An original, authentic Charlie Parker window card from 1951 for a show at the Mosque Auditorium in Richmond, VA.
Globe Posters of Baltimore designed and printed this Charlie Parker show poster; Baltimore is only about 150 miles from Richmond.
If you’ve watched my video blogs before, you’ll know that this Charlie Parker concert announcement is referred to in the hobby as a “tour blank.” The basic poster design was used over & over, with only the venue information up at the top changing from city to city.
This Charlie Parker broadside has dimensions of 22 x 28 inches, one of the two most common sizes used consistently for concert posters.
Globe used only a couple of colors in creating their Charlie Parker tour poster – blue and yellow – but obviously used them to great affect, as it’s a very colorful & catchy poster.
This Charlie Parker placard finds the saxophone legend playing alongside Les Brown and his Band of Renown, plus opening act June Christy.
Because of Bird’s legendary status, most jazz buffs would refer to this as a Charlie Parker poster, disregarding the other two acts. But Brown was no slouch… he managed to place 21 records in Billboard magazine’s Top 20 hits chart during the 1940s.
One of the reasons this Charlie Parker in-person poster is collectible is that Bird (his nickname, short for Yardbird) doesn’t turn up on concert posters very often. He didn’t tour much, and he passed away at the young age of 34.
Bird fans will surely notice that “his orchestra and strings” appears underneath his name on this Charlie Parker billboard. Bird always had a keen desire to record and play with an orchestra, and fulfilled that wish just the year before with his latest album, Charlie Parker with Strings.
A slightly hidden but delightful design element of this Charlie Parker telephone pole poster is the white crown above his photo, containing the words “King of the Alto Sax.”
I also love the ticket prices down in the lower-left corner of this Charlie Parker boxing style concert poster… $1.25, $1.65 and $1.95. Even the top ticket price wouldn’t buy you a bottle of water at a show today!
You can’t help but notice the damaged condition of this Charlie Parker show placard… that’s due to the fact it was found inside a wall in an old abandoned building in Richmond, covered up for decades by sheet rock, plaster, etc.
Because of that, this decrepit Charlie Parker sign is very brittle, and can’t be flexed like most old cardboard concert posters… it would risk cracking.
Notice that way down at the bottom, June Christy is mentioned as an “Extra Added Attraction” on this Charlie Parker event poster. Christy had gained a little fame as the singer for Stan Kenton’s band in the 1940’s.
The ticket locations given on this Charlie Parker window display – obscured somewhat by paint on this copy – include three record shops. Stand-alone record stores were not that common at the mid-century mark, but the south was somewhat of a pioneer in that area.
Anybody notice the fourth entertainer mentioned prominently on this Charlie Parker tour placard? Yes, it’s none other than comedian Bob Hope plugged up by Les Brown’s photo.
We can be thankful that this Charlie Parker ticket poster includes a picture of Bird, because they didn’t use one for June Christy. On many of these old posters, only the headliner was granted that honor.
You can’t miss the fact that a chunk of cardboard is missing from the upper right-hand corner of this Charlie Parker advertisement. That’s always a bit unfortunate, as it takes away part of the “22,” but a professional restorer would have no trouble restoring it.
It’s a bit of a shame that this Charlie Parker street poster doesn’t use the word “be-bop” anywhere, because Bird was a pioneer of that format. Perhaps that was because he was into his “strings” phase.
In addition, I would’ve loved to see some song titles on this Charlie Parker fence poster. Prime candidates would’ve been Les Brown’s two biggest hits, “Sentimental Journey” and “My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time.” Both of those discs topped the charts for about two months apiece.
You have to smile at the marketing approach that Globe took on their Charlie Parker concert placard… the headline “Triple Feature Concert.” That just means there were three musicians on the bill.
This Charlie Parker street sign is drooled over and explained by long-time music collector Peter Howard (email@example.com or 805. 540-0020). Being a serious collector, I will pay TOP DOLLAR for really old, genuine concert posters along these lines, especially the Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker concert poster from Carnegie Hall on November 14, 1952.
And to view a few other rare, collectible jazz concert posters, check out this great page of images on my web site: http://www.postercentral.com/jazz.htm