1994 29c Blues and Jazz Singers: Mildred Bailey

# 2860 FDC - 1994 29c Blues and Jazz Singers: Mildred Bailey

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US #2860
1994 Mildred Bailey

  • First Day Cover bearing Bailey stamp
  • Part of the Legends of American Music series
  • Set features eight Jazz and Blues singers from the 20th century

Category of Stamp:  Commemorative
Set: 
Jazz and Blues Singers, from the Legends of American Music series
Value: 
29¢, First-Class Mail rate
First Day of Issue: 
September 17, 1994
First Day City: 
Greenville, Mississippi
Quantity Issued: 
21,862,750
Printed by: 
Ashton-Potter
Printing Method:
  Lithographed
Format: 
Panes of 35 from printing plates of 210 (15 across, 14 down)
Perforations: 
11 X 10.8

Reason the stamp was issued:  The Jazz and Blues Singers stamps were issued as part of the Legends of American Music series.  They honor some of the most famous jazz and Blues singers of the 20th century.

About the stamp design:  The image on the Mildred Bailey stamp was painted by veteran stamp artist Howard Koslow.  Dissatisfied with the photos of Bailey provided by the USPS, Koslow discovered the work of William Gottlieb in jazz books from the library.  Koslow met with Gottlieb and found just the right photo of Bailey.  It had been taken in the 1940s while the singer was performing in a New York City nightclub.  Koslow created an acrylic painting based on the photo, and this became the stamp’s image. 
The Blues and Jazz Singers stamps were originally planned as two separate sets, and different artists were hired for each set.  When the two sets were combined into one, both artists continued with their assignments.  Magazine illustrator Julian Allen, was given the four blues singers, while Howard Koslow created the artwork for the jazz singers.  The USPS supplied photos of the singers to both artists, but they were dissatisfied with the way some of the singers were portrayed and found other sources.

First Day City:  The First Day of Issue ceremony for the set was held in Greenville, Mississippi, during the 17th annual Mississippi Delta Blues Festival.  Other cities also hosted First Day of Issue celebrations.  These included the hometowns of some of the featured singers.

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:  Mildred Bailey was born in 1907 on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation in Tekoa, Washington.  Her mother was a member of that Native American tribe.  While still in her teens she demonstrated sheet music and played at movie houses.  In 1929 she joined Paul Whiteman’s band, and became the first female big-band vocalist.  During this period, she married Red Norvo, also a member of the band, and became known as “The Rockin’ Chair Lady,” due to her brilliant performance of the tune “Rockin’ Chair.” 

In 1932, Bailey left Whiteman’s band, and with Norvo jointly led a band. After 1939 she mainly worked as a solo act, and was featured on radio shows, including Benny Goodman’s, with whom she recorded.  In 1944 and ’45 she had her own successful radio show.
Perhaps Mildred Bailey’s greatest work was with Norvo, doing swing arrangements of Eddie Sauter songs.  The couple was very popular, and billed as “Mr. and Mrs. Swing.”  Bailey was the first non-black singer accepted in jazz.  Her vocal phrasing and high-pitched voice thrilled audiences, especially on ballads and soulful blues tunes.  Bailey’s legacy lives on through the many recordings she made under her own name and the many famous musicians she sang with.

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US #2860
1994 Mildred Bailey

  • First Day Cover bearing Bailey stamp
  • Part of the Legends of American Music series
  • Set features eight Jazz and Blues singers from the 20th century

Category of Stamp:  Commemorative
Set: 
Jazz and Blues Singers, from the Legends of American Music series
Value: 
29¢, First-Class Mail rate
First Day of Issue: 
September 17, 1994
First Day City: 
Greenville, Mississippi
Quantity Issued: 
21,862,750
Printed by: 
Ashton-Potter
Printing Method:
  Lithographed
Format: 
Panes of 35 from printing plates of 210 (15 across, 14 down)
Perforations: 
11 X 10.8

Reason the stamp was issued:  The Jazz and Blues Singers stamps were issued as part of the Legends of American Music series.  They honor some of the most famous jazz and Blues singers of the 20th century.

About the stamp design:  The image on the Mildred Bailey stamp was painted by veteran stamp artist Howard Koslow.  Dissatisfied with the photos of Bailey provided by the USPS, Koslow discovered the work of William Gottlieb in jazz books from the library.  Koslow met with Gottlieb and found just the right photo of Bailey.  It had been taken in the 1940s while the singer was performing in a New York City nightclub.  Koslow created an acrylic painting based on the photo, and this became the stamp’s image. 
The Blues and Jazz Singers stamps were originally planned as two separate sets, and different artists were hired for each set.  When the two sets were combined into one, both artists continued with their assignments.  Magazine illustrator Julian Allen, was given the four blues singers, while Howard Koslow created the artwork for the jazz singers.  The USPS supplied photos of the singers to both artists, but they were dissatisfied with the way some of the singers were portrayed and found other sources.

First Day City:  The First Day of Issue ceremony for the set was held in Greenville, Mississippi, during the 17th annual Mississippi Delta Blues Festival.  Other cities also hosted First Day of Issue celebrations.  These included the hometowns of some of the featured singers.

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:  Mildred Bailey was born in 1907 on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation in Tekoa, Washington.  Her mother was a member of that Native American tribe.  While still in her teens she demonstrated sheet music and played at movie houses.  In 1929 she joined Paul Whiteman’s band, and became the first female big-band vocalist.  During this period, she married Red Norvo, also a member of the band, and became known as “The Rockin’ Chair Lady,” due to her brilliant performance of the tune “Rockin’ Chair.” 

In 1932, Bailey left Whiteman’s band, and with Norvo jointly led a band. After 1939 she mainly worked as a solo act, and was featured on radio shows, including Benny Goodman’s, with whom she recorded.  In 1944 and ’45 she had her own successful radio show.
Perhaps Mildred Bailey’s greatest work was with Norvo, doing swing arrangements of Eddie Sauter songs.  The couple was very popular, and billed as “Mr. and Mrs. Swing.”  Bailey was the first non-black singer accepted in jazz.  Her vocal phrasing and high-pitched voice thrilled audiences, especially on ballads and soulful blues tunes.  Bailey’s legacy lives on through the many recordings she made under her own name and the many famous musicians she sang with.