U.S. # 4789
2013 46¢ Johnny Cash
Music Icons Series
Raised in rural Arkansas during the Great Depression, Johnny Cash (1932-2003) knew hardship all too well. It became his musical inspiration for “The Man in Black,” one of many compositions that made Johnny an internationally renowned entertainer.
Tragedy rocked Cash’s childhood when his older brother died, but soon the young singer-songwriter found solace in music, especially gospel. In the 1950s, Cash took the country by storm with such hits as “I Walk the Line” and “Folsom Prison Blues.” His crossover hit “Ring of Fire” topped the pop music charts in 1963. Though he is considered a country music legend, Cash’s style touched rock and roll, blues, folk, and gospel.
Cash reached a younger generation in the 1990s with his own versions of modern hits, earning five Grammys for a lifetime total of 17. He was honored by the Kennedy Center and is one of few artists to be named to the Country, Rock and Roll, Gospel, and Songwriters Halls of Fame. In fact, he considered his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame to be one of his greatest achievements. Johnny Cash wore black to honor the downtrodden while raising his unmistakable voice in songs of sorrow, hardship, and redemption.
Designed by Greg Breeding, the Cash stamp includes a photograph taken for the 1963 album Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash. The stamp is mostly dark, paying homage to Cash’s nickname, “The Man in Black.” The stamp and full pane were designed to resemble a 45rpm record sleeve, with the pane picture part of a record peeking through the top.
Value: 46¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: June 5, 2013
First Day City: Nashville, TN – at the Ryman Auditorium, where several episodes of the Johnny Cash show were recorded between 1969 and 1971
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Avery Dennison
Method: Photogravure printing in sheets of 128 in 8 panes of 16
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾
Quantity Printed: 60,000,000 stamps
Johnny Cash was the second honoree in the U.S.P.S.’s Music Icons Series. Begun in 2013, it pays tribute to performers representing a variety of eras and genres. All the stamps and panes in the series are the same size, with the panes designed to look like record sleeves.