Skip to main content
Go to accessibility options

    Description

    1950's ROCK & ROLL ADVERTISING AT ITS FINEST

    Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Everly Brothers, Eddie Cochran 1958 Concert Poster. A sensational Rock & Roll advertising window card for "America's Greatest Teen-Age Recording Stars" featuring a stunning graphic design and several members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with their photos and key hit song titles. The charge is led by the legend that is Buddy Holly & the Crickets, starting off the one & only complete, successful year (1958) of Buddy's sadly short-lived career.

    By any measure, this is one of the most spectacular images to ever emerge from 1950's rock & roll concert advertising. A simply gorgeous layout and color scheme to promote a very short tour in the winter of 1958. Just get a load of those eye-popping visuals; it simply does not get any more attractive than this. SIX colors were used... green, black, yellow, white, red and then blue printing up in the venue box. (If you don't think white is an important color, notice that's what "Buddy Holly Crickets" is in.) And how about thirty-three photographs of the musicians, with all but full-length Margie Rayburn displayed in the popular "floating heads" style of the 1950's?

    And we haven't even mentioned the presence of several "spinning discs" yet, a popular graphic touch used often by the esteemed Globe Posters company out of Baltimore, MD. Those little platters are the very definition of "cool" in vintage rock 'n' roll advertising.

    You can pick your favorite musician on here, but the brightest light has to be shone on 21-year-old Buddy Holly and his Crickets. Surprisingly enough, there are very few concert posters or handbills that gave both Buddy's and the Crickets' name together. The 1957 Biggest Show of Stars poster, for example, lists them just as "The Crickets." But here you've got the whole name, on a bright red background, with Buddy's smiling face and two killer song titles. It's just a grand-slam home run for Holly collectors, with a charismatic snap to it that lifts it above most other window cards of the era.

    At this point, Buddy and his Crickets had garnered three Top 10 pop hits: "That'll Be the Day" in the summer of 1957, "Peggy Sue" in the fall and "Oh, Boy!" in the winter. Two of them are plugged on the poster.

    In fact, if you grabbed a Billboard magazine dated January 20, 1958 - the week of this concert - and looked at their "Top 100 Sides" chart, you'd find in the national Top 40, from this very poster:
    #1 - "At the Hop," Danny and the Juniors
    #4 - "Peggy Sue," Buddy Holly
    #8 - "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine," Jimmie Rodgers
    #10 - "Oh, Boy!," Buddy Holly & The Crickets
    #11 - "Silhouettes," The Rays
    #14 - "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz," the Hollywood Flames
    #19 - "Wake Up, Little Suzie," the Everly Bros.
    #34 - "I'm Available," Margie Rayburn
    #35 - "Honeycomb," Jimmie Rodgers

    Topping the bill in very prominent fashion are the Everly Bros., looking fantastic up there with both Don and Phil identified by first name, smiling and looking directly at the camera, all against that sublime mint green background. And "Wake Up Little Susie" is the song plugged... one of the true musical gems of 1950's drive-in-theater innocence, and a record that was #1 for a month the previous fall. (Fans know that we just lost Don this summer at the age of 84. Phil had passed in 2014.)

    And look at the bottom-billed position for future legend Eddie Cochran! He's shouting or singing in his fun little picture, although Eddie's rock 'n' roll evergreen "Summertime Blues" wouldn't explode until later that year... thus, no song title under his name. But he was sure raring to go.

    And then the hits just keep on a-comin'... Jimmie Rodgers with "Honeycomb," a monster hit that was #1 pop for a month, #1 R&B for two weeks and Top 10 C&W the summer before, all Billboard magazine chart positions. The Rays are listed with "Silhouettes," a 50's doo-wop standard that went Top 5 in both pop and R&B; Danny and the Juniors with "At the Hop," an ageless classic that was a big standout in the Woodstock movie a dozen years later; and Paul Anka with "Diana," the million-seller which he wrote, produced and sang as a 15-year-old, creating a lot of "firsts" in pop music at the time.

    Other hitmakers on the poster include the Tune Weavers, who had gone Top 5 the previous fall with "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby"; the Hollywood Flames, who had peaked at #11 with "Buzz-Buzz-Buzz"; the Shepherd Sisters, who had reached the Top 20 the previous fall with "Alone (Why Must I Be Alone)"; and Margie Rayburn, whose "I'm Available" had snuck into the Top 10 in late '57. In a real illustration of how fleeting the new rock 'n' roll scene was at the time, none of these four acts ever had anything else even close to a hit in their careers.

    The other four musicians at the poster's bottom couldn't even claim one hit, but they were along for the ride with hopes & dreams. The Mello-Kings' "Tonite, Tonite" (misspelled on the poster) was never a hit, but actually entered Billboard's singles chart in both 1957 and '61. Jimmy Edwards' "Love Bug Crawl" entered the chart this very week, but peaked at #78. And Al Jones and Billy Brown never charted anything in Billboard. Poor Billy Brown; he doesn't get a picture, a song title, a yellow box or even a spinning disc; even Al Jones got three of those four.

    This particular rare specimen is from Rochester, New York at the Auditorium Theatre on Main Street. The date was Sunday, January 19th of 1958, meaning it was designed and probably printed in 1957. A daytime matinee and evening show is advertised, with tickets scaled from $2.00 up to $3.50. In a highly unusual move, the public is then informed that the "Auditorium Box Office Opens Jan. 10."

    One of the hidden elements of this poster that we love is the fact that the basic background design is actually a circular target. On the mint green background, there's a large white circle; and then within that, a smaller red circle, with a white line across the middle for the Rays. It's wonderful to discover some of the little tricks used by Globe Posters on their old gems like this, all with the aim of grabbing consumers' attention on the street.

    A fantastic ensemble piece lead by two towering giants of 1950's Rock & Roll, this amazing cardboard poster would look gorgeous on anyone's wall, be the keystone of any collection and a constant conversation piece. This board is so rare that it's the very first time Heritage Auctions has had the pleasure of offering one for sale, from any stop on this very brief tour. In fact, there's only three known posters to exist from this brief tour, and one of those is permanently laminated inside plastic. So it's a cliché, but... this might truly be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

    Measures 17" x 22 3/4" and grades to Very Good condition. COA from Heritage Auctions.


    More Information: Board has the patina and handling one would expect from such a poster over 60 years old. The upper left corner has been repaired or restored, which goes right up against the blue "A" but does not cross into it. There was a tear to the right of, and going into the forehead of, the upper right musician in the Hollywood Flames, which has been expertly mended. A two-inch vertical crease in the margin to the left of Danny and the Juniors has been likewise repaired. Same with a half-inch horizontal tear to the direct right of "Shepherd." The lower left corner has a 1 ½" diagonal crease that hits the black box but not the word "Sam"; it's been reinforced with standard cello tape on the verso.

    Throughout the board there are many surface creases, as we said very typical of a piece this vintage, such as a 9 ½" horizontal crease through "Theatre" at the top. There's a benign and barely visible gentle 12-inch crease starting in the white margin to the right of "Stars," crossing into the green color by Phil's head, traveling through the yellow boxes of the Shepherd Sisters and Tune Weavers, and ending at the Hollywood Flames' upper right musician. Along the way, notice the two-inch horizontal crease going through the star by "Phil," and the one-inch horizontal crease that falls midway between the two yellow boxes.

    Other creases include a 3 ½" one through Don Everly's hair, a vertical one that hits "Person" and "Bros.," a horizontal hairline crease intersecting the lower left face in Danny and the Juniors, and a 4 ½" crease which begins under the "K" in "Crickets" and extends down through the second "C" in "Cochran" and "PO" in "Poster." There are other lighter ones as well. There are two small pinholes at the top above the "M" in "Auditorium," and a slightly larger tack hole at the bottom above "Poster." There's a surface scratch in the Tune Weavers box which begins in the "W," goes through the woman's face and "B" but not badly, and finishes to the left of "The" in the Hollywood Flames' box. Finally, there is general toning throughout. Notice the slight black-ink smudging which happened at the printer so is not considered damage, lightly within the red letters of "All in Person" and then more visible in "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby," "Danny and the Juniors," "My Destiny" and, especially, "Mad, Mad World."




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2021
    6th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 29
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,053

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 15% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Nov 6, 2021 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 April 3 Guitars and Musical Instruments Signature® Auction .

    Learn about consigning with us

    We are extremely pleased with your company. Personally, I will ensure that if we go back to Dallas area we ask you guys for Mr. Walker again. I got nothing but praises from you and your team!!
    Rafael Vega,
    Miami, FL
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search