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Oddity of the Month

Welcome to PosterCentral.com’s Oddity of the Month, where we have fun with unusual features found on old concert posters. For this section, we will draw upon our archive of 3,000 photographs of boxing-style concert posters from 1920-1970, and present the most unusual, bizarre and amusing highlights that we can find. (Please be sure to send us your own examples, too! And remember, I pay top dollar for old concert posters, even containing miscues and mirth like these.)

Keep in mind that these things were designed to have a lifespan of no more than a few weeks, intended to be torn down and thrown away right after the concert. So a degree of casualness, and indeed even carelessness, often permeated the creative process in making these posters. Now we’re here to have fun with them, decades later - with all due respect intact.


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the Miracles dance and show concert poster

This 1961 early Motown concert poster from Topeka, Kansas for The Miracles (later Smokey Robinson & The Miracles) has a couple of major goofs. First of all, given the fact that “Shop Around” was Motown’s first Top 10 hit and first million-seller makes it all the crazier that they couldn’t get it right on this poster, calling it “Shoppin’ Around” instead. A cute mistake.

But much more egregiously, somebody pulled a file photo of The Marcels instead of the Miracles, and into production the wrong photo went! Nobody knew enough to realize that the Miracles had a female member, and didn’t have any Caucasian members. These artists weren’t unknown quantities… both acts had national Top 10 records earlier in the year, the Marcels having scored a #1 hit with a raucously uptempo version of “Blue Moon” in the spring. Ouch! If nothing else, these mistakes signified the naïve era that pop music was still in at the time.

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The Miracles (comprising Smokey Robinson, Claudette Rogers/Robinson, Bobby Rogers, Ronnie White and Warren Moore – but none of them are pictured; instead you have The Marcels’ Cornelius “Nini” Harp, Ronald “Bingo” Mundy, Gene Bricker, Richard Knauss and Fred Johnson), supported by Popcorn and the Mohawks Orchestra, in concert with a Dance & Show at the Meadow Acres Ballroom in Topeka, KS on Sunday, Nov. 5, 1961.

Check back often to see a fun new oddity here.
A tease of our Coming Attractions:

    concert posters from crazy venues, such as roller rinks, high school gyms, grammar school gyms, and even a “tobacco warehouse”!     outrageous artist misspellings, from “Bob Dillon” and “The Beetles” to “Otis Reeding” and “Pink Floydd”! (We kid you not!)
lots of crazy statements that were serious at the time but look silly now. For instance: “Please note - ladies must wear skirts” (Paul Revere & The Raiders, Portland, Oregon 1963). the coolest posters of concerts that were canceled… such as The Rolling Stones’ first-ever (attempted) visit to Liverpool in 1963, and a Bob Dylan show from after his motorcycle accident in 1966.
  cash for your stuff, talk with Pete signs     a crazy James Brown concert poster where he listed himself as the headliner and in all three supporting slots as well!   a 1969 Jazz Festival poster with Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock and… Led Zeppelin???  

two different concert posters at two entirely different venues… by the same well-known R&B artist… on the same night! Did he run back & forth between the two gigs?

    in 1964, when Beatlemania was new and the lawyers hadn’t clamped down yet, a group of mixed-ethnicity musicians calling themselves “The Tan & Brown Beatles”! (On a very legitimate bill with The Isley Brothers and The Drifters, no less!)

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