U.S. # 5009
2015 First-Class Forever Stamp
Music Icons Series: Elvis Presley
The King of Rock ‘n Roll. The Hillbilly Cat. The Memphis Flash. All nicknames for the man everyone knows by his first name – Elvis. One of the world’s most influential performers, he sparked a musical revolution and became legendary for his memorable performances, unique voice, and generosity.
Elvis came from humble beginnings, growing up in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi. He was a shy child, but developed a larger-than-life personality after stunning his classmates at a high school talent show.
Elvis made his first recording in the summer of 1953 and by the following July had his own band, first contract, and first paid concert. Elvis’ popularity spread like wildfire. In January 1956 he made his network television debut and quickly became a household name.
Hollywood took notice and soon Elvis was a film star as well. Within a few short years, he had conquered all avenues of entertainment. Yet Elvis remained grounded, giving much of his own time and money to various causes. He performed a number of charity concerts, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars, and lent his name and fame to many causes.
Though Elvis was in the spotlight for just 20 years, his impact has been immeasurable. He blended musical styles, inspired a generation of artists, and remains one of the most loved musicians of all time.
This stamp features a 1955 photo of Elvis taken by William Speer. It includes a crown, honoring Elvis’ nickname, “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” as well as his signature. The stamp and full pane were designed to resemble a 45rpm record sleeve, with the pane picturing part of a record peeking through the top.
Value: 49¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: August 12, 2015 – during the annual Elvis Week celebration
First Day City: Graceland, Memphis, TN
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Method: Offset printing in sheets of 144, with 9 panes of 16
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾
Quantity Printed: 100,000,000 stamps
First Inductees In Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
On January 23, 1986, the first group of musicians was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was the brainchild of businessman, Atlantic Records co-founder, songwriter, and philanthropist Ahmet Ertegun. He, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, and several record executives established the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation on April 20, 1983.
In the coming years, they began plans for the physical museum. They considered several cities with ties to rock history – New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. They ultimately settled on Cleveland, Ohio, the place where disc jockey Alan Freed coined the phrase “rock and roll.”
As plans for the museum progressed, the organizers wanted to start honoring rock legends. So on January 23, 1986, they held the first induction ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. The first inductees were all pioneers in the world of rock and roll – Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers, Ray Charles, James Brown, Sam Cooke and Jerry Lee Lewis.
There were also non-performer inductees – Sun Records founder Sam Philips and DJ Alan Freed. The museum also inducted Early Influencers Robert Johnson, Jimmie Rogers, and Jimmy Yancey. Additionally, Columbia Records’ John Hammond, who had discovered Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen, received the museum’s first Lifetime Achievement Award.
A special guest inducted each honoree. The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards delivered a heartfelt speech about Chuck Berry; Steve Winwood honored James Brown; Quincy Jones inducted Ray Charles; Herb Alpert inducted Sam Cooke; Billy Joel honored Fats Domino; Neil Young inducted the Everly Brothers; John Fogerty honored Buddy Holly; Hank Williams, Jr., inducted Jerry Lee Lewis; Roberta Flack inducted Little Richard; and John Lennon’s sons inducted their father’s hero, Elvis Presley.
After the ceremonies, an all-star jam took over the stage with performances by the living inductees, Steve Winwood, John Fogerty, Billy Joel, and ZZ Top. They played songs by the inductees as well as other classic rock hits well into the night.
Nearly a decade later, the museum officially opened on September 2, 1995, with performances by Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Al Green, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, Iggy Pop, John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, and many others. While the museum is located in Cleveland, most of the induction ceremonies (26) have been held in New York City, while two have been in Los Angeles and four in Cleveland.
Click here for more about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.