This rare cardboard poster by the famous Murray Printing Company in New York, advertised Arlo Guthrie playing at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, just south of Boston. The facility opened in 1951 on the “horse grounds” of the Bancroft Estate in Cohasset where plays, musicals and operettas were staged during the summer, seating 1,000 people.
Known for the circular rotating stage and no one being further than 50 seats from the stage, it is still running today. By 1969 there was a mix of acts and presentations - the musical “Mame” played for a five-day run before this show. The poster is printed on cardboard and we suspect no more than 300 were printed and only a handful probably still survive. This one is signed by Guthrie, “Peace, Arlo.”
Arlo Guthrie's career exploded in 1967 with the release of "Alice's Restaurant", whose title song premiered at the Newport Folk Festival, and helped foster a new commitment among the '60s generation to social consciousness and activism. Arlo went on to star in the 1969 Hollywood film version of "Alice's Restaurant", directed by Arthur Penn which was released about 5 weeks after this concert.
Also on this poster is the coming attraction. Joni Mitchell. Her second album, Clouds,” had come out recently in April 1969 and she was touring pretty steadily throughout the year, playing at a variety of venues from Carnegie Hall to coffeehouses to the Troubadour in LA and the Fillmore East. This concert, July 20, was just three weeks before Woodstock - which Mitchell famously missed - and had a special excitement in the air as the concert was paused briefly to watch Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin make their Giant Step for Mankind” on the lunar surface.