Forever Cash - Stamp Unveiled Next Week In Nashville

Image635055061966041049In tribute to the legends responsible for making American music part of global culture, the U.S. Postal Service announced earlier this year, the launch of a new Music Icons stamp series.

Wednesday, June 5, music fans will gather for the unveiling of the U.S. Postal Service's Johnny Cash stamp on  at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN.   This event is free and open to the public.

Starting at 10:30 a.m., a special ceremony will recognize the Man in Black's contributions to music and pop culture, followed by a series of appearances from a few of Johnny Cash's closest friends and family including John Carter Cash, Carlene Carter, the Oak Ridge Boys, Randy Travis and Marty Stuart.

Johnny Cash is memorialized in a limited-edition Forever stamp, to issued by the U.S. Postal Service on June 5, 2013. For the stamp art, art director and stamp designer Greg Breeding chose a photograph of Johnny Cash taken during the photo session for Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash (1963). The photo was taken by Frank Bez for Columbia Records (now part of Sony Music Entertainment).

Breeding designed the square stamp and pane to resemble the appearance of a 45 rpm record sleeve.  In the photo, Cash stares out at the viewer through a veil of shadow, his brooding expression fitting for an artist known to so many people simply as “the Man in Black.” 

The stamp is part of U.S. Postal Service's Music Icon Series, which also includes stamps honoring Tejano music star Image635055063961675193Lydia Mendoza (available now) and Ray Charles (to be released in September).

The stamps will  be available for purchase at Ryman Auditorium on June 5 from 9 a.m. until noon,  local post offices and online at usps.com/stamps.

These self-adhesive stamps are being issued in sheets of 16.

Cash found inspiration for his music in the stories of outlaws and laborers, and in his own life experience. A child of the Depression, he grew up in rural Arkansas, and the culture of that time and place—especially the Bible and gospel and country music—remained with him all his life. Themes of redemption, loneliness, love, loss, and death colored his music with a gritty realism that differed markedly from other socially conscious popular music. “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die,” he sings famously in “Folsom Prison Blues.”

By the 1960s, Cash had become one of the top names in country music, with a string of hits that included “Cry, Cry, Cry,” “I Walk the Line,” and the Grammy award-winning “A Boy Named Sue.” Though his popularity waned in the 1970s and 1980s, Cash made a remarkable resurgence in the 1990s, culminating in several more Grammy awards. He Image635055061494484077was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

The Johnny Cash stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate.

Knowing the value of Cash’s huge fan base, the United States Post Office is also making commemorative Johnny Cash Press Sheets (without die-cuts) and other keepsakes for collectors like a #6 3/4 envelope bearing an affixed Johnny Cash stamp and a First Day of Issue color postmark or an official ceremony program and cover. The full-color, custom-designed program features the First Day Ceremony agenda and participants on one side, with narrative about Cash and the stamp design on the reverse. The program is tucked inside a 9 x 6-inch envelope that bears an affixed Johnny Cash stamp and the official First Day of Issue cancellation, along with a United States Postal Service logo and the type “First Day of Issue Ceremony.”

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