http://www.postercentral.com A genuine, original Alan Freed Big Beat window card from 1958 at the Minneapolis Municipal Auditorium.

This was advertising a substantial spring tour, lasting for at least a couple of months, with this particular date being Friday, April 25.

The Murray Poster Printing Company in New York printed this Alan Freed Big Beat placard; they’re credited down in the lower right.

They also printed the smaller handbill version that I’ve video blogged elsewhere on this site.

This Alan Freed Big Beat tour poster is very collectible because it features several future members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

That makes this item very popular with collectors, with its many rows of stars adding up to a blockbuster visual presentation.

Besides black & white, this Alan Freed Big Beat broadside makes great use of just two extra colors, red and yellow, to make its overall appearance very colorful and eye-catching.

Collectors rightly feel that this thing has everything going for it, even though a few musicians at the bottom were never heard from again.

It’s interesting to note that every single performer on this Alan Freed Big Beat window display has both a photo and a song title given for them, even the most marginal of artists down at the bottom.

That’s highly unusual with such a crowded field, but a great attribute of this poster’s design. No musician left behind!

It’s funny the way this Alan Freed Big Beat event poster depicts Buddy Holly & The Crickets as two separate acts, with two song titles apiece and even separate photos – with Buddy absent from the Crickets picture!

That’s partly due to the way Coral Records marketed their singles back then… for example, the record label on “That’ll Be the Day” stated merely, “The Crickets.”

This larger Alan Freed Big Beat appearance poster was made of stiff cardboard, as opposed to the flyer, which was printed on lightweight paper.

That’s because the poster had to withstand the elements outside, whereas the handbill was usually safe indoors, just stacked on checkout counters.

With such a great-looking appearance, it’s a shame that the in-house designer for this Alan Freed Big Beat show placard will never be known. They’ve never been named publicly, as far as I can determine.

Alas, designers of these early rock ‘n roll advertisements usually labored in obscurity, and yet today we cherish their creations.

If you wanted to count up the number of musicians involved, this Alan Freed Big Beat ticket poster saves you the trouble. It says it right on there.

Next to Freed’s name it proclaims, “17 Top Attractions, 4 Great Bands, Cast of 60.” All for as little as .75… wow!

This Alan Freed Big Beat concert sign is known as a “tour blank,” a term I’ve used a lot in my video blogs.

The colorful part of it was used for the entire tour, and the white strip up above with the concert date and city is what changed from town to town. Everything from Alan Freed Presents the Big Beat All In Person Show downwards was the static part that never changed.

It was quite lucky that this Alan Freed Big Beat concert announcement was found in such good, presentable shape.

Usually something this old has heavy duty signs of wear & tear, tape marks, tack holes, creases, whatever. This one was stored nicely over the decades.

IMHO, there were six primary “founding fathers of rock ’n’ roll” in the ’50s… and it’s terrific that this Alan Freed Big Beat boxing-style concert poster features three of them.

Those would be Buddy Holly & the Crickets, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. (The other three being Elvis, Little Richard and Fats Domino.)

I’ve seen this Alan Freed Big Beat pole poster from several different cities along the tour, but nobody could ever hope to collect them all – unless you were working on the tour in 1958!

Collecting all the handbills would’ve been a bit easier, but in the present day, you couldn’t hope to find every single one.

You gotta love the way this Alan Freed Big Beat fence poster states “Direct from Record Smashing N.Y. Paramount Engagement” along the bottom. Such fun marketing!

Did you notice the ticket prices? Ranging from .75 to .75. At the cheapest ticket price, with “60 stars” on the program, you would’ve been paying just two & a half cents for each star musician! (Of course, many of them were sidemen and band members.)

This lovely old piece of Alan Freed Big Beat concert memorabilia is held up and discussed for almost 10 minutes by collector Pete Howard (805-540-0020 cell or, alternately, pete@postercentral.com by email).

To see a few other multi-artist show posters from the dawn of rock ’n’ roll, just roll over to this page of my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/multi-act_1950s.htm

Check out Varick on Digital Printing, Digital Printing NYC



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