http://www.postercentral.com A vintage big-band Tommy Dorsey window card dating to 1941 from central New York state.
The venue for this show was the Geo. F. Johnson Pavilion in Johnson City, NY, right outside of Binghamton.
This Tommy Dorsey poster board measures 14×22” in size, very much the standard for such items back then.
Also following the usual pattern, it was made on stiff cardboard, so it stands up nicely all by itself. Paper ones obviously wouldn’t.
Besides the obviously black ink and white cardboard, this Tommy Dorsey show poster features a healthy dose of red color – very catchy for potential customers strolling by.
But as I show you in this video, this exact design was also printed using orange and green colors, and probably a couple of others, too.
I love the way this Tommy Dorsey in-person poster calls him “The Sentimental Gentleman,” definitely his nickname back in the day.
In fact, other examples of this poster take it one step further and refer to him as “The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing.” I’m sure he was happy with either.
It’s funny how no other musicians are named on this Tommy Dorsey billboard. All it says after his name is, “His Trombone and his Orchestra.”
Well, that’s a shame because none other than Frank Sinatra was one of his band members at the time, handling many of the lead vocals.
So I guess you could call this a Tommy Dorsey-Frank Sinatra concert poster, but many people would be put off by that because Ol’ Blue Eyes is not mentioned on the board.
Which is too bad, because there’s clearly room down in the lower right-hand corner for other musicians to be named in small print!
I have no idea why, but this Tommy Dorsey concert placard has no printer’s credit at the bottom. Thus, we don’t know who printed it.
But that was common back in the 1930s… and in fact, still is to this day. Many companies always credited themselves (like Tilghman), but many others usually didn’t (Hatch Showprint).
Notice how this Tommy Dorsey event poster also gives his management company on there… at the very top of the red area.
“Management – MCA – Music Corporation of America,” it states. With very prominent placement, I might add… usually management credits were relegated down to the poster’s bottom margin.
The time of the event as given on this Tommy Dorsey appearance poster is stated simply as, “Dancing 9-1.” No zeroes, no AM, no PM, etc… just that simple phrase.
What that suggests is that the Johnson Pavilion had a steady clientele and lots of big bands passing through, so all they needed to see was “9 – 1” to get the message.
And then possibly the coolest thing about this Tommy Dorsey tour placard is the “Admission .00” notification. I mean, c’mon… the Dorsey big band with the Chairman of the Board (Sinatra) for just a buck? That’s cool beyond words.
Sometimes old big-band posters would give the price of admittance per couple, not individuals, but this is obviously per person.
In this video, besides the red one, I also show you an orange Tommy Dorsey ticket poster that dates from three years earlier – 1938.
That poster’s venue information up top is much busier… it contains about 45 words, whereas this one only has about 15.
Otherwise, the design of that orange 1930s Tommy Dorsey cardboard poster is exactly the same as the red one… just the color is different.
Oops, there is one more small difference… the orange one adds “of Swing” to his “Sentimental Gentleman” title, as I was discussing earlier.
The basic design of this Tommy Dorsey concert announcement was used for several years… possibly as early as 1936 and going well into the 1940s, even past the end of WWII.
If you know of any images of this poster from other years or venues, perhaps I could please ask you to email them to me so that I can continue to compare and educate myself.
What’s odd is that I’ve never seen a Tommy Dorsey boxing-style concert poster in any other size other than this… as I said, the standard 14 inches wide by 22 inches tall.
That’s odd because jumbo-sized posters were also ubiquitous in this era, which clocked in at 22 inches wide by 28 inches tall.
Remember, Tommy was part of a famous duo with his brother, too. So before I’m through, I’ll be blogging both a Dorsey Brothers concert poster and a Jimmy Dorsey window card, plus the Tommy one I’m doing now. I’ll get to them all!
These two – actually, three – pieces of old Tommy Dorsey concert memorabilia are shown to you today by Peter J. Howard of California. Yes, that’s me talking, and I can be phoned on 805/540-0020 or written to thru firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see another Tommy Dorsey pole poster from this era, but of a slightly different design, just click over to the following page here on my hobby web site: http://www.postercentral.com/bigbandvocalists.htm