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    B.B. King, Mary Wells, Gene Chandler 1962 Chicago Concert Poster. An original cardboard jumbo window card advertising a "Summer Revue" of musicians performing for two nights in early summer 1962 at Chicago's Ashland Auditorium. The top five artists were all chart successes and all get photos on the poster: B.B. King, Gene Chandler (interestingly referred to by his hit record, "The Duke of Earl"), Mary Wells, Syl Johnson and Shep and the Limelites. Measures 22" x 28" and grades to Very Good Plus condition. COA from Heritage Auctions.

    More Information: B.B. King was a touring machine his entire career, and singles didn't mean much to him after his run of R&B hits on RPM Records in the 1950's. Still, it's worth pointing out that "B" (what his friends called him) was just coming off a Top 20 R&B hit at this time, "Gonna Miss You Around Here." He had two albums out this year: Blues in My Heart and Easy Listening Blues.

    Chicago hometown hero Gene Chandler broke in a huge way earlier this year when his classic hit "Duke of Earl" spent multiple weeks atop both the Pop and R&B singles charts in Billboard. He certainly milked it (not a bad thing), donning a top hat, tails and cane and sometimes going by "The Duke of Earl," like on this window card.

    Mary Wells is the sleeper here, the First Lady of Motown for the label's first few years. Long before there was Diana Ross or Martha Reeves there was Mary Wells, whom Berry Gordy Jr. signed at age 17. She rewarded him with two Top 10 R&B hits in 1961 and then really took off in '62. First "The One Who Really Loves You" went Top 10 both Pop and R&B in the spring, and then Mary followed them with two #1 R&B smashes this year: "You Beat Me to the Punch" and "Two Lovers," both of them also Top 10 Pop hits for Motown. She had to be a candidate for The Queen of Soul at this time in her career. (The career-defining "My Guy" would be two years hence.)

    Syl Johnson was only 22 years old at this point, but he would carve out a nice career for himself going forward, peaking with the Top 10 R&B hit "Take Me to the River" in 1975 (covered famously by Talking Heads). Shep and the Limelites were best known for their huge crossover hit "Daddy's Home" in 1961, but also had a Top 10 R&B hit earlier this year to keep on the circuit.

    Condition details: The main problem with this poster was created at the printers at the time of manufacture: black ink smudging. Visually apparent in "Aud.," "Buren St.," "Spin Span," "Duke," "Syl," "Odessa/Johnny," "Many" and the musicians' photos a little. Otherwise, there's just a small edge ding in the upper left under the "A," and three very lightly creased corners which don't come close to breaking color and mostly visible on the verso.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2021
    16th-18th Friday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 322

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