Ella Fitzgerald Concert Poster 1930s – First Lady of Swing

An original, authentic Ella Fitzgerald window card from 1939, for a concert which took place not long after her mentor, big-bandleader Chick Webb, had passed away.

This Ella Fitzgerald concert poster dates to  November 20, 1939 and is from the Church Park Auditorium in Memphis, TN.

This Ella Fitzgerald window display sizes up at 14 x 22” and was made on cardboard by the Globe Poster Corporation out of Chicago, Illinois – no relation to Globe Posters of Baltimore decades later.

This Ella Fitzgerald concert placard states across the top, “The First Lady of Swing” – her first solo nickname, which would eventually evolve into “The First Lady of Song.”

This concert poster from the deep south has a disturbing “segregation line” (or “seg line,” as we say in the hobby), informing people that white customers could sit separately from people of color, if they wanted.

Ella Fitzgerald telephone-pole posters from the 1930s and 40s are tough to run across, because like most advertising pieces of the day, they weren’t deemed savable or collectible – most of them were just tossed after the event happened.

The entire wording found on this Ella Fitzgerald billboard, as it reads from top to bottom:

CHURCH PARK AUDITORIUM – Monday Night, November 20, 1939 (it’s not often the year is given on old concert posters)

Concert 9:00 ’til 10:00 – Dance 10:00 ’til ? – Reserved Seats for White Patrons During Concert – Advance Ticket 85 cents – Door $1.10 – Sponsored by Chauffeurs’ Service Club (all of this in the white “venue info” area at the top)

(And then down into the orange area… this logo in upper left): CRA – Consolidated Radio Artists Inc.

The First Lady of Swing – ELLA FITZGERALD with her Own Orchestra

Globe Poster Corp. Chicago (then the tiny printer’s bug or union logo)

There’s a good chance that this is the first Ella Fitzgerald concert broadside “tour blank” for her as a solo artist, simply because it dates from so soon after bandleader Chick Webb’s death.

This World War II Ella Fitzgerald display is enthusiastically shown off by music memorabilia collector Peter J. Howard, telephone 805-540-0020 or e-mail address pete@postercentral.com. Being the serious collector that I am, I pay THE VERY BEST PRICES for all such old, collectible concert posters.

If you’re like me and think this old Ella Fitzgerald placard is the cat’s whiskers, just head over to this page right here on my Web site to see some more big-band placards from the same era: http://www.postercentral.com/bigbandvocalists.htm

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