A very early, 1950’s George Jones window card from when he had charted only 5% of the eventual 160 records he would place on Billboard magazine’s C&W singles chart – an all-time record.
Jones was just making the transition from Starday to Mercury Records at this moment, although the poster makes no mention of a record label.
This cardboard George Jones window card may or may not have been a “tour blank”; it’s hard to say whether this was part of a tour, or just a one-off show, although the former is more likely.
Half the poster, right in the middle, could have been the permanent portion that would suffice in any town. Then the top and bottom wording pertained only to this one local event.
“Brown County Jamboree,” it states across the top of this ’fifties George Jones placard. “Bean Blossom, Ind. – On Highway 135.
“Sunday, June 16,” it continues. “2 Shows – 3:00 and 8:00 P.M. – D.S.T. [Daylight Savings Time].” Very unusual for daylight savings time to be mentioned like that.
Then you have the ‘permanent’ portion of this 1950’s George Jones in-person poster. You know, the usual stuff… WSM Grand Ole Opry, “Presents – In Person” and the star’s name in huge type.
And then below his name, the localized information again… “Extra Added Attraction, Brown County Jamboree Boys & Girls.” I imagine many of those youngsters are still alive today!
Hatch’s ’50s George Jones billboard was made to the standard size, 14 inches wide by 22 inches tall. Every so often, Hatch would produce a jumbo 22×28-incher, but not normally.
And it was made of cardboard, not paper. As I’ve often pointed out, cardboard was guaranteed to withstand the elements of weather, whereas paper could be washed out with one rain shower.
This ’fifties George Jones window display uses the two colors most catchy to the human eye… red and yellow. It was a very common color combo back in the day.
So yes, it draws your attention in, but that’s why I love it when I find an old concert poster that uses more subtle colors, like blues and greens… it’s not common, but they’re out there.
At the time of this 1950’s George Jones event poster, he had charted only eight songs on the national charts, such a small number when held against his entire career.
So why are none of them listed on the poster? Good question, because several of them… wait, make that every one of them… had been a Top 10 C&W hit. So they would have embellished the poster nicely.
It’s a good bet that this particular ’50s George Jones show placard is the only one of its kind that still exists. It doesn’t have much going for it that would’ve encouraged people in the ’50s to save it.
People didn’t save much in the ’60s, either. But from the 1970s going forward, collectors everywhere would save, save, save rather than throw away.
Notice how this ’fifties George Jones concert sign has no printer’s credit down at the bottom. That’s because Hatch Show Print out of Nashville – which made this board – rarely put their name on their posters.
This exact item did come directly from the file cabinets of Hatch once upon a time, however, and that’s why it was quarter-folded down. There is tape now on the back to reinforce its original 14×22-inch size.
You might be asking yourself, “Why does this 1950’s George Jones boxing-style concert poster have no photo of him?” Easy answer: Simplicity and expense.
Hatch could efficiently bang out a huge number of advertising placards for all sorts of events – including movies, sporting events and the circus – if they could just quickly typeset and print, without messing with a photo.
And yes, of course it would’ve been an added expense for this ’50s George Jones ticket poster to have carried a photo of him. So the promoters of each show probably helped make the decision to just keep the cost down, speed the process up and leave pictures out.
But it’s funny how today, many collectors absolutely won’t look at an old concert poster unless it has a photo on there. Even Elvis Presley!
After showing you the ’fifties George Jones concert advertisement, I move on to two others in my video… a 1960 specimen from Montgomery, AL, where he’s playing alongside Mother Maybelle Carter and Flatt & Scruggs;
And a 1964 example where he’s sandwiched in between Buck Owens and rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson, in a fun Day-Glo poster from Minneapolis, MN.
Here I’ve been saying the 1950’s George Jones fence poster doesn’t have a photo of the Possum because it’s so old, but yet the 1964 doesn’t have any pix either!
But it does have strong eye appeal due to the use of Day-Glo florescent orange color. And again, it has six names that were all prolific C&W hitmakers… except maybe Wanda Jackson, but that’s OK, she’s in the Rock ’N’ Roll Hall of Fame!
You can have your Day-Glo colors and six-star line-up, though… I’d still select the ’50s George Jones boxer-style concert poster from Bean Blossom if I were ever given the chance.
But my friends tease me about putting historical value over eye appeal in my selection of posters for my collection… and I say “Fine, you do it your way, I’ll do it mine!”
If you’re aware of any other ’fifties George Jones concert cards out there, please let me know, either with a phone call or emailed picture. I’d really like to know if this is the oldest Jones poster extant.
I’m guessing there has to be one slightly older, because he first charted in late 1955, so I’m assuming there’s something out there from 1956 or even the first few months of ’57 that pre-dates this.
I hope you weren’t disappointed that I spent the lion’s share of time in my video on the 1950’s George Jones street sign, and so little time on the two from the early ’60s.
Heck, maybe I’ll do a video someday on the best Possum concert posters from 1965 through the ’70s. That would make a nice combo video blog, too… and you know there are some great ones out there.
This extraordinarily early, ’fifties George Jones show card is displayed for you today by music historian and former Rolling Stone magazine Contributing Editor Pete Howard. That’s me, and if you’d like to discuss rare posters, just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 540-0020. Please know that I pay the very best prices for original, vintage concert billboards such as this one – in any musical genre.
To see a few more tasty vintage country music in-person posters, including a 1956 Johnny Cash, just slide over one page here on my Web site to: http://www.postercentral.com/country.htm