Recognizing the significance of American music in popular culture around the globe, the U.S. Postal Service proudly announces the launch of the exciting new Music Icons stamp series in 2013. USPS will inaugurate the series next Wednesday, May 15, with the release of a stamp pane honoring Lydia Mendoza, one of the first and greatest stars of Tejano music. Panes honoring Johnny Cash and Ray Charles will be released later in the year.
As the first three subjects in the new Music Icons series suggest, the performers selected for the series—which can include solo artists as well as groups—will represent diverse eras and types of music. And the look of each stamp in the series will be just as varied. USPS will decide on art type (photograph or painting, for example), colors, typography, and the number of stamps on the pane on a case-by-case basis. “It’s really an open palette,” explains Bill Gicker, creative director of Stamp Services. “We wanted each artist’s personality to shine through.”
All panes issued in the series will feature the Music Icons logo, which will brand each release like a record label would. Each pane will also resemble the sleeve of a 45 rpm single, with the sliver of a record seeming to peek out the top of one side. An enlarged version of the stamp art will appear on the other side of the pane—a record cover of sorts. Taken together, the panes will appear as an enviable collection of 45 rpm records, all different yet all celebrating the incredible diversity of American music.
This isn’t the first time USPS has shone a spotlight on music. The long-running Legends of American Music series began in 1993 with the release of the wildly popular Elvis Presley stamp. Before its final stamps were issued in 1999, the series had saluted the achievements of Broadway musicals and their composers, country and western performers, folk musicians, jazz and blues artists, big band leaders, opera and gospel singers, classical and Hollywood composers, and, of course, the shining stars of rock ’n’ roll and rhythm and blues. Music performers honored in the 21st century include Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin, Roy Acuff, Henry Mancini, Yip Harburg, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Kate Smith. USPS released the Latin Jazz stamp in 2008 and the Jazz and Latin Music Legends stamps in 2011.
Which stamps in the series will you add to your collection?