Ray Charles Is Third Inductee Into Music Icons Series

Recording artists Ashanti, Kenny Rogers, and Chaka Khan, and Reverend Jesse Jackson were among the luminaries who honored Ray Charles this week. At ceremonies held in Atlanta and Los Angeles on Monday, the legendary singer was inducted into the Music Icons stamp series.

The first event, held at Morehouse College’s Ray Charles Performing Arts Center, featured performances by Ashanti and the Morehouse College Glee Club. The second event, held at the Grammy Museum, featured performances by Chaka Khan and Summer Sessions.

Recording Artist Ashanti performs at the Ray Charles stamp dedication ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Recording artist Ashanti performs at the Ray Charles stamp dedication ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

“Frank Sinatra, himself a stamp honoree, once characterized Ray Charles as ‘the only true genius in show business,’ and certainly, if anyone was a musical genius, it was Ray Charles,” said U.S. Postal Service Judicial Officer William Campbell, who dedicated the stamp at the Atlanta ceremony. “Despite being blind and having a young life marked by tragedy, hardship and tremendous challenges, Ray Charles went on to have a remarkable 58-year career playing music that blurred the lines of jazz, gospel, blues and, in later years, country. In doing so, he became the personification of the American Dream.”

Chaka Khan performed at the Ray Charles stamp dedication ceremony at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

Chaka Khan performs at the Ray Charles stamp dedication ceremony at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

“It is with great pleasure that we honor a man who not only had an incalculable impact on the face of contemporary soul, R&B, gospel and rock, but also touched people individually,” said U.S. Postal Service Sales Vice President Cliff Rucker, who dedicated the stamp at the Los Angeles event. “The third in our new Music Icons series, Ray Charles’ stamp, another tribute to his legacy, will join those of distinguished performers Lydia Mendoza and Johnny Cash, which were dedicated earlier this year. And how fitting that Ray Charles and Johnny Cash, who in life were such great friends and recorded two duets together, will be reunited in the form of postage stamps.”

The Ray Charles Forever® stamp is available at usps.com/stamps, by calling 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724), and at Post Offices nationwide. The Music Icons series, which launched May 15, 2013, with the Lydia Mendoza Forever stamp, honored Johnny Cash earlier this year.

Cape Cod Post Office Celebrates the Man in Black


Are those lemon bars? Yum.

The Cotuit, Massachusetts, Post Office on Cape Cod—more than 1,100 miles northeast of Nashville, Tennessee—recently held a Johnny Cash Day, playing his music for customers and celebrating his legacy.

According to Cotuit Retail Associate Kate Armstrong, sales of the Johnny Cash Forever® stamp during the event were strong and everyone enjoyed the entertainment. “The people really got into it, they love it,” she said. “We sold out of all the Johnny Cash stamps we had for the day.”

Have you added the Johnny Cash Forever® stamp to your collection yet? It’s available online at usps.com/stamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and at Post Offices nationwide.

Video Recap: Launching the Johnny Cash Forever® Stamp

“My father’s spirit lives on, and this stamp is a reminder of that,” says Johnny Cash’s son John Carter Cash. His father’s new Forever® stamp (the second in the Music Icons series) was released at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on June 5th.

Check out our inside look at this incredible celebration:

The Johnny Cash Forever® stamp and limited-edition poster are available now at usps.com/stamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and at Post Offices nationwide.

U.S. Goes Crazy for Johnny Cash Stamp

On June 5th, communities large and small around the country celebrated the dedication of the Johnny Cash Forever® stamp (the second stamp in the Music Icons series) with a bunch of fun events, most of them featuring performances of Cash’s unforgettable music.

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The official First Day of Issue ceremony took place at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, where the performers were Cash’s son John Carter Cash, Randy Travis, Larry Gatlin, Jamey Johnson, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Roys, and Marty Stuart. The ceremony concluded with everyone taking the stage to perform Cash’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Incredible,

The stamp presentation at the Chicago Main Post Office included performances of “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Ring of Fire” by the cast of “Million Dollar Quartet.” “Million Dollar Quartet” is based on the 1956 night Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins were together in the same recording studio.

A stamp event at the Candlelight Pavilion in Claremont, CA, was conducted before the start of the Johnny Cash Tribute Show, which features singer James Garner and includes music and storytelling.

970822_10151700576196228_1657698550_nAnd one Post Office even celebrated with lemon bars and Johnny Cash’s music. Fun!

Did your community celebrate the release of the Johnny Cash stamp? Tell us all about in the comments.

Breaking News: Photographer Frank Bez to Sign Johnny Cash Stamps Tomorrow (6/19)

An enlargement of the Johnny Cash Forever® stamp will be unveiled during a special dedication ceremony at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, in the garden area of the Avila Beach Post Office (191 San Miguel Street, Avila Beach, California).

JohnnyCash-Forever-pane-BGv2Special guest will be famed photographer Frank Bez, who took the original 1963 photo featured on the stamp. Mr. Bez will share his recollections of Johnny Cash and the famous photo shoot, as well as sign sheets of the Johnny Cash stamps.

Bez’s career was set in motion about 60 years ago when he was given a 616 Kodak camera for his birthday. After a stint in the Army as a videographer, he landed in Hollywood and started photographing some of the most spectacular stars of the 1950s and 60s, including Natalie Wood, Raquel Welch, Angie Dickinson, Duke Ellington, Jim Morrison, and Johnny Cash. Bez is now retired and resides in Avila Beach.

Johnny Cash stamp sheets autographed by Mr. Bez will be sold at the Avila Beach Post Office after the June 19 event while supplies last.