Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Pop concerts this real gone daddy would love to have attended

Taunton? Yes, Taunton. Wherever, I bet it was fun (although I might have given Vince Eager a miss). Cochran, 21 at the time, was to die following a car crash in Chippenham two months later...

But the King of Country Music would be around for another ten months after this 1952 concert in Corinth, Misssissippi. And the King of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe (a hopped-up version of whose "Blue Moon of Kentucky" would actually be the "A" side of Elvis's' first single, "That's All Right", two years later), was on the same bill:
Fast forward to February, 1956 and this gathering in Washington DC (I'm deducing the year from the fact that Roy Hamilton's December 1955 release, "Everybody's Got a Home But Me" is mentioned on the poster as his "new hit"):
And I would have loved to be present at the National Guard Armory, Amory, Mississippi on March 10th 1956 to see Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and, as a special bonus, my favourite rockabilly singer Carl Perkins with his new song, "Blue Suede Shoes".  I don't wish to appear morbid, but Perkins's burgeoning career was catastrophically derailed eleven days after this concert when he and his band were involved in a car crash on their way to New York to appear on the Perry Como Show:
Five months later, Elvis was done co-headlining shows:
The only problem with this next poster for a January 1957 concert in Hartford, Connecticut is that Chuck Berry didn't record "Johnny B. Goode" until the following year. Mysterious. 
I think this terrific-sounding Topeka, Kansas concert took place in 1957, mainly because Chuck Berry didn't record "Roll Over Beethoven" until April 1956.  From his lowly position on the bill, it seems Sir Chucklesworth wasn't as big a draw when it came to black R&B fans as he was with white rock 'n' rolling teenagers: 
The next poster seems to be a generic one for DJ Alan Freed's "The Big Beat" series of shows in 1958 - which were pretty much scuppered when there was a "rock 'n' roll riot" at one of the concerts in Boston in 1958. The disc jockey "payola" - or 'pay to play"- scandal effectively ended Freed's career the following year.
I'd have been happy to catch Buddy Holly again at the Summer Dance Party in Arlington, Texas on May 26, 1958 - especially as the Winter Dance Party would literally be the death of him early in 1959:
Raw rockabilly and rock 'n' roll were already on the wane by the time this next concert took place in Chattanooga, Tennessee in June, 1959. Elvis was in the army, Buddy Holly had died in February, Jerry Lee Lewis's career had hit the skids following the revelation that he had married his 13-year old cousin, and Little Richard had got religion. In order to cross over to the pop charts, black stars were reduced to performing such anodyne fare as the Sam Cooke song highlighted on this poster - "Everybody Loves to Cha Cha", which wasn't exactly his finest hour. But I'm sure he and Jackie Wilson would have been giving it some old-style welly at what was presumably a show aimed at a black audience:
Never mind - American stars knew they'd always find a warm welcome waiting for them here in the UK. Sounds like a lively evening in Bradford on the Everly Brothers/Bo Diddley 1963 tour, supported by a little known gaggle of British no-hopers called the Rolling Stones and some South African loser called Mickie Most, who would go on to produce The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun" the following year:
And lo! seven short months later, that gaggle of British no-hopers - or "England's Newest Hit Makers" as they were billed - were playing the first concert of their first American tour. With Bobby Vee on the bill!:
I think I'd probably have opted to wait until 1965 to see this:
And1966 that to catch this one - what a line-up! (I have no idea what The Box-Tops were doing there, but I expect them being from Tennessee played a part - besides, I adored them):
A quick trip back to England to catch the Stones' 1966 UK tour (with Ike & Tina Turner, The Yardbirds and Long John Baldry!):
And then back to the States for this New York concert in February, 1967:
But let's face it - all of the above concerts would have paled into insignificance compared to this final one. Just imagine - Freddie and the Dreamers and Hermans Hermits on the same bill! It doesn't get better than that - I bet old-timers still talk about that legendary evening in Scarborough: 


  1. I had the good fortune to see Freddy Garrity in Panto in the 1960's. It was in Billingham or Stockton on Tees but I can't quite remember. He was probably awesome but I can't quite remember that either


    1. I am SO jealous, JonT. Or I would be, had I not had the great good fortune to attend a show at the Batley Variety Club in the late '70s headline by none other than PETER NOONE of Herman's Hermits fame. The publishing company I worked for was holding its sales conference in Leeds, and the Head of Hardcover Sales decided this would be just the ticket. (He was 'let go' a few months' later.) Still, the meat pie and chips were good, and Peter Noone did his best. But still...

  2. There is something a bit dodgy here. You've already raised suspicions about the Chuck Berry poster. The Buddy Holly poster has no year given but the date of Saturday 26 May fixes the year as 1956, not 1958, which is well over a year before September 1957, when the advertised recording of Peggy Sue was released.

    So I submit, members of the jury, that the defendant's alibi is torn to shreds and that he cannot possibly have been at Arlington Texas for the purposes described on the day and year in question. Or he has been selling fake posters. I rest my case.

  3. And by the way, to question further the provenance of the Berry poster, while That'll be the Day had been first recorded in 1956, Holly's Decca contract was terminated in January 1957 and the eventually released version of the song was only recorded in February of that year, along with Everyday, making it unlikely that either was well known enough in January 1957 - the date of the poster - to have made it into the public consciousness.

    To add to that, on 26 May 1956 while apparently appearing on the bill in Arlington Texas, Ritchie Valens was a 15 year old school boy with a different name and talent as yet undiscovered.

    Yes, I know. Once again, I acknowledge the need to get out more. But by the way, Bo Diddley is not his real name and (continued page 94)..

    1. All right, already! Sheesh! At least I didn't include the widely-circulated Buddy Holly concert poster featuring a picture of Gary Busey - even I could tell that wasn't kosher.

      I understand - and enjoy - some "fan art", especially mock covers for new titles in a vintage style - e.g. follow-on James Bond titles done in the style of '50s Pan maestro Sam Peffer. Ditto a lot of the film posters done in anachronistic styles. Book covers and film posters tend to be dead boring these days, and I can understand why some enthusiasts with time on their hands feel a desire to liven them up. But what's the point of faking up an old concert poster and then getting easily checkable details wrong? Maybe they're flogging them as the real thing online.

      Cognitive Behavioural Therapy might help with your obsessional behaviour - and I believe it's available on the NHS if you act weirdly enough. Perhaps you should show your GP this blog post and point out the faults in the Buddy Holly concert poster. They'll be pressing the emergency alarm button hidden under the desk after about 30 seconds, I reckon.

  4. Bah! I have stopped you squandering the Gronmark savings on bogus rock and roll poster futures and the only thanks I get is a suggestion that I need to be sectioned for obsessive nerdism.. I shall try to get over it.

    By the way did you know that Big Youth was not his real name and that as Manley Buchanan he had a number of ....(cont p 94).