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    Biggest Show of Stars 1960 Colorful Concert Handbill Starring Many Hit-Makers. A very colorful, original concert flyer from the first Biggest Show of Stars concert tour of the Sixties, just scarcely two months into the exciting new decade. "The Biggest Show of Stars for 1960!" it proclaims in a yellow banner across the top, and then "Winter Edition." This one is from St. Louis, Missouri on Friday, February 26, 1960, and is dominated by the newest trend in pop music at the time - teen idols.

    Any Biggest Show of Stars concert-advertising piece is coveted by collectors, because the talent line-ups and spectacular designs draw in collectors like bees to honey. The tours started officially in 1957, continued through the mid-60's and usually consisted of two or three tours annually. One thing was consistent in all BSOS handbills and posters: outrageously cool graphics using splashy colors, copious photographs of the stars, fun song titles and catchy wording throughout. There are actually collectors out there striving to collect one piece from each of the 15+ tours over that span, be it handbill or poster. But yet they're so very difficult to find.

    This one kicks off the 1960's nicely with pink, yellow, green, white and black colors. A full dozen new stars are trumpeted, plus the orchestra and M.C. Frankie Avalon gets the big headlining spot, because his "Why" ended the 1950's at the #1 spot on Billboard's singles chart. His previous single is also on the flyer, the Top 10 "Just Ask Your Heart." Frankie had racked up eight Top 20 hits the previous two years, so he had earned that headliner status.

    And then everyone follows up with their own claims to success. Highlights: Bobby Rydell had two songs in the Top 40 at this very moment, and in fact would amass six Top 20 hits in 1960! Now that's a year to crow about. Clyde McPhatter was formerly lead singer with the Drifters, and would enjoy big success two years hence with "Lover Please." Johnny & the Hurricanes were a well-known rock instrumental group at the time.

    The Crests would enjoy two Top 20 hits this year, but never reach the success of "16 Candles" again. Freddy Cannon broke into the Top 5 nationally with "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans," so it's nice to see that song on there. Sammy Turner had enjoyed equal success the previous year. Linda Laurie is an interesting inclusion because, while never charting as a singer herself, she went on to write a pair of Top 5 hits in the 1970's: "Delta Dawn" and "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)" for Helen Reddy.

    But it's the Isley Brothers on here that will raise the most rock & roll interest. "Shout!" is such a killer evergreen, such a crowd-pleaser still performed by bands everywhere to this day, and "Twist & Shout" was not far away. Terrific to see the three Isley Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members in the bright yellow box stealing the spotlight there. To their right, the Clovers were gigantic R&B hit-makers throughout the 1950's, so although past their prime, it's great to see a key song title by their name, "Love Potion No. 9."

    Cliff Richard is an out-of-place afterthought here, misspelled with an extra "s" to boot. The flyer doesn't lie: He was indeed "England's No. 1 Singing Sensation," with five Top 10 hits in the U.K. up to this point. But he wouldn't gain any traction in America until the 1970's.

    Measures 6 1/4" x 8 7/8" and grades to Very Good Plus condition, for the miniscule beginning of a tear on the margin to the left of Linda Laurie, a crease in the "N" of "Avalon" which breaks just the tiniest amount of color, a crease in the bottom left corner next to "St. Louis," a slight one under "Paul," and a bump to the lower right corner. On the verso, there appears to be a remnant of what was once a very light horizontal crease, but it's invisible on the front. COA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2020
    6th Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 438

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