An original 1950’s Little Willie John broadside that advertised a show in Nashville, Tennessee on Thanksgiving night, 1957.
This poster has a dramatic look to it, highlighted by the great red & black coloring and highly creative design.
Murray Poster Printing Co. out of NYC created this Little Willie John placard, so they deserve the credit for making it such a good-looker.
The big variety of type fonts present is definitely one of Murray’s telltale trademarks, as are the 15 or so stars scattered about the poster.
Even the venue information at the top of this Little Willie John in-person poster is set in creative, attractive type fonts, not just plain block lettering.
And isn’t it nice that the year is included in the show date… a lot of neophytes think that automatically makes any poster a newer reprint, but definitely not. I’d say about 5% of original old posters do have the year as part of the concert date.
“3 Fabulous Stars – All In Person,” proclaims this Little Willie John window display. That was only partly true, as LWJ was the only reliable hit-making machine present here.
But singer Linda Hopkins and bandleader Arnett Cobb – the latter billed here as “Wild Man of the Tenor Sax” – were both strong and talented musical personalities that really helped carry the show.
But I call this strictly a Little Willie John concert poster because he’s the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member who had already achieved five Top 10 R&B hits at this point, and he had only just turned 20 years old.
Sadly, we would lose Little Willie at the young age of 30, while he was incarcerated in prison. But he certainly left a legacy, and some great songs, in his wake.
It’s wonderful that this Little Willie John event poster gives the song “Fever” on it. It’s in a bigger type font than the other two song titles, and for good reason.
“Fever” was #1 for a month in 1956, a remarkable achievement for the then-17-year-old. Peggy Lee helped to immortalize the song years later.
“All Around the World” is also shown on this poster, which was Willie’s first single in 1955 – and a Top 5 R&B hit. Once again, at only 17!
And then this Little Willie John show placard presents three songs for Linda Hopkins as well, and actually four for Arnett Cobb, the bottom-billed act. None of the seven songs charted at all, however.
And the three musicians were all on different record labels, too… John on King Records, Hopkins on Atlantic Records and Cobb on Mercury Records. And all three labels are mentioned on the poster – I love it when they did that.
This cardboard Little Willie John poster board is shown to you today by one Pete Howard, who is me… a long-time music historian and collector. I can be asked questions thru firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (805) 540-0020. Or certainly contact me if you have something vintage for sale… I pay the very best prices in this hobby, period, for authentic, original vintage rhythm & blues window cards – and most other musical genres, too. See all my blogs!
And to lay your eyes upon a few more gems of the same ilk, including a 1954 Johnny Ace poster with Big Mama Thornton as his opening act, just access this page right here on my site with your mouse: http://www.postercentral.com/rhythmnblues.htm