News / Arts & Entertainment

    US Postal Service Unveils Music Icon Stamp Series

    U.S. Postal Service Music Icon stamp series - Lydia Mendoza
    U.S. Postal Service Music Icon stamp series - Lydia Mendoza
    Katherine Cole
    Earlier this year, the U.S. postal service revealed plans for a new stamp set called Music Icons. The series shines the spotlight on three American originals.

    The first issue in the Music Icon series honored Lydia Mendoza, a pioneer of Tejano music, the style that comes from the Texas-Mexico border area.

    Lydia Mendoza was 18 years old when she walked into a San Antonio studio and recorded “Mal Hombre” or “Evil Man” in 1934. Known as the “Lark of the Border,” she continued performing into her 70s, and would record more than a thousand songs.  “Mal Hombre” was her biggest hit and even had a bit of resurgence a few years ago after it was used in the soundtrack to Jeff Bridge’s Oscar winning film “Crazy Heart.”

    x
    The art for her stamp uses an old publicity photo of a smiling Mendoza holding her 12-string guitar. The Texas state flag is superimposed over the singer and the stamp looks much like an old, worn, record cover.

    Actor Jesse Borrego, a San Antonio native, was the master of ceremonies at the Lydia Mendoza stamp unveiling.  He says the new stamp helps to cement the legacy that Latinos have had in the United States.  

    “It shows what we represent in terms of being Americans and being from the First World," he said. "So I think commemorating someone like Lydia Mendoza and having her be the kickoff to this musical series that includes the likes of Johnny Cash and Ray Charles is very important for us because it really shows how we are true Americans.  And how important we are. Especially when it comes to something as important as a postage stamp, which lives on forever.”

    US Postal Service Unveils Music Icon Stamp Series
    US Postal Service Unveils Music Icon Stamp Seriesi
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    Johnny Cash, the country music superstar who was known as “The Man In Black,” is featured on the second stamp in the Music Icon series. That stamp features artwork based on a promo photo for his 1963 greatest hits collection “Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash.”

    The Cash stamp was unveiled this month, coinciding with the opening of a new Johnny Cash museum in Nashville, Tennessee. To celebrate the stamp, an all-star revue of country musicians performed at the Ryman Auditorium, as the singer’s son, John Carter Cash, explains:

    x
    “Basically the ‘mother church of country music’ is what it’s known as. It’s where the original Grand Ol’ Opry was," he said. "There was an unveiling and a great musical show. It included The Oak Ridge Boys, Jamey Johnson, Marty Stuart, Randy Travis, Larry Gatlin, my sister Carlene Carter was there, and some other great performers and dear friends.”

    Kathy Cash, one of Johnny Cash’s daughters from his first marriage, spoke at the ceremony. She told the crowd that during her parents’ courtship, her father was serving in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Germany. She estimated that her parents exchanged more than 10,000 letters during those years. John Carter Cash says that letter-writing tradition continued for the rest of his father’s life. And while the younger Cash often relies on email, it’s not likely he’ll step up to the post office counter and buy anything but a Johnny Cash stamp.

    “No, I never will," he said. "I’ve already bought so many sheets that I’ll probably send out every bill for the next 30 years with this stamp!”

    This isn’t the first time the U.S. Postal Service has issued music stamps. The Legends of American Music series began in 1993 with an Elvis stamp and went on to honor Broadway and film composers, jazz and blues artists, big bands, opera singers and more. There have also been stamps honoring Latin music legends, gospel singers and folk musicians. And there is one more to come in the Music Icon series this year. A Ray Charles stamp will be released in September.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.