A really fun collectible in the form of a 1965 Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan promo display made by Columbia Records.
This was made in small quantities and sent out to record stores throughout America to promote Bob’s latest album.
So you could call this just a Highway 61 Revisited promo in-store display, since it’s his most recent album (at the time) shown.
But really, it was part of an overall marketing campaign by Columbia to draw peoples’ attention to Dylan as a recording artist, not just a songwriter who wrote hits for the likes of Peter, Paul & Mary.
This Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan record-store display was made of thick cardboard, and has an easel on the back for propping up on retail countertops.
It’s strikingly similar to Columbia’s Bob Dylan Brings It All Back Home promotional display that they made a few months earlier that year.
In my video, I compare the two pieces for you, using a photograph I took of the earlier one.
The Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan in-store display is bigger, has more photos and more words on it.
By comparison, the Bob Dylan Brings It All Back Home window display is flat-out simple, and very subtle… it doesn’t even give you the exact title of the album it’s promoting, Bringing It All Back Home. But Dylan fans think that’s way cool.
As I alluded to earlier, the Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan counter display is multi-faceted; it promotes a campaign slogan, it promotes Dylan’s latest LP and it promotes his entire back catalog.
Whereas the Bob Dylan Brings It All Back Home display promotes almost nothing but Dylan himself; you had to know the name of his latest LP, Bringing It All Back Home, to get what the stand-up meant.
Another fascinating aspect of these two pieces is that the Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan promo standup did not duplicate the Daniel Kramer photograph used for the earlier piece. The photos were at least a frame or two apart on Kramer’s film roll.
Look at the photo on the Bob Dylan Brings It All Back Home countertop display… his feet are further apart, his mouth is slightly open and his strumming hand is in focus.
Whereas Kramer’s photo used for the Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan point-of-purchase display has a blurred strumming hand, a closed mouth and feet (and legs) definitely closer together.
Given the choice, as a collector of early Zimmerman promo stuff, I’d take the Bob Dylan Brings It All Back Home retail display for my collection over the busier one. I just love its understatedness.
Whereas I totally understand that most collectors would prefer the bigger & better Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan promo cardboard stand-up. For one thing, it shows Bob’s face seven times, plus a couple of pretty ladies to boot… Suze Rotolo and Sally Grossman!
It also features three famous song titles… “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Highway 61 Revisited.” The plain & simple Bob Dylan Brings It All Back Home store display has none… and nary an album cover, either.
So why do I like it better? Because it’s earlier and more innocent, more naïve. It’s clear that within the year of 1965, Columbia’s marketing department was growing more sophisticated with each passing season. (Either that or Dylan was simply getting more famous that fast.)
In fact, notice how the Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan easel-backed store display gives you the mono and stereo catalog numbers for each of his albums. Now that’s a lot of information!
But again… it’s the bare-bones, stripped-down, simple nature of Columbia’s Bob Dylan Brings It All Back Home standee that so appeals to me. I’ll be sure to blog it the next time I run across one.
But tons of collectors would prefer what they’d call a promotional countertop display for Bob Dylan’s first six albums. They’d say that “six is better than one,” right?
But another appeal of the Bob Dylan Brings It All Back Home promo stand-up is that it was his debut into electrified instruments, which he would use almost exclusively forevermore.
However you regard them, these Bob Dylan promo cardboard retail displays are shown off and discussed in great detail for you by Pete Howard, the California collector. That’s me, I’ve been doing it since the late ’60s, and I can be reached either by calling (805) 540-0020 or writing to email@example.com. What I want to emphasize here is that these two pieces belong to friends of mine, I don’t have them in my collection, so I’d pay the best price in the hobby, period, for one of these if you happen to be selling.
And to view some fun Bob Dylan collectable concert posters from the same era, just hop yourself on over to this page on this very web site of mine: http://www.postercentral.com/bobdylan.htm. Thanks for your time today!
Douglas Brown here.
I continue to enjoy your video blogs.
I do have a comment on The Dylan Sings Dylan stand up.
I think the real motivation by Columbia Records was the 1965 hits and album tracks by The Byrds, The Turtles and The Grass Roots (Mr. Jones was an L. A. hit). They obviously wanted to point listeners to the original.