Cover Story

Ray Charles Stamp

First Day of Issue: September 23, 2013 | Los Angeles, CA & Atlanta, GA

Ray Charles Forever Stamp image

The U.S Postal Service® proudly honors inspiring musician Ray Charles with the Ray Charles Forever® stamp, the third issuance in the Music Icons series. This extraordinary composer, singer, and pianist, blind since the age of seven, went beyond category, blending blues, gospel, country, jazz, and soul music in a unique and highly influential pop music style. His many hits included “I’ve Got a Woman,” “Georgia on My Mind,” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You.”

Looking back over the course of his long career, there seemed little Charles couldn’t do. His work spanned almost the entire breadth of American music and brought him 17 Grammy Awards, plus an award for lifetime achievement in 1987. His many other prizes include the National Medal of Arts (1993), the Polar Music Award (1989), and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986. That same year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Ray Charles Forever stamp art features an image of Charles, taken later in his career, by Yves Carrère. The stamp sheet was designed to evoke the appearance of a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the sheet includes the stamps and the image of a record appearing to peek out of the top of the sleeve. A larger version of Charles’ photograph and the Music Icons series logo appear on the reverse side. Art director Ethel Kessler worked on the stamp sheet with designer Neal Ashby.

In celebration of the new Ray Charles Forever stamp, the U.S. Postal Service is releasing two new products (shown below): the Ray Charles Forever CD ($9.99, Item #842717), featuring his remastered classics and previously unreleased material, and the Ray Charles Limited Edition Screen Print Poster, a lively graphic print reminiscent of mid-century album covers that features Charles in his iconic sunglasses ($14.95 — Item #579525). Both products will be available for purchase at, 800-STAMP-24, and on September 23, 2013. The CD will also be available at select Post Office™ locations. See the 22370 issue of the Postal Bulletin (8-22-13) for more information regarding all the related Ray Charles Forever stamp products.

Ray Charles Forever CD image

Ray Charles Forever Poster image