An early, colorful Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 poster board containing four inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately, this specimen was trimmed down to fit in a frame decades ago, so all of the white border area is missing – but all of the original poster image is completely intact.
This 1956 R&B poster board originally had thin, white borders on three sides, but it’s the top portion that’s really missed… the so-called “venue info” box that gave potential customers the city, date, ticket prices, etc.
The silver lining is that it’s now a perfect square, making it ideal for framing and still carrying that beautiful visual wallop of a vintage ’50s rock ’n’ roll piece.
You’ll notice that thick cardboard was used for the manufacture of this Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 show poster, largely to keep it intact during harsh weather conditions outside. Paper posters didn’t last nearly as long.
Its style and appearance will be very familiar to any collector of such vintage items… a typical design of splashy colors, photos of the artists and lots of song titles sprinkled throughout.
Naturally, it was the Globe Poster Printing Co. of Baltimore, MD that designed and printed this beautiful 1956 R&B billboard. But their name at the bottom was trimmed off along with the white border.
Globe usually produced these things in two sizes… 17×23 inches and 22×28 inches. It’s nice that this one was the latter, larger size… until the trimming took it down several notches, of course.
So looking at the musicians here, Fats Domino holds down the key spot on Globe’s Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 event poster. He dominates things with a large, smiling photo right up at the top.
“Bo Weevil,” unfortunately, is given as his song title… not that it’s a bad song or anything, it’s just that something more classic like “Blueberry Hill” would’ve resonated better with us today.
And then it says “and his GREAT BAND” beneath his name, on this 1956 R&B tour placard. But down below, Choker Campbell had his own band, too… or did he?
I’m guessing they were one & the same orchestras, as they called those outfits in the fifties. Choker probably was just the leader of the house band, and answered to Fats – that’s my assumption.
And then, do the Clovers get second billing on this Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 ticket poster, right up there next to Fats, or does Ruth Brown, whose picture is much larger and is featured in red color just like the headliner Fats?
I would venture to guess that it was a triple-headlining bill, because all three had remarkable R&B chart success leading up to this… Domino logging his 17th straight Top 10 hit, the Clovers doing likewise, and “Miss Rhythm” herself having just registered her 16th straight, with her 17th right around the corner. So how could you bill one above the other?
So that’s pretty stunning: this particular 1956 R&B street sign represented fifty Top 10 rhythm & blues hits amongst just those three headliners – and they weren’t done yet! And just think of the career that Little Richard was just emerging with!
And speaking of Richard Penniman himself, he’s listed kinda far down here, an unfamiliar position for him… but within just a few weeks, his “Long Tall Sally” would be #1 on the R&B singles chart for two full months, catapulting him to headliner status.
And there’s still another short-changed artist on Globe’s Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 concert advertisement… Rock ’n’ Roll Hall-of-Famer Little Willie John, who’s way down in a lower corner.
Just like Little Richard, John would soon release his first undisputed smash, “Fever,” which would soon rule the #1 spot for five weeks and move Willie up to the top of concert bills.
You couldn’t call this a 1956 R&B fence poster without the presence of a big band listed at the bottom, and Choker Campbell’s was about the most famous and ubiquitous of them all.
I’m thinking that only Paul Williams and his Hucklebuck Orchestra appeared as predominantly as Campbell on these ’50s package tours.
Close inspection reveals that the backdrop of this Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 in-person poster consists of diagonal lines that alternate between yellow and blue. Leave it to me to point out such minutiae!
But that’s a big reason why the red color here jumps out so effectively… it wouldn’t have had the same impact on just a plain white background.
It’s interesting to note how they used three different styles of photos on this 1956 R&B concert placard. They used standard group photos (as with the Clovers and Cadillacs), common “floating-head” shots (Fats and Little Willie), and unusual full-body renditions (Ruth Brown and Al Jackson).
Globe relied on their flat but bright Day-Glo colors to grab the human eye, always opting for straight B&W in the pictures… never have I seen color photos used on a Globe poster like this. For one thing, record labels and publicists used only B&W pictures to begin with.
This Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 window card is enthusiastically displayed and lectured upon by veteran music-memorabilia collector Pete Howard in California. That would be me, and I can be reached thru email@example.com or by phoning (805) 540-0020. And please remember that I, Pete, pay the TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, period, for vintage rock ’n’ roll concert advertisements like this.
To see another more classic, amazing 1950s R&B concert window cards much like this one, just slide your computer mouse over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/multi-act_1950s.htm