The United States Postal Service and Elvis Presley Enterprises announced Thursday that Priscilla Presley and Postmaster General Megan Brennan will dedicate the new “ELVIS FOREVER” commemorative stamp on August 12, 2015 at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.
The 1993 issue of the first official Elvis Presley stamp became the most popular commemorative stamp in the history of the United States according to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum. In this new issue, Presley is being honored as the sixth inductee into the USPS' Music Icon Series.
"Elvis is a natural addition to our Music Icon Series," Postmaster General Brennan stated. "His life and talents are an incredible story. Spanning from his humble beginnings in a Tupelo, Miss., two-room house to becoming one of the most legendary performance artists of the 20th century, Elvis Presley's works continues to resonate with millions the world over."
During the stamp introduction ceremony on the front yard grounds of Presley’s home, Graceland, the Postal Service will also reveal an Elvis Presley greatest hits CD to coincide with the new stamp. “ELVIS FOREVER” will be sold in select post offices and online beginning that day.
The dedication of the stamp and CD will be included in the 2015 Elvis Week traditional celebration in Memphis. The Sony Music’s RCA/Legacy Recordings album includes 18 Presley hits and a new performance of "If I Can Dream." The stamp will begin being issued that day.
The Postal Service established the Music Icons stamp series in 2013 to recognize "beloved musicians whose blend of sound and way of life broke musical boundaries." The previous inductees were Lydia Mendoza, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin.
In contrast to the colorful image on the 1993 stamp, the 2015 stamp features a 1955 black-and-white photo of Presley as he was beginning to be known throughout the world. The photo by William Speer will be flanked by Presley’s signature in gold ink on the right side of the stamp.
Text surrounding each block of stamps reads: “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" and "Suspicious Minds”.
Presley fans have long anticipated the previously unreleased version of “If I Can Dream,” which is also scheduled to be on an upcoming Fall 2015 Elvis album release. Fans are able to hear the track before the Fall release with the new “ELVIS FOREVER” CD at their local Post Office.
Presley, whose voice has been heard by more people than any other recorded in history, died on Aug. 16, 1977 upstairs in his dressing/bath room at Graceland from a heart attack at age 42. Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on Jan. 8, 1935, Presley married Priscilla in May 1967. Their daughter, Lisa Marie, was born a year later. The Presley’s were divorced in October 1973.