A really choice 1963 Beatles EMI Records promo display which helped sell the British public on the Fab Four’s discs, back before they were even heard of in America.
Dezo Hoffman’s well-known photo of the Fabs serves as the centerpiece of this Beatles Parlophone Records record-store display. In addition, EMI took that small, center poster made of paper (which is glued onto the display here) and sent it out as a promo merchandising piece as well. For collectors, that is much more commonly found than this hefty cardboard display.
As you can easily see, this particular Beatles EMI Records in-store display shown in my video has been flattened out for purposes of framing. Its common state, however, is much more three-dimensional, because the two folding panels on either side are what allow it to stand on its own, on a flat surface.
It was not difficult to ascertain the exact month this Beatles Parlophone Records window display was rolled out – August 1963 – because it clearly says “8/63” in the fine print you see way down in the lower corner of the left flap.
Radiant Day-Glo colors of orange and yellow-green are what stand out on this Beatles EMI Records stand-up. The yellow is reserved for just the group’s name and the words “Now On Sale Here” on the right panel.
This Beatles Parlophone Records merchandising display was manufactured on rigid cardboard, and was cut and assembled so that it folds in thirds. This allowed it to naturally stand up on its own, with no need for an easel on the back.
It’s a little awkward to state the dimensions of this Beatles EMI Records counter display, because it has three different heights (each panel is different). But suffice it to say that it measures a little over 27 inches wide.
From my American viewpoint, it’s worth noting that 45 RPM singles were neglected by this Beatles Parlophone Records retail display. Even though the boys’ singles were white-hot #1’s, for whatever reason this sign only plugs their “LP & EP Records.”
While I’m at it, I’ll just write out all the text on this Beatles EMI Records display, moving from left to right:
(White lettering) Here They Are – The (orange) Fabulous (yellow) Beatles
(Little banner over the photo) The Beatles – Parlophone Records. (Then below the photo) EMI – The Greatest Recording Organisation [sic, British spelling] in the World.
(Then the right flap) Hear Their Latest Parlophone LP & EP Records – Now On Sale Here
In case this looks partly familiar to you, some versions of this Beatles Parlophone Records standee were sent out without the right-hand panel. That version utilizes a slightly different frame from Dezo Hoffman’s film, literally a second before or after the other photo, and doesn’t have the orange background (or the banner) that this one has.
The record label deliberately – and smartly – designed their Beatles EMI Records promotional display to not become dated in a matter of weeks. To avoid this from happening, they left off all mentions of the Fab Four’s specific records, such as their newest single “She Loves You.”
That makes even more sense when you realize that significant manufacturing costs surely went into this Beatles Parlophone Records 3-D display. The combination of thick poster board, bright Day-Glo inks and folding hinges undoubtedly busted their marketing budget.
It’s also worth nothing that in 1963, the Fabs were releasing a new EP about every 60 days, so it would’ve been fruitless for this Beatles EMI Records store display to try to identify them… obsolescence would have been built in, so EMI officials just left it generic in nature.
About half-a-year after this Beatles Parlophone Records point-of-purchase display was issued, Capitol Records over in the U.S. would produce a a similar item using the same Dezo Hoffman photo, but raise the stakes considerably by implementing battery-driven moving parts. (I’ve already video-blogged that item separately.)
You can’t say the record label was hiding with their Beatles EMI Records countertop display. It says “EMI” once, “Parlophone” twice and then displays the Parlophone Records logo as well (on the right-hand panel).
This Beatles Parlophone Records standup is enthusiastically discussed by collector Pete Howard, who can be reached by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (805)-540-0020. I will pay TOP DOLLAR, PERIOD for this display, or any other early Beatles merchandising promotional pieces.
To see a few other early British Beatles marketing items, in this case concert posters from 1961-62, take a look at: http://www.postercentral.com/beatles.htm