An original, fifties-vintage Ray Charles concert poster from the deep south – Clarksville, Tennessee – for a gig on March 27, 1956.
You know this is an early Ray Charles broadside when it refers to Ray as “blind,” a specification that was done away with by 1957. From that point on, Mr. Charles was advertised simply as a “Sensational Vocalist-Pianist.” What difference does it make if he was blind or not?
This ’50s Ray Charles window card has great colors – a splashy pink & yellow design, and then red venue lettering up at the top. The end result, in my humble opinion, is simply the best-looking Ray Charles concert placard from his entire career.
Another thing that one has to love about this Ray Charles window display is the way it lists many of his key songs for Atlantic Records up to that point, with a big highlight given to his current #1 hit, “Drown In My Own Tears.”
Another thing worth noting about this specific Ray Charles window sign: Clarksville, Tennessee was a stone’s throw from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, which was a U.S. Army outpost. I can just see their uniforms in the audience now!
The entire text as it reads on this Ray Charles billboard:
(Up top, in red ink): Clarksville Armory – Clarksville, Tennessee – Tuesday, March 27th – 9:00 ’til (and then left blank) – Adm: $1.00 Advance – $1.50 Door – For Table Reservations call 9867 or 9095
(And then huge letters in the poster’s color portion): RAY CHARLES And his Orchestra – Atlantic Records. Sensational Blind Vocalist-Pianist. “It Should’ve Been Me,” “This Little Girl Is Mine,” “I’ve Got a Woman,” “A Fool for You,” “Come Back” and in its own white box, “Drown in My Own Tears.”
(The fine print): Tour Direction: Shaw Artists Corp., 565 5th Ave., NYC & 203 N. Wabash, Chicago. (No poster printer’s credit is given.)
This Ray Charles telephone-pole poster has the most common dimensions used for posters of the day (and any era, really) – 14 inches wide and 22 inches tall. And it was printed on cardboard stock.
This Ray Charles show poster is enthusiastically dissected by long-time collector Pete Howard (reachable on 805-540-0020 or thru firstname.lastname@example.org). I happily pay TOP DOLLAR for any & all 1950s-60s soul, R&B and rock ’n’ roll concert advertising posters.
If you want to see some more of the best R&B concert placards from long ago, just click over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/rhythmnblues.htm