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    Description

    Bill Haley and His Comets Summer 1955 Concert Poster w/"Rock Around the Clock".
    A vintage window card dating from the very moment the iconic "Rock Around the Clock" was #1 on the nation's hit parade. This rare cardboard poster has many highlights: it features a photo of the full six-man group, instead of just Haley; its venue information is printed in bright red instead of the customary black; it carries the catchy and familiar red & yellow-striped motif; and it has four great songs listed at the bottom, including the song that changed the world.

    This is the oldest Bill Haley & His Comets concert poster that Heritage Auctions has ever auctioned, and the only one ever with this design.

    "America's No. 1 Recording Stars", it proclaims across the top, a direct reaction to "RATC" having ascended to #1 in Billboard magazine just a month earlier, where it would remain for two months. "Ocean Beach, New London", in the state of Connecticut; "Sun., Aug. 14" with no year needed to be given.

    In addition to "RATC", the other strong song titles on the poster include "Dim, Dim the Lights", which reached #11 in early 1955; "Crazy Man Crazy", the group's first charting single from 1953; and the legendary "Shake, Rattle and Roll", their first Top 10 hit from 1954.

    In vintage Rock & Roll concert-poster collecting, there is simply nothing better than a Bill Haley & His Comets concert poster with "Rock Around the Clock" on it - and while it was their current hit, no less. If you ask the man on the street who the world's first mainstream Rock & Roll star was, you'll usually get "Elvis Presley". But Elvis was second. Bill Haley was, indisputably, the world's first Rock & Roll star. He owned the genre for one year only: 1955, when Elvis was charting a couple of Top 5 C&W hits but nothing yet in the pop world.

    Upon its re-release in the spring of '55, "Rock Around the Clock" ascended to #1 and stayed there for much of the summer. Haley's star shone super-bright through the fall and winter of '55, then started fading as soon as Elvis released "Heartbreak Hotel."

    This familiar design with red & yellow stripes was used on Haley posters for several years in the '50s. Naturally, every poster that came after this mentioned the famous song. But the ones before this did not. This is the first example known to collectors that mentions the famous song; the previously known one, from May 22, does not.

    This window card was printed by Posters Inc. in Philadelphia; says "Printed in U.S.A". in the lower left; and in the lower center has the highly unusual words "Design No. 735 (14 x 22)", referring to its dimensions. Some might think this signals a reproduction, but no; this is unequivocally and indisputably a vintage original that was printed in the spring or early summer of '55, before the show to advertise and sell tickets. Interestingly, Posters Inc. left that size designation on the bottom of all their Haley posters for the next few years.

    Measures 14" x 22 1/4" and in Very Good Plus condition, with many surface creases in the four corner areas, but none of them breaking color. The top two corners appear to have been touched up a bit, and the bottom two are a bit rounded. COA from Heritage Auctions.


    More Information: An absolutely spectacular piece. A case could easily be made that this is an important a piece as an Elvis '50s concert poster. You still hear "Rock Around the Clock" at weddings, in supermarkets and on the radio regularly to this day, much more than you hear "Heartbreak Hotel". Haley's performance of this song is part of the American musical lexicon that's burned into the pop-culture consciousness of the general public, worldwide. Here's a chance to own an advertising poster from when it was a brand new phenomenon.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2019
    20th-21st Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 943

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