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    Little Richard 1952 "Crown Prince of the Blues" Earliest Known Concert Poster. An original cardboard window card advertising rock 'n' roll founding father Little Richard, very early in his career, playing at the New Era Club in Nashville, Tennessee beginning on Friday night, November 7, 1952. Although lots of song titles are given on the poster, this was three full years before Mr. Penniman charted anything on any Billboard magazine chart. This blue & white concert poster was made by the Hatch Show Print company out of Nashville, TN - the same city as the club.

    "The Crown Prince of the Blues," the poster proclaims, as Richard launched his career during the post-World War II jump blues era. Four song titles are then listed: the A- and B-sides of his first two singles for RCA Records, the label that initially signed him. His first single for Nipper from November 1951 was "Taxi Blues" b/w "Every Hour," and its follow-up from February '52 was "Get Rich Quick" and "Thinkin' 'Bout My Mother." It was still a long way to go before "Tutti-Frutti" broke big for Richard in late 1955 (Top 5 R&B, Top 20 Pop). You gotta love the way this poster informs patrons who he was: "Song Stylist with an Excellent Voice Singing All the Popular Tunes As You Like Them." And then that ever-so-catchy and quaint bottom line: "Fast Floor Shows Nitely." Wow!

    This is the only specimen of this poster that exists, it's safe to say, and this is the first time it's ever been publicly sold. It's now or never on this one! Measures 13 7/8" x 21 3/4" and grades to Very Good condition. COA from Heritage Auctions.

    More Information: Poster was once quarter-folded to fit into Hatch Show Print's files. Has been flattened for decades, but some blue color was broken in the lettering, mostly on the vertical crease (see "R" in "Era," "O" in "Nov." and "H" in "Richard"). The crease became a split (or tear) in its bottom three inches, which was amateurly mended and strengthened with three simple pieces of cello tape. The "S" in "Shows" at the bottom is most impacted. Poster has an expected small portion of dirt and grime marks scattered throughout its surface, and light toning to the white over the years.

    On the verso, the board has a large 5" x 8" area in the upper left that has the visual appearance of the top layer of paper torn away, as in a tape lift. Since it's hard to imagine how this could have happened, we're guessing it was an imperfection in the original blank piece of cardboard, especially since it's all very smooth to the touch. The back also has light stains in 3-4 places, and "52" written in tiny ink down in the corner. The horizontal crease breaks paper all the way across, affecting its structural integrity a bit. The board still stands up fine on its own, but there's no question it's weak across that middle fold.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2021
    1st-2nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 24
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 383

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