A really outstanding, compelling Lloyd Price window card from the fall of 1958 in the city of New Haven, CT.
In this video I also show you a poster from two years later, after Price had put together a string of three highly successful and important pop-chart hits. I always love it when I can do two posters in one video blog, when they’re both relevant and closely related.
This cardboard Lloyd Price poster board – the 1958 one – has a dazzling design, featuring bright red & yellow colors. Throw in black ink, white poster board and blue venue information up top, and suddenly you have five colors at work here.
And look at all the movement and action in it. The three spinning discs – fashioned like 78 RPM records, if you ask me – have shaking action lines around them, a really cool visual effect.
And then this Lloyd Price placard does something really unusual… it tries to date one of his hit singles. The hit single which launched his career… the landmark “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.”
The only problem is, they got the year wrong. They proclaim it to be from 1953, but it was actually #1 R&B for almost two months in the year of… 1952. See, that’s dangerous stuff for a poster designer to try to do! Back then, there was no Internet for them to consult… if somebody told them “1953,” they’d run with it.
“Lawdy” is the only song title cited on this Lloyd Price in-person poster because he hadn’t really lined up additional hit singles yet. Those would come just after this poster… three really big ones in a row.
We’re talking “Stagger Lee,” “Personality” and “I’m Gonna Get Married.” All too late for this poster, designed and printed in the summer of 1958.
But not for the second Lloyd Price billboard I show you in this video… from the spring of 1960 in Rochester, New York. And from a Roller Rink no less!
Check it out: “Chestnut Street Roller Palace, Rochester, New York. Saturday evening, July 11th. 9:30 to 1:30. Advance $2.00, At Door $2.50.”
And then this Lloyd Price window display lists the four local locations at which you could buy those tickets, two of them (apparently) on the same block. And right below that, Rochester promoter Arnold King is stripped in, in rather big lettering.
Then you’ve got “The Star of Stars – In Person – Creator of ‘Personality,’ ‘Stagger Lee’ and ‘Come Into My Heart’ – In Person [again] – ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’ [can’t overlook that one, ever] – LLOYD PRICE and his Orchestra.”
The Murray Poster Printing Corp. out of NYC made this Lloyd Price event poster. Every concert-poster designer always had their distinct style, and Murrays are as easy to spot as any of them. They really liked the black & yellow look, and they very often put “In Person” in an oval like that.
But if there’s any question, down in the lower right margin it states, “Murray Poster Printing Co., Inc. – 221 W. 64th St., New York, N.Y.” Almost all poster-printers of the era did this.
This Lloyd Price show placard – the 1960 one – marked the end of an era for him. The very week of this concert, “Question” would hit Billboard magazine’s pop charts and eventually rise to #19. That record would be his last Top 20 pop hit ever.
So you have your choice: a ’58 poster just before Price’s slew of pop hits arrived, or a ’60 poster just after they did. Take your pick. For me, it’s the ’58 one hands down… but that’s based largely on its wickedly cool appearance.
I’m talking about Lloyd Price concert signs here like they grow on trees… to the contrary, finding any vintage concert placard like this is no easy task, for Lloyd or anybody. It’s a simple fact that not many were saved.
It wasn’t until the early ’70s that people started to save these things in numbers… so anything at all from the ’60s, ’50s and older is going to be scarce and hard to track down. The fun of collecting!
Both of these, by the way, could accurately be called a Lloyd Price boxing-style concert poster. The fact that they both have lots of plain block lettering, and are made of cardboard, places them in this collector’s category.
Both measure the standard 14×22”, a size that has been used by the industry for over a hundred years, amazing as that seems. To this very day, 14×22’s are produced all the time, all over the country, always on cardboard or cardstock. (Other, close sizes are also made, too.)
In comparing the two, I’d be inclined to call the yellow one truly a Lloyd Price ticket poster, but not the red one. That’s because the Rochester one gives two different ticket prices and the locations at which to buy them.
This is in stark contrast to the ’58 poster, which gives you zero information on the ticket price or where to acquire them around town.
Notice how the red Lloyd Price street sign gives contact information for the booking agency down at the bottom, but the yellow one doesn’t. Booking agencies liked to be mentioned on posters so that other promoters might contact them for a similar booking.
But both posters do use the bottom white margin area to credit, and give the address of, their respective printing companies (who also designed the posters).
This Lloyd Price concert poster – actually, both of them, of course – are shown to you today by music historian, former Rolling Stone columnist and ICE magazine publisher Pete Howard. I can be reached using either email@example.com or by (805) 540.0020. Please know that I pay the highest prices in this hobby, period, for the best vintage R&B and rock ’n’ roll concert posters from the ’60s on back.
To see another outstanding crop of fifties R&B show placards to rival these two, just slip your mouse over to http://www.postercentral.com/rhythmnblues.htm