An early, collectible, 1950’s-era Ray Charles window card, advertising a concert of his in Tucson, Arizona in the spring of 1957.
This was actually a “tour blank,” meaning the top half was initially printed as just blank white, and then the promoter of each stop on the tour would print in their own information, oftentimes including ticket prices (like the one here).
This Ray Charles placard is about as good-looking as they get… with its bright pink and yellow colors and fabulous design. And yet no poster artist was ever credited in designing these old things.
It’s always been my hope that a typesetter or graphic artist from the old Globe Poster Corp. would step forward and take some credit, but I’m guessing they’re all deceased by now.
The design of this particular Ray Charles in-person poster was used for about two to four years, which is great for collectors because it gives them (you and I) more of a chance to obtain one, any one.
I’ve video-blogged it before in both red & yellow and in these colors, but with the word “Blind” dropped in after “Sensational.” I may end up blogging every one I come across… I just love this thing.
Notice how this Ray Charles event poster lists half-a-dozen Atlantic Records R&B hit singles on it… that’s hugely positive feature of it.
“Drown In My Own Tears” is especially legendary, so it’s terrific the way that song is boxed off like it is. But all the others were R&B Top 10’s, too.
Another feature of this Ray Charles appearance poster is that it utilizes a very standard publicity photo of Ray that was used for years & years.
As you can see, he’s formally posed at the piano keys, not actively playing. This publicity photo was probably used for a decade or more by his management.
The Shaw Artists Corp. of both New York and Chicago take their share of credit on this Ray Charles tour placard. You can see their information spread out across the whole bottom.
That leaves scant room for Globe Posters to get their credit in there, but squeeze it in they did (lower right).
I didn’t mention yet that this Ray Charles ticket poster was made by Globe on rigid cardboard, so that it could be posted safely outside and not wither in the elements.
It measures the standard 14 by 22 inches, the most common size for these things. (The other standard was 22 by 28.)
The best feature of this vintage Ray Charles street sign is the way his name is portrayed, in huge letters right in the middle, taking up seemingly a third of the poster.
The way his first name and last name are delivered in entirely different, but equally eye-catching, fonts was a typical stoke of design brilliance by the people at Globe.
This Ray Charles pole poster is actually missing a couple of his most recent hits at the time… “Hallelujah I Love Her So” and “Lonely Avenue.” It would’ve been great to see those on there, too.
In fact, his current hit single in March 1957, “Ain’t That Love,” was also headed into the Top 10 of Billboard magazine’s R&B singles chart. But that record came along too late for inclusion here.
That’s one thing about this particular Ray Charles concert advertisement… it was a wee bit out of date. It had been designed the year before, and the song titles hadn’t been updated.
But is anyone complaining? Heavens, with a great-looking visual display like this, I wouldn’t change a thing.
So in summation, this Ray Charles cardboard poster was video-blogged by me, Pete Howard, a long-time music enthusiast and historian. If you need to reach me, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or a jingle at 805 area code, then 540-0020. And keep this in mind: I pay the best prices in the hobby, PERIOD, for vintage Ray Charles concert posters such as this.
And to see a few more outstanding examples of old rhythm & blues window cards such as this baby, just slide your mouse over to this page here on my web site: