Postal Service Skips Five Rockers with their Music Icons Stamps

This is the new Jimi Hendrix stamp, issued on March 13 as part of the USPS Music Icons series.

 Jimi Hendrix Stamo 2014

Later this year, Janis Joplin will also be honored with a stamp.

Janis Joplin

It’s interesting to note the Postal Service chose to introduce Hendrix and Joplin stamps in the same year. They both died of drug overdoses within sixteen days of each other in 1970.


The Music Icons series debuted in 2013 with Ray Charles and Johnny Cash stamps.

Ray Charles Stamp

 Johnny Cash Stamp


As mentioned on ElvisBlog two weeks ago, Elvis will be honored with a Music Icon stamp in 2015, as will James Brown.

James Brown

Also chosen for future Music Icon stamps (year-to-be-determined) are Sam Cooke and Roy Orbison.

 Sam Cooke

Roy Orbison


So, you have to acknowledge that the Postal Service has made some good picks as Music Icons:

Elvis Presley
Jimi Hendrix
Janis Joplin
Ray Charles
Johnny Cash
Sam Cooke
Roy Orbison


However, it’s a mystery to me why they never continued with their Legends of American Music collection that came out in 1993. In addition to Elvis, this set included:

Bill Haley Stamp

Clyde McPhatter Stamp

Buddy Holly Stamp

Otis Redding Stamp

Ritchie Valens Stamp


For twenty years, no additional Legends of American Music stamps were issued. No more rockers honored. Now, two decades later, this omission is being rectified with the new Music Icon series.

But, what mystified me the most was why five charter members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are not included in either series. Why are they ignoring the following inductees from the 1986 inaugural class?


Chuck Berry

Fats Domino

Jerry Lee Lewis

The Everly Brothers

Little Richard


I’m fine with Hendrix, Joplin, Cash, Charles, Brown, Cooke and Orbison getting new stamps.

But, why would the Postal Service skip over five of the most important figures in the birth of rock and roll? It took me a while to figure it out. Every person honored or scheduled to be honored in the Music Icon series is deceased. The same thing was true for the Legends of American Music set when it came out.

So, the answer to my quandary seems to be that the five Hall of Fame pioneers (except for Phil Everly) are still alive. For some reason, the Postal Service chooses to create stamps only for dead rock stars. I’m not sure this makes good sense. The omitted early rockers are now all over eighty years old. What’s wrong with exalting them on a stamp while they are still around to appreciate it?

So, Postal Service, how about honoring these originators of rock and roll in the Music Icon stamp series as soon as possible:

Chuck Berry
Fats Domino
Jerry Lee Lewis
Everly Brothers
Little Richard

You can’t get more iconic than these guys.


© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.


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