1993 Rock ‘n’ Roll/Rhythm & Blues
Legends of American Music
- First booklet stamps in the Legends of American Music Series
- Issued at the same time as #2724-30 sheet stamps
Stamp Category: Commemorative
Set: Legends of American Music Series
Value: 29c First-Class postage rate
First Day of Issue: June 16, 1993
First Day Cities: None. First Day Cancels were done and ceremonies were held inCleveland, Ohio (site of the future Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame) and at the Santa Monica Pier in California with Dick Clark, former host of American Bandstand as the MC. These were not designated official First Day Cities because the stamps went on sale nationwide on the same day.
#2731 = 98,841,000 – Elvis appeared twice on the pane of 8; once on the pane of 4
#2732-34 = 32,947,000 – Bill Haley, Clyde McPhatter, and Ritchie Valens each appeared once on the pane of 8
#2735-37 = 65,894,000 – Otis Redding, Buddy Holly, and Dinah Washington appeared on both the pane of 8 and the pane of 4
Printed by: Multi-color Corp. for American Banknote Company
Printing Method: Photogravure
Format: Semi-jumbo stamps; printed in booklet panes of 8 and 4, though there are seven stamps in the set.
Perforations: 11 horizontally on one or two sides
Why the stamps were issued: They were issued as part of the new Legends of American Music Series to honor two original styles of American music and the artists who made them popular. Each stamp satisfied the First-Class postage rate.
About the stamp designs: Designers were Mark Stutzman (Elvis, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and Bill Haley); John Berkey (Otis Redding, Dinah Washington, and Clyde McPhatter).
Special design details: At first glance, the design of the new Elvis stamp (#2731) is the same as the first in the series (#2721). In fact, it had two design changes. Instead of one “ticket stub” at bottom left there are two: one bearing Elvis’ first name, and another his last. Both names are also in smaller type than the first Elvis stamp.
The only other singer in the set besides Elvis who has the torn ticket stub behind his name is Bill Haley. All singers have their first and last names in white lettering, one in each black box.
About The Series: TheLegends of American Music Series debuted on January 8, 1993 and ran until September 21, 1999. More than 90 artists are represented from all styles of music: rock and roll, rhythm and blues, country and western, jazz and pop, opera and classical, gospel and folk. In addition to individual singers and Broadway musicals, subjects include bandleaders, classical composers, Hollywood songwriters and composers, plus conductors and lyricists.
The Legends of American Music Series was a huge advancement for diversity because it honored many Black and female artists.
The 29c “young Elvis” – #2721, kicked off the series in a big and very public way. Its design was voted on by over one million Americans, about 75% of whom favored the young Elvis over the “old Elvis” version.
History the stamp represents: When Elvis died in 1977, fans around the nation immediately wanted a stamp honoring him. After ten years, he was eligible to appear on a US stamp, and requests poured in. A decade later, the postmaster general hinted at issuing a stamp to honor Elvis along with other major American music figures. While many people liked the idea of an Elvis stamp, he was also a controversial subject due to his history of drug use. However, after a long debate, Elvis was chosen for the first stamp in the new Legends of American Music Series. The big day came on January 8, 1993, which would’ve been Elvis’s 58th birthday. In all, 517,000,000 million of that first Elvis stamp (#2721) were printed, three times the usual print run for a commemorative. The first Elvis stamp of the Legends of American Music Series is the most widely publicized and best-selling US commemorative in history.
A few months later, the second Elvis stamp (#2724) in the Legends of American Music Series was issued. This time it was in a se-tenant set of seven on a sheet of 35 stamps, along with six other Legends of American Music honorees: Bill Haley, Clyde McPhatter, Ritchie Valens, Otis Redding, Buddy Holly, and Dinah Washington.
At the same time, Elvis #2731 was issued in the booklet pane format with these same greats of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Elvis’ stamp was repeated twice on the pane of 8 and once on the pane of 4 which was issued at the same time as part of the booklet.