An original, genuine Frank Sinatra concert poster from his show at Los Angeles’ famous Hollywood Bowl on August 14, 1943.
This could be Frank’s earliest known concert poster, as he had just become a legit solo artist only the previous year.
Adding to the collector’s cache of this Frank Sinatra fence poster is the fact that I’ve seen almost no other Frank concert posters from his 1940s-1950s days. Either he didn’t conduct formal tours that much, or else his management preferred the other two advertising choices of the day, radio and newspaper ads.
Even Rat Pack concert posters of the 1960s don’t exist… I know of only one, from 1963. They did a lot of Vegas casinos, but never regular tours. Then again, this Hollywood Bowl show wasn’t part of a regular tour, either… it was pretty isolated. So it’s a head-scratcher.
This Frank Sinatra concert sign does not say “1943” on it anywhere, because that would’ve been completely unnecessary… its entire life span was meant to be just a few weeks.
But most unusually, it does state the date and time of the concert twice on the poster, using the exact same wording. “Sat. Aug. 14, 9:00 P.M.” appears at both the top and near the bottom; quite unusual.
It’s also a bit unorthodox the way the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra is almost hidden with such small print on this Frank Sinatra billboard. It’s almost like the promoters wanted to downplay their involvement.
This was about the third time Ol’ Blue Eyes had performed with a full orchestra in the summer of ’43; previously, he had attempted the same scenario in both New York and Cleveland.
One major attention-grabbing aspect of this Frank Sinatra concert placard is the fact that General Admission tickets were only 75 cents… imagine that, such a legend with a full orchestra at a hallowed venue for less than a buck admission! Unbelievable.
I don’t know if GA in this case meant standing or sitting… I’m guessing the latter… but Reserved seats were much more normally priced at $1.10, $1.65 and $2.20, “tax included.”
As for where you could buy them, a couple of old-fashioned phone numbers are given across the bottom of this Frank Sinatra show poster. “HO. 3151” is an abbreviation for “Hollywood 3151,” back when phone numbers were only six digits. I don’t know what word “TU.” stood for.
In addition to the phone numbers, “all Mutual Agencies” and the Southern California Music Company on Hill Street in downtown L.A. are given as locations where ducats could be bought.
Perhaps the most striking feature of this Frank Sinatra ticket poster is the fact that it completely lacks any color. I usually disdain plain old black & white concert posters, but in this case, the simplicity really works for me.
It was laid out and printed by a company I’ve never heard of, before or since – the Alles Printing Company right there in L.A. But it does carry the all-important printer’s union bug.
It’s a shame there are no song titles on the Hollywood Bowl’s Frank Sinatra in-person poster. Not only did Blue Eyes chart four number one’s with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, he topped the charts on his own in the spring with “All or Nothing At All.” Would’ve been nice to see that one on there.
But when you start speculating or wishing like that, you might as well wish for added color, his record label’s logo (Columbia) and even a photo of Frank… that would’ve all been great, too. But as us collectors always say, “It is what it is.”
So since this Frank Sinatra tour placard doesn’t have a photo of Ol’ Blue Eyes, I show you a few in this video blog. I hold up pictures of Frank backstage at this gig and on stage at this gig, too. It’s great to see what he was wearing on this special occasion, and how young he looked.
In fact, the Hollywood Bowl has a little museum that features photos from this night, the microphone Frank used on stage, and even an audio recording of the concert that you can listen to.
There’s another photo I show you in this video that has this Frank Sinatra window poster in it – four of them, in fact! Sinatra’s hanging out backstage with his pianist, and the posters are just casually scattered about… it’s a real trip to see them in this fashion.
There’s another page here on my Web site in which I solicit original pictures of concert posters actually in use at the time – on fences, in store windows, etc. I couldn’t ask for a better one of this Sinatra backstage shot with his posters… it’s just amazing.
This Frank Sinatra poster board has dimensions of 14×22”, which should come as no surprise because that was the standard size of the day.
It was made of rigid cardboard stock, not paper, also a standard feature of the era… these things had to last outdoors for a few weeks leading up to the concert.
This Frank Sinatra concert advertisement is shown off and lectured upon by me, Pete Howard, in California. I can be reached either by calling 805 540 0020, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. As a serious collector and Frank fan, I will pay TOP DOLLAR, PERIOD for this or any other early Sinatra broadsides advertising his shows. Thank you.