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Splatt Gallery's History of Michigan Concert Posters
Volume Two - 1964 to 1966 - Page Two
In the summer of 1964 a long-time legend of the locals in Dowagiac, Michigan, the Dewey Lake Monster gained national attention when a formal investigation was launched, prompted by a large number of sightings and thousands of curiosity seekers descended upon the town. The mystery was left unresolved and the eyewitnesses grew reluctant to ever speak of the creature again.
A Motown Records ad in the August 1, 1964 issue of Billboard magazine.
Poster/ad for Dick Clark’s “Caravan of Stars” show at the Rosenblatt Stadium, Omaha, Nebraska on August 2, 1964, featuring Michigan artists the Supremes, the Reflections, and Brenda Holloway.
Two Motown Records ads in the August 29, 1964 issue of Billboard magazine.
Ladies and Gentlemen…Detroit’s first rock poster artist! (Even though rock posters don’t actually exist yet, and by the time they do, he is no longer in Detroit… minor details.)
Stanley Miller was born in Fresno, California where his father worked as an animator in Walt Disney’s studio. Seeking better wages, he moved his family to Detroit and made a good living as a sign painter. Stanley inherited his father’s artistic talent and through his school years he filled notebooks with drawings of cars and monsters. Because he was quiet and shy (or possibly because of his dad’s association with Disney), he acquired the nickname “Mouse” which he turned into a brand name to associate with his art.
Stanley Mouse was expelled from Detroit’s MacKenzie High School in 1956 for painting over a mural, which ironically led him to finish his education at Detroit's Society of Arts and Crafts near Wayne State University. He became somewhat of a teenage celebrity, pin-stripping cars and making t-shirts, at first by using his father’s screen printer and soon after with an airbrush.
His parents were very supportive and his father became his road manager on the hot rod show, Autoramas and state fair circuits, while his mother handled his growing mail-order business (and later ran the Mouse House head shop in Ypsilanti). At this time he was a contemporary and rival of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, whom Mouse would claim had created his famous Rat Fink character based on some of Mouse’s cartoon characters. (For Roth’s side of the story, go here - http://www.dialbforblog.com/archives/789/ - the links from there can also take you on a deep dive into everything from Kustom Kulture to the Hell’s Angels.)
In 1965, Stanley packed up and moved to San Francisco where he fell in with a bunch of artists, in particular, Alton Kelley, and began designing rock concert posters for Bill Graham’s shows at The Fillmore. The team of Mouse and Kelley created some of the most iconic rock art of all time, including the Zig-Zag Man posters, the Grateful Dead’s Skull and Roses motif, and Journey’s album covers.
This photo shows Stanley and some buddies working his booth at the 1964 Michigan State Fair. We will also admit that our beloved Splatt Gallery logo was inspired by Stanley Mouse’s “Ice Cream Kid” that he made for the Grateful Dead’s Europe ’72 album cover. Our Detroit Rock Poster Show features many examples of the art of Stanley Mouse, including some nice, pretty rare items.
The Beach Boys – I Get Around (1964)
A 1964 Stanley Mouse ad for Mouse! Decals featuring “Rot-Eye”, taking care of the arch-nemesis Rat Fink.
Another Murray the K Holiday Show in Brooklyn, New York, September 4-13, 1964, with Motown acts Marvin Gaye, the Miracles, Martha & the Vandellas, and the Supremes.
Ticket stub for the screening of The Beatles’ first movie “A Hard Day’s Night” at the State Theater in Ann Arbor, Michigan, September 3, 1964, just three days before the Beatles’ first Michigan appearance in Detroit.
Detroit jumped onto the Beatlemania bandwagon in its own inimitable way. WXYZ deejay, Lee Alan, flew down to Miami to secure Detroit's first interview with the band. However, Bob Green at rival WKNR had a friend at Capitol Records who supplied some generic interview material that Green was able to manipulate as if he was doing the interview live and scooped WXYZ before Alan had even landed in Miami. Nevertheless, Alan got his interview and came back to Detroit, selling it as a 45 rpm single called, "A Trip to Miami".
Meanwhile, Tom Clay, who had skipped town following the payola scandal but hadn't traveled too far, ending up at CKLW across the river in Windsor, planned to follow the Beatles back to England. He took along two contest winners and ended up interviewing the band while on set for the filming of "A Hard Day's Night". He also sold a record of his interview but he took it another step further in founding a "Beatles Booster Club", offering to send a personal item of the Beatles to everyone who sent him $1. He got over 80,000 responses (at least a half million dollars in today's dollars), but soon was flooded with complaints when kids ended up with something like a cigarette butt, or more commonly, nothing at all. He again skipped town, this time for California, leaving fellow DJ Dave Shafer holding the bag and getting briefly jailed by the border customs patrol.
But the best stunt was dreamed up by a PR man at The University of Detroit, Bill Rabe, who came up with the "Stamp Out The Beatles Society". He recruited a clean-cut university student to act as the poster boy for the SOBS and delighted in the flood of hate mail that came his way. Rabe didn't really have anything against the Beatles, he was just trying to gain publicity for the U of D as he continued to play it up on his “Ask The Professor” radio show.
The Beatles were actually asked about “the movement in Detroit” to stamp out the Beatles during their first New York press conference and Paul McCartney quipped "we're starting a campaign to stamp out Detroit". An un-related entrepreneur printed up some "Stamp Out the Beatles" t-shirts and gave them to the Beatles and Brian Epstein while they were in Florida.
Worried that the Beatles would pass over Detroit on their upcoming tour in retaliation, a handful of local deejays began hosting Beatles Booster Ball dances around the city to show the city's support and desire to have a concert in Detroit (and lined their own pockets with the proceeds in the process). The Beatles did come to Detroit, playing two sold-out shows at Olympia Stadium on September 6, 1964. Here is some fairly decent color video from one of the shows.
Bill Rabe, by the way, went on to become one of the greatest PR men of all time. While working for the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island (the Miami Beach of the North), he started the International Stone Skipping Tournament, which is still held to this day. He was a prominent member of The Baker Street Irregulars (a worldwide Sherlock Holmes society) and was the Detroit Hatchet Man of The Friends of Lizzie Borden. He started Hush Records which released 45’s that were totally blank and were played during Silent Record Week. He ended up at Lake Superior State University in Sault Sainte Marie where he created the annual “List of Banished Words”, World Sauntering Day, the Unicorn Hunters Club, and the springtime ritual Snowman Burning – all of which continue to be enthusiastically celebrated up there.
The Beatles – Live in Detroit (1964)
A newspaper ad for The Beatles’ first Detroit appearance on September 6, 1964, the show was sponsored by WKNR Keener-13 and although it eventually sold out, tickets were still available the day before the show.
Still playing up on the access that WKNR radio had during the Beatles’ first visit to Detroit, a photo series was featured on the backside of the Keener Music Guide for four weeks.
Former WJBK DJ Tom Clay had skipped town following the 1959 payola scandal but hadn't traveled too far, ending up at CKLW across the river in Windsor. He planned to follow the Beatles back to England following their Detroit debut on September 6, 1964. He took along two contest winners and ended up interviewing the band while on set for the filming of "A Hard Day's Night". He capitalized on his access by selling a record of his interview but he took it even another step further in founding the "International Beatles Boosters Buttons Club", offering to send a personal item of the Beatles to everyone who sent him one dollar.
He got over 80,000 responses (at least a half million dollars in today's dollars), but soon was flooded with complaints when kids ended up with something like a cigarette butt, or more commonly, nothing at all. He again skipped town, this time for California, leaving fellow DJ Dave Shafer holding the bag and getting briefly jailed by the border customs patrol.
Poster for Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars 1964 show in Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, September 7, 1964, with Michigan represented by the Reflections.
A Stateside Records ad touting their acquisition of the Tamla-Motown-Gordy labels for distribution in the UK, newly acquired from the UK label Oriole Records. Oriole was the first UK label to license recordings on a regular basis from the US Tamla and Motown catalogues. Oriole released nineteen Motown singles and seven Motown albums, but none of the releases charted on UK charts.
Stateside, stylized as $tateside Records, happened to acquire the Motown labels at just the right time. Their first release by the Supremes, “Where Did Our Love Go?” entered the UK charts on September 9, 1964 and peaked at #3. The follow-up single, a month later, “Baby Love” became the group’s first #1 single in the UK.
Stateside issued 45 Motown records prior to the establishment of the UK Tamla Motown label, distributed by Stateside’s parent company EMI.
Meanwhile, back in the safety of Walled Lake, far from the downtown dens of weird people, weird music, and weird-smelling cigarettes, WXYZ deejay, Lee Alan had a good thing going since the new owner, Red Cramer, had hired him to host and broadcast from the casino. He was bringing in the Motown acts, Chuck Berry (as we described earlier) and scores of local bands willing to play for nothing in order to get onto the big stage.
The casino (misnamed, there was never any gambling there) was cavernous so the bands really had to turn their amplifiers up. The backstage had the legendary “secret” wall where everyone who had played there since the 1930’s had signed their names – Tommy Dorsey, Louie Armstrong, Woody Herman. And with the star power (and the crowds) that WXYZ was bringing in, it was a heady place for a young musician.
The local band that crushed all competition during Battle of the Bands nights, and eventually became the top spot on the nightly bills was Billy Lee & The Rivieras. It was at one of their crowd-pleasing performances that New York hot-shot producer, Bob Crewe saw the band and immediately took them to NYC. Billy Lee & The Rivieras would never return.
In their place, a few months later, was a new band, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels with a national top-ten hit.
As that record took off like a rocket, the Walled Lake Casino burned down to the ground - on Christmas night, 1965, just hours after the close of the gala Christmas dance.
Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels – Jenny Take A Ride (1965)
Flyer for the WXYZ sponsored dance, hosted by DJ Dave Prince, at the Walled Lake Casino, with the Chiffons on September 11, 1964 and Dion the following night, printed on the back side of the radio station’s weekly hits survey.
A Colby Show Print poster with two names not often seen together, Miles Davis and Aretha Franklin at the Adams-West, “now called Kabuki Theatre” in Los Angeles, California, September 11-12, 1964.
Nine days after the shows in Detroit, the poster for the Cleveland, Ohio show on September 15, 1964 with a nice minimalist concept that looks locally designed.
Released on September 17, 1964, “Baby Love” became the Supreme’s second #1 hit, becoming the first Motown act to have more than one Number One record. By the end of the decade they would have more #1 hits than any other American pop group, with twelve, a record that still stands today.
The Supremes – Baby Love (1964)
Two weeks after the Beatles made their Detroit debut, Bob Dylan made his second Michigan appearance, again in Ann Arbor, at the Ann Arbor High School, September 19, 1964, poster by an unknown artist.
A fascinating poster by an unknown artist for a non-database show at Ford Auditorium in Detroit, Michigan, September 21, 1964. The Detroit Courier newspaper’s “First Annual Jazz Poll – Comb & Clipper Contest Awards Show” that combined divisional jazz poll winners with contest-winning hair stylists.
“The Current Leaders” in the jazz contest were Johnny Trafton, a saxophonist, who had started his career as a teen in Detroit’s Paradise Valley, and Jimmy Wilkins, a former member of Count Basie’s band who came to Detroit to manage his uncle’s Webster BBQ restaurant, and was currently working at the Detroit Post Office, performing on weekends.
The poster also lists Martha Jean (The Queen), and a misspelled Aretha Franklin. Tickets were on sale at Grinnell’s, Dexter Music Center, and, of course, “at your favorite barber shop and beauty salon”.
Poster/flyer for the WXYZ sponsored dance, hosted by DJ Dave Prince, at the Walled Lake Casino in Walled Lake, Michigan, with the Billy Lee & the Rivieras on September 25, 1964, the Miracles along with Billy Lee & the Rivieras on the following night, and up-coming shows with the Sunliners on October 10th, and the Panik Revue on October 17th.
The picture sleeve is from the 1996 re-issue and the disc labels are from the original 1964 release of the only single by Billy Lee & the Rivieras, the A-side written by W. Levise (later known as Mitch Ryder) and the B-side written by Levise and guitarist Jim McCarty.
Billy Lee & the Rivieras – You Know (1964)
Billy Lee & the Rivieras – Won’t You Dance With Me (1964)
Flyer for the WXYZ sponsored dance, hosted by DJ Dave Prince, at the Walled Lake Casino, with the Expressmen on October 2, 1964, the Velvettes with Doug Brown & the Omens the following night, and up-coming shows with the Sunliners on October 10th, The Fantastic Panik Revue on October 17th.
An ad for The Disc Shop record store in Ann Arbor, Michigan for the October 2, 1964 edition of The Michigan Daily newspaper that plays both sides of the “Help Stamp Out Folk Music” argument. Offering plenty of classical music albums as the proper antidote to the great unwashed, they nevertheless “Wanted!” customers for the latest Bob Dylan album.
The Beatles’ 1964 UK tour commenced on October 9, 1964 and packed in over 50 shows in two months. They asked their favorite American singer, Mary Wells, to come along, making her the first female opener for the Beatles and the first Motown artist to tour overseas. When she returned, she left Motown for 20th Century Fox Records, her second album for the new label was a tribute to her Fab Four friends, comprising twelve Beatle covers, called “Love Songs to the Beatles”, released in 1965.
Mary Wells – Love Songs to the Beatles (album) (1965)
Flyer for the WXYZ sponsored dance, hosted by DJ Dave Prince, at the Walled Lake Casino, with the Volumes, Terry Randazzo, and The Sensational Sunliners on October 10, 1964, with special guests Ruth Anne & Fottsteps, and up-coming show by the Fantastic Panik Revue and the Indigos on October 17th.
A later, or earlier, version shows Chuck Berry in place of Volumes, but we really can’t confirm either and the Chuck Berry one is black and white, so we like this one.
The black-and-white version with Chuck Berry listed.
Flyer for the WXYZ sponsored dance, hosted by DJ Dave Prince, at the Walled Lake Casino in Walled Lake, Michigan, with The Fantastic Panik Revue and The Indigos on October 17, 1964, with an up-coming show by Neil Sedaka and the Straightaways on October 24th.
One of 1964’s biggest movies was Goldfinger, the third James Bond film. It set off a national spy craze and riding the wave, Edwin Starr launched his career with the song “Agent Double-O Soul”. It was released on the Ric-Tic record label which was a subsidiary of Golden World (the label that we discussed earlier with the Reflections “Romeo & Juliet”). There will be more to come from Golden World.
Edwin Starr – Agent Double-O Soul (1965)
Poster/flyer for Bob Dylan’s third Michigan appearance, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, October 17, 1964.
A newspaper ad for Bob Dylan’s third Michigan appearance, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, October 17, 1964.
A poster for the Plaza Dance & Social Club in Handsworth, England with John Lee Hooker appearing on October 30, 1964.
Poster for the Motortown Revue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 30, 1964. The Supremes were replaced by Stevie Wonder for this show due to an illness of one of the members.
An ad for a Halloween show, October 31, 1964 of the Motortown Revue in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Poster by an unknown artist for the first Michigan appearance by folk singer Judy Collins, on Halloween night, October 31, 1964.
Poster for The Dave Clark Five in Dallas, Texas, right in between their first two Michigan appearances, in Lansing, Michigan on November 4, 1964, and in Detroit on December 18th. They were touring in support of their album, “American Tour”, which despite the title was not a live album, but rather their third, of four, studio albums to be released in 1964.
In this first year of “the British Invasion”, the DC5, and not the Rolling Stones, were the main competition to the Beatles. Their single “Glad All Over” knocked the Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” out of the #1 spot on the UK charts, they followed the Beatles in appearing on the Ed Sullivan TV show, ending up appearing on the Sullivan show 18 times, the most of any British group, they made a movie, “Catch Us If You Can” that was released in between “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help”, and they were the group most asked about during Beatles interviews.
Dave Clark Five – Glad All Over (1963)
Newspaper ad for the Dave Clark 5’s first Michigan appearance, at the Civic Center in Lansing on November 4, 1964.
A full-page Motown Records ad in the November 7, 1964 issue of Billboard magazine for the second album by the Supremes.
From Wikipedia: “With the release of this album, The Supremes became the first act in Billboard magazine history to have three number-one hits from the same album. It was the album that introduced "The Motown Sound" to the masses. It was also, at the time, the highest-ranking album by an all-female group. It remained in the #2 position for 4 consecutive weeks in January 1965, shut out of the top spot by the Beatles' blockbuster Beatles '65 album. “Where Did Our Love Go” remained on the Billboard album chart for an unprecedented 89 weeks.”
Poster for Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars show in Bowling Green, Kentucky, November 18, 1964, with Motown represented by the Supremes and the Velvelettes.
Full-page ad in the November 28, 1964 issue of Billboard Magazine for Motown Records. On the week of this issue, The Supremes song “Baby Love” was knocked off the #1 spot on the Hot 100 chart, after a four week run, by “Leader of the Pack” by The Shangri-Las. The Supremes’ “Come See About Me” would hit #1 three weeks later, on December 19th. Eight days later, on December 27, 1964, The Supremes made their first of what would become seventeen appearances on the Ed Sullivan TV show, performing “Come See About Me”.
The Supremes – Come See About Me (1964)
The back side of the WKNR Keener-13 Music Guide with a photo from the Beach Boys’ first Detroit appearance, at the Olympia Stadium on November 28, 1964. They had already made their first Michigan appearance four months earlier, in Flint on July 20, 1964.
December 5, 1964 ad for the Teen Town TV show, co-produced by DJ Robin Seymour and Art Cervi, better known as Bozo the Clown. The show would eventually become the Swingin’ Time TV show.
A TV Guide listing for Robin Seymour’s Teen Town show.
Newspaper ad with Jackie Wilson and Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, along with Sam Cooke and others, at the Kiel Opera House in St. Louis, Missouri on December 11, 1964.
A full-page ABC-Paramount Records ad in the December 12, 1964 issue of Billboard magazine for the second album by Soupy Sales, called “Spy With A Pie”.
A full-page Motown Records ad in the December 12, 1964 issue of Cash Box magazine.
Masonic Auditorium is Detroit’s oldest entertainment venue that is still operating today under its original name and location. Located within the world’s largest Masonic temple, it opened in 1926 and is still one of the largest theater stages in the country. It was the premier venue for the big Jazz shows since the 1930’s, gradually incorporating folk and pop music. The first rock and roll show was the appearance of the Dave Clark Five on December 18, 1964.
The Dave Clark Five made their first Detroit appearance at Masonic Auditorium, December 18, 1964, a month earlier they had made their first Michigan appearance in Lansing. The DC5 were the direct rivals to The Beatles, boasting the “Tottenham Sound” in response to the Beatles’ Mersey Beat. Their single “Glad All Over” knocked “I Want to Hold Your Hand” off the #1 spot on the UK charts, they were the second “British Invasion” band featured on the Ed Sullivan show, following the Beatles, and they made a movie, “Catch Us if You Can” to compete with “A Hard Day’s Night”. Poster by an unknown artist.
The Dave Clark Five – Glad All Over (1964)
A full-page Motown Records ad in the December 19, 1964 issue of Billboard magazine for the single “Wild One”, the fifth Top 40 single by Martha & the Vandellas.
Martha & the Vandellas – Wild One (1964)
A full-page ad from Jobete Music, the publishing arm of Motown Records noting their success in 1964, with a total of 49 songs that made the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart during the year. The chart shown is from the week of December 19, 1964, with the Supremes’ “Come See About Me” sitting at #1. It would be knocked out of the top spot by “I Feel Fine” by the Beatles, but would rebound and return to #1 on January 16, 1965.
A story in the December 20, 1964 edition of the Detroit Free Press newspaper noting the historical significance of the Supremes’ third #1 single in a row. The article also describes the first annual Christmas week Motortown Revue at the Fox Theater in Detroit, and the week-long screening of the now-legendary T.A.M.I. show at the Michigan Theater
A full-page Tamla Motown Records ad with the single “My Girl” by the Temptations, released on December 21, 1964, their 11th single and first #1 on the Hot 100 Chart, second #1 on the R&B Singles chart.
Also advertised is the single “Ask The Lonely” by the Four Tops, their third single and first Top Ten on the R&B Singles chart, and peaking at #24 on the Hot 100 chart, short of their 1964 debut “Baby I Need Your Loving” which reached #11 on the Hot 100 chart but did not chart on the R&B Singles chart.
The third advertised single is “Shotgun” by Junior Walker & the All Stars, their fifth single and first to chart, impressively at #1 on the R&B Singles chart and #4 on the Hot 100 chart.
Albums being advertised are “How Sweet It Is” by Marvin Gaye, his fifth album; a re-issue of the Supremes’ debut “Meet The Supremes”, and the debut album by the Four Tops.
Volume Two - 1964 to 1966 - continues - HERE
The Supremes performed a week-long engagement at the 20 Grand club in Detroit, August 14-20, 1964, in advance of the release of their second album, “Where Did Our Love Go”, on August 31. The album was the first in Billboard magazine’s history to have three number-one hits from the same album.
A 2004 fortieth anniversary deluxe edition by Hip-O Select included tracks recorded live at the 20 Grand.
Program cover for the “Starlift ‘64” tour of Australia in September 1964 with Del Shannon, the Searchers, Peter & Gordon, and others. It was during this tour that Shannon gave his song “I Go To Pieces” to Peter & Gordon, which became a hit for the duo.
A concise history of Del Shannon’s interactions with other hit singles for other hit groups can be found here:
A Tilghman Press poster for Marvin Gaye with Bobby “Blue” Bland, Al TNT Braggs, Eloise Hester and the Joe Scott Orchestra in Oakland, California on December 10, 1964.