26 September 2013

Music Icon - Ray Charles



Date of Issue : 23 September 2013

The U.S. Postal Service proudly honors inspiring musician Ray Charles with a stamp, one of several that inaugurates the Music Icons series. This extraordinary composer, singer, and pianist, blind since childhood, went beyond category, blending blues, gospel, country, jazz, and soul music in a unique and highly influential pop music style. His many hits included “I’ve Got a Woman,” “Georgia on My Mind,” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You.”


Celebrating the life and work of a musician beyond category, this First Day Cover (#6-3/4 envelope) bears an affixed Ray Charles Forever® stamp featuring a photograph of Charles taken later in his career.The full-color cancellation shows a vintage 45 rpm record tucked into a paper sleeve, which bears the official date and location of the stamp issuance. The record jacket is labeled with the words “Ray Charles, Music Icons.”

The stamp art features an image of Charles, taken later in his career, by photographer Yves Carrere. The stamp sheet was designed to evoke the appearance of a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the sheet includes the stamps and the image of a sliver of a record seeming to peek out the top of the sleeve. A larger version of the photograph featured on the stamp and the logo for the Music Icons series appear on the reverse side.

Looking back over the course of his long career, there seemed to be little Charles couldn’t do. His work spanned almost the entire breadth of American music and brought him 17 Grammy Awards, plus an award for lifetime achievement in 1987. His many other prizes include the National Medal of Arts, awarded in 1993, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986. That same year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He performed at the White House many times for several different presidents.

Ray Charles Music CD


Along with the Ray Charles Forever® stamp, the U.S. Postal Service has released a CD with a collection of remastered classics of some of Ray's most stellar performances, and previously unreleased material. It features 13 tracks, including the USPS exclusive bonus track, “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was.” The CD album cover features art from the Ray Charles stamp. It's available for $9.99 in nearly 5,000 Post Offices nationwide and online in the Postal Store.

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