1994 29c Popular Singers: Ethel Waters

# 2851 FDC - 1994 29c Popular Singers: Ethel Waters

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US #2851
1994 Ethel Waters

  • From the Popular Singers set
  • Part of the Legends of American Music series
  • Features five famous singers from the 20th century

Category of Stamp:  Commemorative
Set: 
Legends of American Music series
Value: 
29¢
First Day of Issue: 
September 1, 1994
First Day City: 
New York, New York
Quantity Issued: 
35,436,000
Printed by: 
Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: 
Photogravure
Format: 
Panes of 20, from printing cylinders of 180 subjects (12 across, 15 down)
Perforations: 
10.2 X 10.2

Reason the stamp was issued:  The Popular Singers stamps were issued as part of the Legends of American Music series.  They honor some of the most famous popular singers of the 20th century, including Al Jolson

About the stamp design:  Artist and magazine illustrator C.F. Payne was chosen to create the artwork for the Popular Singers stamps.  Using photos provided by the USPS, he produced color sketches, then painted the singers using acrylic, watercolor, ink, oil paint, colored pencils, and airbrush. 

Special design details:  The background colors were chosen to fade into one another to give a sense of continuity to the set.

First Day City:  The First Day of Issue ceremony took place at Damrosch Park in New York City.  Family members and friends of those honored on the stamps were present at the ceremony.  The ceremony also launched the US Postal Service’s month-long American Music Stamp Festival.

About the Legends of American Music Series:  The Legends of American Music Series debuted on January 8, 1993, and ran until September 21, 1999.  The stamps were issued in semi-jumbo size.  The name of each performer is in white letters, sometimes on a black background to make it stand out.  The name of the set is shown running up the left side of the stamp.

More than 90 artists are represented from all styles of music:  rock ‘n’ 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 band leaders, classical composers, Hollywood songwriters and composers, conductors, lyricists, and more.  The Legends of American Music Series was a huge advancement for diversity because it honored many Black and female artists.

History the stamp represents: 

As a singer, dancer, and actress, Ethel Waters exercised her musical creativity and dramatic expression to gain prominence on the stage and in films.  Billed as “Baby Star,” she made her first performance when she was five, in a children’s church program.
At age 17, she began her professional career performing song and dance routines on vaudeville.  For her debut she sang W.C. Handy’s classic “St. Louis Blues,” becoming the first woman to sing the song professionally.  Billed as “Sweet Mama Stringbean,” she became an overnight success with her low, sweet style of singing the blues.
In 1927, Waters made her Broadway debut in the all-black production Africana, and three years later firmly established her acting career when she starred in Blackbirds.  But it was her sensitive performance in Cabin in the Sky (1940) that won her critical acclaim as a dramatic actress.  She went on to star in the Hollywood film version of the play, and later appeared in Pinky (1949) and Member of the Wedding (1953).
Called “The Mother of Modern Popular Singing,” Waters spent the last 15 years of her life singing at the Billy Graham Crusades, during which time she made famous the song “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”

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US #2851
1994 Ethel Waters

  • From the Popular Singers set
  • Part of the Legends of American Music series
  • Features five famous singers from the 20th century

Category of Stamp:  Commemorative
Set: 
Legends of American Music series
Value: 
29¢
First Day of Issue: 
September 1, 1994
First Day City: 
New York, New York
Quantity Issued: 
35,436,000
Printed by: 
Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: 
Photogravure
Format: 
Panes of 20, from printing cylinders of 180 subjects (12 across, 15 down)
Perforations: 
10.2 X 10.2

Reason the stamp was issued:  The Popular Singers stamps were issued as part of the Legends of American Music series.  They honor some of the most famous popular singers of the 20th century, including Al Jolson

About the stamp design:  Artist and magazine illustrator C.F. Payne was chosen to create the artwork for the Popular Singers stamps.  Using photos provided by the USPS, he produced color sketches, then painted the singers using acrylic, watercolor, ink, oil paint, colored pencils, and airbrush. 

Special design details:  The background colors were chosen to fade into one another to give a sense of continuity to the set.

First Day City:  The First Day of Issue ceremony took place at Damrosch Park in New York City.  Family members and friends of those honored on the stamps were present at the ceremony.  The ceremony also launched the US Postal Service’s month-long American Music Stamp Festival.

About the Legends of American Music Series:  The Legends of American Music Series debuted on January 8, 1993, and ran until September 21, 1999.  The stamps were issued in semi-jumbo size.  The name of each performer is in white letters, sometimes on a black background to make it stand out.  The name of the set is shown running up the left side of the stamp.

More than 90 artists are represented from all styles of music:  rock ‘n’ 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 band leaders, classical composers, Hollywood songwriters and composers, conductors, lyricists, and more.  The Legends of American Music Series was a huge advancement for diversity because it honored many Black and female artists.

History the stamp represents: 

As a singer, dancer, and actress, Ethel Waters exercised her musical creativity and dramatic expression to gain prominence on the stage and in films.  Billed as “Baby Star,” she made her first performance when she was five, in a children’s church program.
At age 17, she began her professional career performing song and dance routines on vaudeville.  For her debut she sang W.C. Handy’s classic “St. Louis Blues,” becoming the first woman to sing the song professionally.  Billed as “Sweet Mama Stringbean,” she became an overnight success with her low, sweet style of singing the blues.
In 1927, Waters made her Broadway debut in the all-black production Africana, and three years later firmly established her acting career when she starred in Blackbirds.  But it was her sensitive performance in Cabin in the Sky (1940) that won her critical acclaim as a dramatic actress.  She went on to star in the Hollywood film version of the play, and later appeared in Pinky (1949) and Member of the Wedding (1953).
Called “The Mother of Modern Popular Singing,” Waters spent the last 15 years of her life singing at the Billy Graham Crusades, during which time she made famous the song “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”