red) information… right up at the top.

They’re credited as “MCA,” and then in tiny letters – too small to see in my video – “Music Corporation of America.” Decades later, MCA Records would become an important record label with artists like Neil Diamond and Elton John.

It’s interesting how this Tommy Dorsey window poster doesn’t list any other musicians, but instead describes the legendary bandleader’s instrumentation… “His Trombone and his Orchestra.”

That’s because his management wanted to use this tour-blank poster template for years, and individual band members came and went in revolving-door fashion. Buddy Rich was a member of his band at this time, too.

The neophyte will point out how this Tommy Dorsey telephone-pole poster lacks a year on it… it just says, “Easter Monday, April 14.” Some might say, “Well, what the heck?”

But remember, this thing was made to last only a few weeks, and then be thrown away. It was probably printed in Feb or early March, and then was useless from tax day (April 15)-onwards.

This exact Tommy Dorsey street sign was printed in other colors besides red… green, and also orange, and probably others I haven’t seen yet.

And it wasn’t just one year at a time… sometimes a different color was used on successive nights. It’s crazy. (I show you pictures.)

And since this style was used for at least five years running and maybe closer to 10, it’s not that hard to find an original Tommy Dorsey boxer style concert poster, if you’re patient.

I’ve seen this exact poster as early as the mid-1930s and as late as the mid-1940s, with only slight variations. I find it great fun to keep track of them with pictures in my photo albums.

So this Tommy Dorsey concert advertisement is definitely a collector’s item, but it’s not nearly the challenge to find as something like a Billie Holiday concert poster, of which there are virtually no tour blanks known.

But there seem to be a lot of vintage concert window cards for the white big-band leaders like Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, the Dorseys, Glenn Miller and so forth. They’re not common, but they’re not screamingly rare, either.

My name is Pete Howard, and if you’d like to contact me I can be reached quickest through either pete@postercentral.com or by calling (805) 540-0020, West Coast time. Keep in mind that I pay the best prices in the hobby, period, for vintage big-band concert boards like this, from almost any musician.

And to see another version of this Tommy Dorsey fence poster, plus some others like Goodman and MIller, just pop right over to this page here on my site: http://www.postercentral.com/bigbandvocalists.htm

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

Rolling Stones 1964 Concert Poster – Second U.S. Tour – “Direct From England”

An outstanding early Rolling Stones window card from the band’s second American tour in the fall of 1964.

This gem dates from November 14, ’64, and advertised two shows to be played that night in Louisville, KY.

This Rolling Stones show poster was printed by the Murray Poster Printing Company of New York, NY.

But you can’t tell by looking at the poster itself… their credit was trimmed off (actually, in half) down in the lower left margin. Oops! Some early owner probably did that to fit it into a frame.

This Rolling Stones in-person poster is actually of the “tour blank” variety, where the color portion is printed ahead of time by the thousands. Then each tour stop would get its own personal information printed in the blank white box at the bottom.

Thus, we can assume that this poster was probably made up for every stop on the tour, meaning:

Rolling Stones window card Academy of Music, New York, NY, Oct. 24, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento, CA, Oct. 26, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Tami Show, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA, Oct. 28-29, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA, Oct. 31, 1964;

Rolling Stones window card Civic Auditorium, Long Beach Arena, CA, Nov. 1, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, Nov. 1, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Cleveland, OH, Nov. 3, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Loews Theater, Providence, RI, Nov. 4, 1964;

Rolling Stones window card Milwaukee Auditorium, WI, Nov. 11, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Coliseum, Fort Wayne, IN, Nov. 12, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Hara Arena, Dayton, OH, Nov. 13, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Memorial Auditorium, Louisville, KY, Nov. 14, 1964; and Rolling Stones window card Arie Crown Theater, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL, Nov. 15, 1964.

One of the fun highlights of this Rolling Stones billboard is the fact that it carries two photos of the new sensations. Both are standard publicity stills, but hey, you’ve got 10 Stones faces staring back at you on a relatively small poster… it’s very effective.

And notice how it says “Direct From England” at the top… they wanted to be sure you knew it was a British Invasion group!

This Rolling Stones concert placard measures the very standard 14 by 22 inches, and was made of cardboard material rather than paper. It was simply more durable that way.

With red and blue inks added to the white cardboard and standard black printing, you wind up with a very effective four-color advertisement… very eye-catching.

Plus notice how all of the borders on this Rolling Stones window poster are curved or jagged… no standard square boxes or rectangles for this renegade band from across the pond.

I like the way is says both “In Person” and “In Concert”… a little redundant, perhaps, but really drives home the point that the five young men were going to be in your home town.

Actually, on this occasion, the Rolling Stones telephone-pole poster was slightly inaccurate… there were only four Stones playing the gig in Louisville. Brian Jones was ill and missed the shows.

And it wasn’t the only shows he missed, either… Brian had to sit out their concerts in Milwaukee, Ft. Wayne and Dayton as well. Man, that was quite a bug he caught. I would’ve been bummed if Brian wasn’t on stage at a show I was catching!

It’s kind of unusual how this Rolling Stones tour placard gives the year (1964) as part of the date. Usually these old posters didn’t; there was no reason to.

That’s because the poster was probably printed up in September or October, and then was completely worthless on November 15th… the day after the show. So its entire intended lifespan was only something like 10 weeks or less.

I love the ticket-buying locations that are given on this Rolling Stones concert sign. Two Variety record stores (including downtown Louisville) and the Vine Record Shop. So quaint, and so refreshing compared to today’s Internet bar-code tickets.

But interestingly, no ticket prices are listed. Other posters from this tour do give some prices, usually starting at $2.50 and ranging up to $5.00 or a little more. Today a bottle of water at a rock concert costs that much!

This Rolling Stones boxing-style concert poster was the first tour blank poster ever used for them in America. They didn’t use one for their brief first U.S. tour in June of ’64 (see my other video blog).

And in 1965, the Stones also used a tour blank for the fourth (fall) American tour, but not for their third (spring) tour. And for their only American tour of ’66, they also didn’t use a tour blank.

I’ve seen this exact Rolling Stones fence poster from about five other dates on their second American tour; if you know of another copy, from any city, I’d love it if you could send me a photo so that I can complete my picture set of every date.

But as I said earlier, it’s quite possible that it wasn’t made for some of the stops on the tour, because radio and newspapers were competing for those ad dollars.

And on that note, this Rolling Stones poster board is presented today by collector Pete Howard, who speaks in the video. That would be me, yes, and I can be reached by E at pete@postercentral.com or by phone at [805] 540.0020. And do be aware that I would pay THE BEST PRICE, BAR NONE for this particular Stones concert poster from any date along the tour… I presently don’t have one in my collection!

And to glimpse a few other ’60s Rolling Stones concert posters, be sure to stop by this exact page of my web site (which you’re on right now): http://www.postercentral.com/rollingstones.htm

Posted in **All Posters, *Rolling Stones, Boxing-Style Concert Posters, British Invasion | Leave a comment

Family Dog Dr. Strange 1965 Window Card w/Alton Kelley Unique Hand-Coloring

What we have here is a beautiful, spectacular Tribute to Dr. Strange window card harking all the way back to the fall of 1965.

This was an extremely seminal dance-concert in San Francisco, a forerunner to a tidal wave of pop culture that was just about to wash over the Bay Area, followed by the entire country.

So this event was advertised by this Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert poster, which, as usual, was placed all over town to lure in the hippest of customers – still very much underground at the time.

It was undoubtedly startling for people to pass by and see this in a store window… the whole psychedelic era was just beginning to take shape.

So yes, you’d call this Tribute to Dr. Strange poster board a piece of psychedelic art… and one of the first ones, I might add.

The item’s creator, Alton Kelley, would go on to be a key player in designing concert posters for years to come.

Kelley, who is no longer with us, must have been very proud of his Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert placard. Just look at the intricacies of its design… it’s a masterwork.

Of course, psychedelic poster design would get a lot crazier in the years to come… but given that there was scarcely anything else like this at the time… makes it absolutely innovative.

There’s another poster from the summer of ’65 that’s referred to as “the seed,” but there’s no question that this Tribute to Dr. Strange broadside is a seed all unto itself. Plus it’s from San Francisco proper, whereas “the seed” was from Nevada.

Kelley was actually part of the promotion team, too… he was one of four people who founded & ran the Family Dog. The other three members would soon peel away, whereas Alton carried on and did tons of more posters.

I love the way he chose to color in his Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert show poster. The event was in the fall, and he used nice autumn colors to enhance this copy.

In fact, this poster was Kelley’s own personal copy. He ended up giving it to his friend, poster artist Stanley Mouse, who years later sold it to a lucky collector. So it’s provenance is accounted for, and solid.

My favorite part of Kelley’s Tribute to Dr. Strange window display is the sideways airplane buzzing along with the Jefferson Airplane’s name. It’s a really cool little graphic.

And notice how The Charlatans are represented by band member George Hunter’s stylized logo, which he had drawn up just that summer for their extended stay in Virginia City, Nevada.

Stepping back for a moment, notice how this Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert placard is roughly comprised of four quadrants. The upper left gives the promoter and event name; the upper right gives the description and date.

The lower left presents the four band names playing that night, and ticket info down in tiny print. And the lower right gives the location and ticket price. Interesting!

Although this Tribute to Dr. Strange show placard wasn’t designed to be cut and half and stacked one side on top of the other, it’s interesting to note that that could almost happen… if you cut along the tall stack of circles.

This is the technique that the designers of the famous Acid Test posters used just a couple of months hence, in Dec. 1965 and Jan. 1966 – cutting a poster in half and stacking it.

It’s not known how many of these Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert window posters were printed up, but my wild guess would perhaps be between 50 and 200.

It’s quite possible more than that were done, but the FD promoters also had a lot of handbills to distribute, so maybe fewer posters were needed.

In looking over the design of Alton Kelley’s Tribute to Dr. Strange event poster, one might conclude that the two most common elements are ‘flames and spheres.’

You’ve got circles in the upper left, the middle left and then running down the length of the poster. And then there are flame-like design elements simply everywhere, although not necessarily representing fire.

Of the four bands listed on the Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert psychedelic poster, only the (unknown) Marbles don’t have a logo customized to their name.

I’ve mentioned the Airplane and Charlatans already; and the Great Society has stars & stripes as part of its lettering. But the Marbles has no such customization, just balloon lettering.

One of the reasons this Tribute to Dr. Strange street poster is so important is that it represents the birth of a scene. So says Darby Slick of the Great Society, in his book Somebody to Love:

“We had arrived, and we were weird, interesting and loveable,” Slick writes of this event. “The excitement was intense and vibrant.”

So while a lot of people might want to point to BG-1 or FD-1 as the start of the psychedelic poster scene in San Francisco, this visual evidence would point right at Alton Kelley’s Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert announcement as being the harbinger.

There was so little that had come before it… just the Beatles and Stones playing the Bay Area, the Charlatans playing the Red Dog Saloon over in Nevada, and… what else? No Acid Tests yet, no Trips Festivals, no Mime Troupe Benefits, no Bill Graham shows, no Chet Helms.

So if you have a piece of Tribute to Dr. Strange concert memorabilia like this, you have a slice of early hippie pop-culture history. This is the first large public event that locals can remember everyone dressing up in hippie garb for.

I haven’t found many photos from this event, but boy, would that be great if someone stepped forward with an unseen roll of film or unpublished pictures from this night. Too good to be true.

It’s worth noting that this Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert cardboard poster wasn’t done on typical paper stock, whereas almost all other concert posters were printed on paper once Bill Graham and Chet Helms took over – even during the winter.

All throughout the 1930s to 1960s and beyond, typical concert posters were usually made of rigid card stock, or cardboard, so that they could be posted outdoors and not be affected by the weather.

So this Tribute to Dr. Strange fence poster would’ve held up quite well in San Francisco’s fall weather, although the strongest rains probably didn’t come until the winter months.

On the other hand, this Kelley hand-embellished specimen probably spent its life indoors, not outside. In fact, since it was Kelley’s, it might not have been used at all to advertise, it might have just remained in his studio. Who knows?

This Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert advertisement is lectured upon and shown from all angles by myself, Peter Howard, of California’s central coast. If you’d like to reach out to contact me, either go through pete@postercentral.com, or ring me on 805.540-0020. And do keep very much in mind that as a serious collector, I’m happy to pay THE BEST PRICES IN THE HOBBY, PERIOD, for the best & earliest S.F. concert posters like this. I still need this one!!

If this item interested you and you’d like to see a few more dynamite psych concert posters, just move your mouse over to this page right here on my site: http://www.postercentral.com/psychedelic.htm. Thanks and have a great day.

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

Ray Charles Cardboard Concert Poster 1950s “Sensational Vocalist-Pianist”

An early, collectible, 1950’s-era Ray Charles window card, advertising a concert of his in Tucson, Arizona in the spring of 1957.

This was actually a “tour blank,” meaning the top half was initially printed as just blank white, and then the promoter of each stop on the tour would print in their own information, oftentimes including ticket prices (like the one here).

This Ray Charles placard is about as good-looking as they get… with its bright pink and yellow colors and fabulous design. And yet no poster artist was ever credited in designing these old things.

It’s always been my hope that a typesetter or graphic artist from the old Globe Poster Corp. would step forward and take some credit, but I’m guessing they’re all deceased by now.

The design of this particular Ray Charles in-person poster was used for about two to four years, which is great for collectors because it gives them (you and I) more of a chance to obtain one, any one.

I’ve video-blogged it before in both red & yellow and in these colors, but with the word “Blind” dropped in after “Sensational.” I may end up blogging every one I come across… I just love this thing.

Notice how this Ray Charles event poster lists half-a-dozen Atlantic Records R&B hit singles on it… that’s hugely positive feature of it.

“Drown In My Own Tears” is especially legendary, so it’s terrific the way that song is boxed off like it is. But all the others were R&B Top 10’s, too.

Another feature of this Ray Charles appearance poster is that it utilizes a very standard publicity photo of Ray that was used for years & years.

As you can see, he’s formally posed at the piano keys, not actively playing. This publicity photo was probably used for a decade or more by his management.

The Shaw Artists Corp. of both New York and Chicago take their share of credit on this Ray Charles tour placard. You can see their information spread out across the whole bottom.

That leaves scant room for Globe Posters to get their credit in there, but squeeze it in they did (lower right).

I didn’t mention yet that this Ray Charles ticket poster was made by Globe on rigid cardboard, so that it could be posted safely outside and not wither in the elements.

It measures the standard 14 by 22 inches, the most common size for these things. (The other standard was 22 by 28.)

The best feature of this vintage Ray Charles street sign is the way his name is portrayed, in huge letters right in the middle, taking up seemingly a third of the poster.

The way his first name and last name are delivered in entirely different, but equally eye-catching, fonts was a typical stoke of design brilliance by the people at Globe.

This Ray Charles pole poster is actually missing a couple of his most recent hits at the time… “Hallelujah I Love Her So” and “Lonely Avenue.” It would’ve been great to see those on there, too.

In fact, his current hit single in March 1957, “Ain’t That Love,” was also headed into the Top 10 of Billboard magazine’s R&B singles chart. But that record came along too late for inclusion here.

That’s one thing about this particular Ray Charles concert advertisement… it was a wee bit out of date. It had been designed the year before, and the song titles hadn’t been updated.

But is anyone complaining? Heavens, with a great-looking visual display like this, I wouldn’t change a thing.

So in summation, this Ray Charles cardboard poster was video-blogged by me, Pete Howard, a long-time music enthusiast and historian. If you need to reach me, drop me a line at pete@postercentral.com or a jingle at 805 area code, then 540-0020. And keep this in mind: I pay the best prices in the hobby, PERIOD, for vintage Ray Charles concert posters such as this.

And to see a few more outstanding examples of old rhythm & blues window cards such as this baby, just slide your mouse over to this page here on my web site:


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