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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Joe Taylor sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his distinction as New York’s “Subway Idol,” and how he beat out thousands for that title. Joe performs several songs from his new CD, “Anything’s Possible.”