A vintage, genuine (and very colorful) 1950’s concert poster with a great selection of 15 rock ’n’ roll and R&B stars of the day.
This Super Enterprises’ Biggest Show of Stars In Person window card is referred to as a “tour blank,” meaning it was used for a good number of shows on this particular tour. Each stop on the trek got its own city, date, venue and ticket price printed into a blank area at the top of the poster.
To illustrate my point, I show you a picture of this Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 tour poster in my video that is completely intact, with the venue info filled in (from Charlotte, North Carolina).
I do that because my Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 placard was trimmed down to just the color portion of the poster, doing away with the white cardboard border on all four sides. I believe this was done decades ago.
Therefore, my Super Enterprises’ Biggest Show of Stars In Person show poster measures only about 16 x 17”, whereas the original piece of poster board had dimensions of 17 x 23.
It’s my opinion that the Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 street poster is one of the most attractive posters of its kind from the ’50s. It has great musicians, nice colors, many song titles, pictures of everyone… this poster “has it all.”
You could certainly say “charismatic, colorful and cluttered” in describing this Super Enterprises’ Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 In Person poster. The red, green and yellow colors, in conjunction with black ink and the white surface, help give this poster its outstanding eye appeal.
Another thing you could accurately say about this Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 broadside is that it’s small but busy, isn’t it? The poster’s designer took great care to carefully work in as much information, and fun, as possible.
Now to address some of the musicians. Starting with Sam Cooke, I like the fact that “You Send Me” is one of the songs listed under his name on this Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 concert placard. That #1 record is probably the biggest hit of Cooke’s entire career.
Sadly, the Everly Brothers didn’t make out so well on this Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 sign. Their song listed here, “This Little Girl of Mine,” may have been a hit for Ray Charles, but it went nowhere for them. Notice reads “This Little Girl Is Mine,” a typesetting error.
On the other hand, “Without Love” was a big hit for Clyde McPhatter, so it’s nice to have its presence on this Super Enterprises’ Biggest Show of Stars In Person telephone-pole poster. Good thing, too, because Clyde has the most prominent position here… top-row center, bright yellow.
Right below Clyde is LaVern Baker, in another highly visible spot. Luckily, the song given for LaVern is “Jim Dandy,” a #1 record and her biggest hit ever.
And just below Baker is teenager Frankie Avalon, filling out the big circle right in the middle of this Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 window display. “De-De Dinah” was in Billboard’s Top 10 at this point, and Frankie’s first hit record.
Still another big hit record listed high on this Super Enterprises’ Biggest Show of Stars In Person billboard is “Get a Job” by the Silhouettes, which not only achieved Number One on the R&B charts, but the pop charts as well. So why didn’t this group ever chart another record, period? Tough to understand.
Then there’s the “hidden weapon” on this Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 boxing style concert poster: Jackie Wilson. “Reet Petite” didn’t do much on the charts, but later in ’58 Jackie would become a superstar with his #1 hit “Lonely Teardrops.”
The Royal Teens and their five little faces are supplemented by “Short Shorts” on this Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 appearance poster. A great, catchy Top 5 hit, but the only one they’d ever enjoy.
Making our way through all the artists shown on this Super Enterprises’ Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 tour placard, The Storey Sisters were a a rock & roll duo from Philadelphia. Their record shown, “Bad Motorcycle,” barely squeaked onto the pop charts, and did nothing R&B.
As you’ve seen by now, there are a lot of “one-hit wonders” populating this Super Enterprises’ Biggest Show of Stars In Person street sign. And the next ones in line are The Crescendos, whose “Oh Julie” reached the Top 5 in both pop and R&B, but the group never enjoyed another hit.
Then you have an unusual selection down in the lower-left corner of this Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 window poster: blues icon Jimmy Reed. I guess he’s low-billed because he wasn’t a hit-maker, but oh, his influence… both the Rolling Stones and Elvis covered his records significantly.
And next to Reed, without a photo, are the Monotones, the only act on the Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 show placard that didn’t get a picture. That’s unfortunate, because their “Book of Love” would soon run up the charts and into the Top 5 spot in both R&B and pop. But when this tour was conceived, they were not stars yet.
Another Jimmy occupies the lower right yellow oval of this Super Enterprises’ Biggest Show of Stars In Person fence poster: Jimmy Dell. His presence on the poster is “Teeny Weeny” which, unfortunately, also describes his career on Billboard’s charts.
And in the green strip along the very bottom of the Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 concert announcement is none other than Paul Williams and his Show of Stars Orchestra. Williams had an enormous hit in the late ’40s with “The Hucklebuck.”
The only non-musician on there, Harold Cromer, is billed prominently as the M.C. on this Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 ticket poster. Cromer may not have been a hit-maker, but he was a significant talent who had a long and successful career in show business.
It’s not easy finding a Super Enterprises’ Biggest Show of Stars In Person advertisement like this. The majority of these were discarded not long after the shows, so collectors have to really hunt to track them down.
This Biggest Show of Stars for ’58 poster is displayed and discussed by me, long-time music memorabilia collector Peter Howard. I can be contacted at either email@example.com or 805-540-0020. I will pay TOP DOLLAR, PERIOD for a more-intact copy of this poster or any from the Biggest Show of Stars series.
If you found this poster fun, you should see the other examples of ’50s R&B and rock and roll concert placards with many acts on them, on this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/multi-act_1950s.htm
I attended that show here in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on April 16, 1958 (I was 15 at the time). I was already crazy for Jimmy Reed and here he was in my own city! At the break, the artists came out to talk to the fans…and I cornered Jimmy Reed! He was very nice and was amazed that I already had most of his records up to that point (all ordered from “Randy’s Record Mart, Gallatin Tennessee”…as we heard advertised on WLAC radio from Nashville). Didn’t take my Kodak Brownie “Hawkeye camera that night and I have regretted it ever since. I do have a copy of the ad for the show as it appeared in my local newspaper the night before the show. Actually I saw Jimmy Reed again in 1966 in Toronto at a bar where he appeared with Eddie Taylor…again I had a nice chat. Thanks for the nice poster memory!