Postal Service Previews New “Music Icons: Elvis Presley Commemorative Forever” Stamp

Today, the U.S. Postal Service previewed the Music Icons: Elvis Presley Commemorative Forever stamp. Launched in 2013, the Music Icons series consists of beloved musicians whose blend of sound and way of life broke musical boundaries. The first inductees were Lydia Mendoza, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. Last year’s inductees were Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

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Elvis Presley, The King of Rock and Roll™, is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. His music and unique performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences, made him enormously popular. “The King’s” influence continues to inspire many of today’s artists, musicians, designers and social influencers.

During his lifetime, Presley starred in 33 films, recorded 18 number one singles, and racked up 14 Grammy nominations and three Grammy wins. He sold out every one of the 1,140 concerts he performed after serving in the Army. To date, no one has ever surpassed his record for scoring the most Top 40 hits, a total of 114. Presley is the first recording artist to have sold more than one billion albums, cementing his status as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Presley left an indelible mark on American pop music, inspiring and influencing thousands of rock musicians. Nearly 40 years after Presley’s death, more than 600,000 people still visit his Graceland home in Memphis every year.

Priscilla Presley will join Postmaster General Megan Brennan in dedicating the stamp on the morning of Aug. 12 at Graceland in Memphis as part of this year’s Elvis Week celebration.

The USPS also joined with Sony Music’s RCA/Legacy Recordings in announcing the upcoming debut of an exclusive music CD titled ELVIS FOREVER that includes an Elvis song, “If I Can Dream,” as you’ve never heard it before. Customers can get this track first by picking up a copy of the commemorative $9.99 ELVIS FOREVER at their local Post Office location and available online beginning August 12 — on the same day as the Elvis Presley stamp dedication ceremony.

The Postal Service previously honored Presley on a stamp in 1993. The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum calls that stamp the most popular U.S. commemorative stamp of all time. This Music Icons: Elvis Presley Commemorative Forever stamp features a 1955 black-and-white photograph of Presley taken by William Speer. In the bottom left corner, between the words “Forever” and “USA,” is a small gold crown, a nod to Presley’s nickname, The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Presley’s signature, in gold ink, also is featured along the right side of the stamp.

The square stamp pane resembles a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the pane includes 16 stamps while the image of a sliver of a record seems to peek out of the top of the sleeve. An image of Presley performing was shot by photographer Alfred Wertheimer and the logo for the Music Icons Series appear on the reverse side (above) of the stamp pane. Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA, served as the art director and designed the stamp pane with Leslie Badani, also of Alexandria, VA.

The following text borders the block of 16 stamps:
“During his illustrious career, rock-and-roll superstar Elvis Presley starred in dozens of feature films, won three Grammy Awards, and recorded 18 number one singles: Heartbreak Hotel, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You, Don’t Be Cruel, Hound Dog, Love Me Tender, Too Much, All Shook Up , (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear, Jailhouse Rock, Don’t, Hard Headed Woman, A Big Hunk O’ Love, Stuck On You, It’s Now Or Never, Are You Lonesome Tonight?, Surrender, Good Luck Charm, Suspicious Minds.

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U.S. Postal Service and Sweden Post to Jointly Issue Ingrid Bergman Stamp

Forever Stamp to be Dedicated Aug. 20 in Sweden

The U.S. Postal Service and Posten AB of Sweden has announced that award-winning actress Ingrid Bergman will be honored as the 19th stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series. The stamp will be issued jointly by the Postal Service and Sweden Post and go on sale
Aug. 20. Special ceremonies will be held later.

The stamp art features a circa 1940 image of Bergman taken by Laszlo Willinger, known for his pr15_039portraits of celebrities. Artist Kristen Monthei digitally colorized the image. Monthei also colorized the selvage photograph, a still of Bergman from Casablanca. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp pane.

Bergman lit up the silver screen for decades, starring in a variety of European and American films. She won three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, and the Tony Award for best actress. She is best remembered for her timeless portrayals of Ilsa Lund in Casablanca (1942); Paula Alquist in Gaslight (1944); Anna Koreff in Anastasia (1956); and Alicia Huberman in Notorious (1946).

Bergman joins Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, Alfred Hitchcock, John Wayne, Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn and Bette Davis, among many others, with a Legends of Hollywood stamp in her honor.

U.S. Postal Service to Issue Paul Newman Forever Stamp

The U.S. Postal Service announced today that the late award-winning actor and philanthropist Paul Newman will be honored on a Forever Stamp which will go on sale September 18.

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Paul Newman photo/© Steve Schapiro/Corbis

The stamp art features photographer Steve Schapiro’s 1980 photograph of Newman accompanied by text that reads “Actor/Philanthropist.” Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.

With his blue eyes and on-screen charisma, Newman enthralled American moviegoers for six decades. Over the course of his decorated movie career, he received 10 Academy Award nominations, including eight for best actor. He won an Oscar for his role in the 1986 film “The Color of Money. At the Oscars in 1994, Newman was presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Newman stayed active in the arts and also embraced his many passions, particularly auto racing, which he took up in his 40s. Each year the number on his race car was changed to match his age. The last car he raced was number 82. He also served as the president of the board of the famed Actors Studio, which he helped support financially.

More than just a film icon, Newman used his success as an actor, writer, producer and director to advance his philanthropic endeavors funding charitable causes in an effort to make the world a better place.

Newman’s SeriousFun Children’s Network has helped more than 600,000 children and families in the United States and beyond. Perhaps Newman’s boldest action on the philanthropic stage came in 1982, when he founded the Newman’s Own food company. Beginning simply with a single product of oil-and-vinegar salad dressing and a commitment to quality and charitable giving over profit, the company has since grown into an international business with more than 200 products. Along the way, Newman’s Own has donated more than $430 million to thousands of charities.

In 1998, Newman helped create the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, an organization composed of board chairs and CEOs of major corporations that focuses on corporate philanthropy and citizenship. In 2006, he co-founded the Safe Water Network, which provides market-based safe water solutions to people in the developing world.

Postal Service Launches ‘Magical’ Mailbox Holiday Experience

Capitalizing on advancements in smartphone technology, the U.S. Postal Service has launched a new mobile marketing campaign that has transformed its approximately 156,271 blue mail collection boxes across the country into a holiday mobile experience using augmented reality (AR) technology.

“Whether you’re walking down a busy city street or a main street in a small town, you can find one of our iconic blue boxes all across the country,” said Nagisa Manabe, chief marketing and sales officer for the Postal Service.  “Instead of just dropping off mail, smartphone users can use our USPS AR app to transform these boxes into a unique and interactive experience during the holidays.”

Starting today through the end of the year, smartphone users can experience the magical mailbox, by simply downloading the “USPS AR” app and using it to scan a nearby blue mail collection box.  The innovative use of augmented reality will feature fun activations like flashing holiday lights or dancing animated penguins, followed by prompts to order free shipping boxes or stamps.

The Postal Service has been promoting augmented reality as a way for marketers to add a digital component to direct mail campaigns to generate a greater return on investment.

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“Mobile technology is enhancing physical mail in some pretty remarkable ways,” said Manabe. “Augmented reality, QR codes, and one-click buying technology are changing the way consumers interact with major brands. That’s why the Postal Service has launched a multi-channel advertising campaign this holiday to reach consumers of all ages.”

As the nation counts down to the holidays, the Postal Service will be adding new features every few days so customers will have a different experience when they use the app to scan the blue collection boxes.

To promote this new mobile experience along with key holiday shipping and mailing dates, the Postal Service has sent a direct mail piece to every U.S. household this week.  The direct mail piece includes instructions on how to download and use the “USPS AR” app to experience the magic.

This mailer is one part of a holiday advertising campaign by the Postal Service ranging from direct mail to television and print advertisements, to social media and digital promotion.

“Our holiday marketing effort will be built around the idea that the Postal Service has been planning all year for this season and we are prepared to deliver the holidays for America,” said Manabe. “Our advertising goal is to attract new consumer and business customers and provide assurance for our customers that they can depend on our affordable and reliable service to deliver their mail and packages during this season.”

Download the USPS AR app  at Google Play or iTunes App Store

Letter Carriers’ Annual Food Drive Set for May 10 throughout Nation

National Organizations Pitch in to Help Millions of Americans Facing Hunger in All 50 States

About one in six Americans goes hungry or wonders where the next meal will come from. That’s a reality of life in the United States today. But another fact of life in this country is that people and organizations get together to tackle such problems and to help their fellow Americans. Hunger affects about 49 million people around the country, including millions of children and senior citizens. Pantry shelves filled up through winter-holiday generosity often are bare by late spring. And, with most school meal programs suspended during summer months, millions of children must find alternate sources of nutrition.

To combat hunger, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its 22nd annual food drive on Saturday, May 10. Using the unparalleled postal networks, letter carriers will collect non-perishable food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes. It is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, and is held annually on the second Saturday in May in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Last year, letter carriers collected 74.4 million pounds of food donations along their postal routes, the second-highest amount since the NALC’s food drive began in 1992. That brought the total to nearly 1.3 billion pounds for the food drive.

(The 280,000-member NALC represents letter carriers across the country employed by the U.S. Postal Service, along with retired letter carriers. Founded by Civil War veterans in 1889, the NALC is among the country’s oldest labor unions.)

Among the many local volunteer groups that will help are the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, National Guard units, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, Boy/Girl Scouts, various student groups, local Rotary Clubs, local and state AARP groups and local United Way volunteers.

This year’s Letter Carriers’ Food Drive never has been more important, as  the extreme winter weather from this past winter and the other natural disasters many regions experienced not only exacerbate problems in many communities but also turn some who typically give food into recipients of help.

Many people in this country still go hungry every day,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “We are honored to be able to help people in need by leading an effort that brings out the best in so many Americans. Six days a week, letter carriers see first-hand the needs in the communities where we work, and we’re committed to helping meet those needs.

On May 10, as they deliver mail, the nation’s 175,000 letter carriers will collect the donations that residents leave near their mail boxes. People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meats and fish, pasta, peanut butter, rice or cereal, next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday.

Carriers will bring the food to local food banks, pantries or shelters, including many affiliated with Feeding America, which is a national partner in the drive, as are United Way, AARP Drive to End   Hunger, Publix,  Campbell Soup Co., the U.S. Postal Service, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, the AFL CIO, Valpak, Valassis and Uncle Bob’s Self Storage.

The Postal Service’s universal network, reaching 151 million addresses six days a week, makes it possible for us to provide this critically needed assistance,” NALC food drive coordinator Pam Donato added.

People who have questions about the drive in their area should ask their letter carrier, contact their local post office, or go to nalc.org/food,facebook.com/StampOutHunger or twitter.com/StampOutHunger. Radio and TV public service announcements in English and Spanish are available on the food drive page of the NALC websitehttp://goo.gl/DAfoad – feel free to use them.

U.S. Postal Service Honors Legendary Guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, with Limited-Edition Forever Stamp on the 2014 SXSW Outdoor Stage at Butler Park

The U.S. Postal Service will take center stage on the SXSW Outdoor Stage at Butler Park with the dedication of the Jimi Hendrix Forever Stamp.

 

Jimi Hendrix Forever Stamp.  (PRNewsFoto/U.S. Postal Service)

Jimi Hendrix Forever Stamp. (PRNewsFoto/U.S. Postal Service)

Widely recognized as one of the most creative and influential musicians of the 20th century, Hendrix displayed an innovative style that embraced the influences of rock, R&B, modern jazz and the blues, inspiring musical artists of his era and beyond.  Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle, WA, Nov. 27, 1942. Originally named Johnny Allen Hendrix, his name was later changed by his father to James Marshall Hendrix. Entirely self-taught, he had to adjust his first right-handed guitar to his left-handed playing; he restrung it upside down and turned the instrument around to play it. The teenager soon began playing with bands in the Seattle area.

Hendrix pushed the boundaries of what a guitar could do, using a basic setup that at times included a wah-wah pedal to control the output from the amplifier to produce voice-like tones; a fuzz-box to create distortion of the sound; and a Univibe, a phaser that created regular, pulsating changes of pitch, all channeled through a set of Marshall amplifiers at top volume. He was able to manipulate the various devices to produce sounds that could be loud — the quintessential psychedelic music — or melodic and gentle. A master at the controlled use of distortion and feedback, he expanded the instrument’s vocabulary in a way that had never been heard before — or since.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the U.K. Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Rolling Stone ranked Hendrix No. 1 on its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, and No. 6 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

In 1991, Hendrix received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 1993, he was awarded a posthumous Grammy for lifetime achievement.

The Jimi Hendrix Forever Stamp goes on sale today at Post Offices nationwide, online at usps.com/stamps, at the Postal Store on eBay at ebay.com/stamps, and through 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724).

“Combining influences from rock, modern jazz, soul and the blues with his own innovations, Jimi Hendrix helped found three new genres of music — heavy metal, jazz fusion and funk — and in doing so, left behind an indelible mark on pop music and popular culture generally,” said Joseph Corbett, chief financial officer and executive vice president, U.S. Postal Service.

“I’m especially pleased that we continue celebrating our Music Icons stamp series with the issuance of the Jimi Hendrix Forever Stamp,” Corbett said. Janie Hendrix, sister to the late Jimi Hendrix, joined Corbett to dedicate the stamp.

“I am deeply touched and so are other members of the Hendrix family by the issuance of this stamp, and I wish to thank the United States Postal Service for bestowing one of our nation’s highest honors on my brother Jimi,” said Janie Hendrix. “While my brother has been cited many times as being among the most influential musicians of all time, the recognition implicit in his being portrayed on a U.S. postage stamp ranks as an unparalleled honor.”

The stamp dedication was held prior to a Jimi Hendrix Celebration concert at the SXSW Outdoor Stage at Butler Park. There were performances by guitar luminaries, Wayne Kramer, guitarist for Motor City 5; Slash, former lead guitarist for Guns N’ Roses; Rusty Anderson, lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s tours; and Perry Farrell, lead singer for Jane’s Addiction. Also, the concert featured Robby Krieger, guitarist for the Doors; Mary Bridget Davies, star of Broadway’s “A Night with Janis Joplin”; Jesse Malin, guitarist/musician; Dave and Phil Alvin, former guitarists for The Blasters; and Etty Farrell, wife of Perry Farrell and former star of E! reality series, “Married to Rock.”

The Postal Service has released numerous stamps to celebrate and honor music icons who had a big impact on American culture and the music industry. The Jimi Hendrix Forever Stamp kicks off the 2014 Music Icons series, which will include Janis Joplin later this year. The 2013 Music Icons series honored Johnny Cash, Ray Charlesand Lydia Mendoza.

The new limited-edition Jimi Hendrix stamp, designed by artist Rudy Gutierrez, features a vibrant, colorful design fashioned to evoke the movement and rhythm of the late singer and pay homage to the psychedelic rock era of the 1960s.

The stamp pane, designed to resemble a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve, features a painting of Hendrix’s face surrounded by colorful swirls and small icons that reference song lyrics or aspects of Hendrix’s life. The various icons include flowers, a guitar, a mermaid and a butterfly. The stamp art shows Hendrix in performance, wearing one of his trademark vintage military jackets and playing one of his beloved white Fender Stratocaster guitars.

The Jimi Hendrix stamp is being issued as a Forever Stamp, which is equal in value to the current   First-Class Mail 1-ounce price. Customers may view the Jimi Hendrix Forever Stamp, as well as a preview of many of this year’s other stamps, on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, on Twitter @USPSstamps or on USPSstamps.com. A special promotional page has been created to display all of the Jimi Hendrix philatelic products.

 

 

U.S. Postal Service Announces Holiday Season Forecasts with New Gingerbread Houses Forever Stamps and Priority Mail Products

POSTMASTER GENERAL PREDICTS DOUBLE-DIGIT PERCENT JUMP IN SHIPPING VOLUME

Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO, along with Nagisa Manabe, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, announced the 2013 holiday season mailing and shipping forecasts for the 2013 holiday season during a kick-off event in New York.

The U.S. Postal Service kicked off the holiday season today with its improved PRIORITY MAIL PRODUCTS and new GINGERBREAD HOUSES FOREVER STAMPS. The Postal Service expects to process 545 million pieces of mail every day throughout this holiday season; totaling nearly 15 billion pieces of mail to be delivered between thCANKQ0SPThanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Competitive package volume also is expected to increase by approximately 12 percent from last year to about 420 million packages during the 2013 holiday season.

The holidays are a special time of year for the U.S. Postal Service. We consider it a privilege to help spread holiday cheer by delivering billions of holiday greetings and packages to millions of homes and businesses around the country,” said Donahoe. “Our residential and business customers will experience improved Priority Mail service this year with new features that include enhanced tracking visibility.”

We’re providing a compelling value proposition for holiday shippers with our improved Priority Mail for whatever you ship and wherever you plan to ship it,” said Manabe.  “Our improved Priority Mail products, combined with the improved tracking visibility, convenience and affordability our customers expect, will help make the Postal Service an important resource to our customers during the busy holiday season.”

Gingerbread Houses Forever Stamps.  (PRNewsFoto/U.S. Postal Service)

Gingerbread Houses Forever Stamps. (PRNewsFoto/U.S. Postal Service)

Accordingly, The Postal Service is ready to deliver holiday greetings and gifts to more than 152 million addresses nationwide. The busiest mailing day this season is projected to be Monday, Dec. 16, when more than 600 million pieces of mail are expected to be processed. The same day, 6 million customers are expected to visit Post Offices nationwide.

The busiest delivery day for mail will be Wednesday, Dec. 18 and the busiest day for packages will be Thursday, Dec. 19.

This is the first holiday season that consumers and businesses can take advantage of the recently revamped Priority Mail, which now comes with free insurance, day-specific delivery and free tracking.  With the Service’s low-cost Flat-Rate shipping product — which has no additional surcharges — the Postal Service anticipates that its highly popular Priority Mail offerings will be very attractive to cost-conscious small businesses and holiday shippers.

Consumers can avoid any holiday hassle by visiting www.usps.com — the Postal Service’s website that will help make mailing and shipping easier. Nearly 75 million customers will skip the trip to the Post Office altogether and take advantage of convenient online shipping. Click-N-Ship and other online services allow customers to print shipping labels, order free Priority Mail boxes, purchase postage and even request free next-day package pickup.

To ensure that holiday mail and packages are delivered on time, the Postal Service recommends keeping the following mailing and shipping deadlines in mind:

Nov. 12  APO/FPO Military Standard Post

Dec. 2    Priority Mail International

Dec. 10  APO/FPO Military Priority Mail and First-Class Mail

Dec. 10   Priority Mail Express International

Dec. 14  Standard Post

Dec. 16  Global Express Guaranteed

Dec. 17  Priority Mail Express Military Service

Dec. 20   First-Class Mail

Dec. 21   Priority Mail

Dec. 23   Priority Mail Express

The dates listed above are the earliest deadlines for international and military mail. For a complete list of shipping deadlines, visit www.usps.com/shippingdates/ . Continue reading