The United States Postal Service does sell commemorative stamps that people buy to augment their stamp collections or as souvenirs, a goodly percentage of which are not actually used as postage. In effect, they are selling pretty (or less) miniature pictures! But, hey, it's all to the good, isn't it? It's win-win both for collectors and the USPS. Now last year in the Music Icons series Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix went into that Postal Valhalla. John Lennon and Jim Morrison might make it soon as well! And country legend Johnny Cash and soul singer Ray Charles are already enshrined on stamps! Soul legend Otis Redding unequivocally deserved a stamp, as "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" surely demonstrated!
Yes, we in America honor at least some of our artists. Now, it is my understanding that the USPS issues only 20 new stamps per year, and some of those must be given to patriotic themes, anniversaries, and various whims that are officially indulged. And let's not forget the centenary of America's involvement in The War to End All Wars© coming up in 1917!
You must admit, though, that this is a winning thread for boosting stamps and encouraging American culture through philately. (Yes, I know, John Lennon wasn't American; but he did get killed in NYC.) Now since a commemorative stamp cannot be issued for a living person, we have to wait for later times to send our Barry Manilow, Britney Spears, or Mariah Carey stamps. However, maybe the USPS could ignore its rule of 20 and issue supernumerary stamps to honor others that music fans might deem worthy. And, hey, if controversy does occur, then this could provide exercise of the indignant muscles of those who love to harp on things and generates oodles of publicity! Or if they wanted publicity without strident controversy, they could issue stamps for famous doo-wop or schmaltzy singers. Or, hey, Eydie Gorme or Dean Martin!
Seriously, I think that Fats Domino rates a stamp!
But let's expand the concept of Icons, and have Great Sex Icons: Surely Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe, and Jane Russell deserve stamps, not to mention some of the legendary strippers of the old days. Give some guys a shout too: maybe honor the epitome of manly cool in Robert Mitchum and Steve McQueen! And how about an American Scientists series, much expanded from the one in the 1940's? Or, maybe we could issue a Notorious Outlaws Series -- Who wouldn't like to see Jesse James, John Dillinger, or some of the junk bond traders on stamps? It may be a PG stamp category in the making, but Great American Manure Spreaders would be a great category to honor tabloids, some mainstream newspapers, and members of Congress!
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