A truly outstanding Midnighters window card from the 1950s that simply dazzles with its beautiful eye appeal.
Just look at the blue and black night sky, clouds and stars used as the backdrop here… it’s a ’50s graphic masterpiece.
And luckily, this Midnighters show poster was a ‘tour blank,’ meaning every city on the tour got to see its beauty. Everything in the big blue & black box was printed way ahead of time.
And then each city’s distinct information was printed into the blank white area up top. (In this video, I also show you a second example from another city.)
So at the top of this particular Midnighters tour poster, it proclaims, “Dance – Palace Ballroom.” No mention of Louisville; no need to. The locals all knew where they were.
“Friday, Nov. 15” and “9 P.M.-1” comes next. The “1” is sort of hung out to dry for lack of space, but the message gets across.
Then I love the ticket prices given on this Midnighters broadside: “Advance 99 cents, At Door $1.50.” On old concert posters, you almost always see round figures; I see “one dollar” a hundred times for each time I see something like “99 cents.”
And then, “Limited Tickets At: Vine’s Record, Blue Moon, 666, Top Hat Tavern, Grand & Lyric Theaters.” All Louisville locations.
The body (permanent part) of this Midnighters window poster proclaims at the top, “Big In Person Rhythm Spectacular.”
That was a typical statement of the day on old concert posters, and the fonts used to convey it were vintage Murray, very much a hallmark of theirs.
And then Universal Attractions somehow snares two credits on this Midnighters concert placard… once above the group’s name, and again down in the bottom left-hand corner in the margin.
Then you have the group’s name in big, black, slanted lettering right in the middle of the poster. Very catchy and classy.
And I suppose it wouldn’t be a Midnighters appearance poster without their photograph on it, so there you have it, all with nice smiles. (Leader Hank Ballard is second from right.)
“King Record Stars” comes between the group’s name and their photo, and that’s nice for us because King was a very successful and highly regarded R&B label of the era.
And then three song titles are trotted out on this Midnighters telephone-pole poster… one smash hit from the past, and two current duds that didn’t chart at all.
The group was actually in a nadir at this point in their career, without a single record charted the previous year, the current year or the following year. So they were coasting a bit at this juncture.
But it’s great to have any Midnighters tour placard with “Annie Had a Baby” on it, because that was a #1 R&B smash from three years earlier.
But the other two songs on here, “In the Doorway Crying” and “Come and Get It,” were both total non-charters.
And let’s not forget the cool-looking fellow at the bottom of this tasty piece of Midnighters concert memorabilia.
“Cal Green and his Orchestra” is given nice space and respect, with different type fonts on his name and a very cool picture of Cal playing electric guitar and looking up at the headlining act.
The condition of this Midnighters street poster isn’t bad given its age, with the most obvious defect being a missing corner down in the lower left.
It also has the requisite light stains, creasing and thumbtack holes, all very standard for any poster that was once actually used to sell tickets.
In my video here, I show you another example of this Midnighters boxer style concert poster, as it was used in another city. I don’t actually have a second poster, but rather a photo of one to show you.
It’s fun and enlightening to compare the two, and really drives home the point in an instant that this was a ‘tour blank’ used for several weeks or months.
This Midnighters concert announcement is discussed for you today by me, Pete Howard, a collector based in California’s central coast region. I can be reached by using firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 805/540-0020. Please contact me especially if you have any old concert stuff like this, because I pay the highest prices in the hobby for vintage rock, soul and R&B concert collectibles, such as this Midnighters pole poster.
And to see a few more delightful examples of collectable black-music concert posters from the ’50s and ’60s, just slide your mouse over to this page: http://www.postercentral.com/rhythmnblues.htm