Commemorative Stamps

Stamps are the story of us, and what a powerful story they each tell. America's greatest people, places and moments are memorialized here, honored in the art and story of commemorative stamps.
Here, Heritage is our Hero™.

View a detailed photo of the stamp Photo of the Ray Charles Forever Stamp Buy The Ray Charles Forever Stamp Now

All rights to the name and likeness of Ray Charles are owned by
The Ray Charles Foundation. Photo © MEPHISTO

Photo of the Ray Charles Forever Stamp Buy The Ray Charles Forever Stamp Now

All rights to the name and likeness of Ray Charles are owned by
The Ray Charles Foundation. Photo © MEPHISTO

Music Icons
  • The latest stamp in the Music Icons series honors inspiring musician Ray Charles. The extraordinary composer, singer, and pianist, blind since childhood, 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."

    First day of issue:
    September 23,2013 Note Los Angeles, CA & Atlanta, GA

    Ray Charles is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate, which is $0.49.

  • Ears Like Sponges

    Ray was raised in the small town of Greeneville, Florida. Given lessons in classical piano and clarinet, he also taught himself to play saxophone. “My ears were like sponges, soaked it all up,” he later said. After moving to Seattle in 1948, he formed a group known as the McSon Trio and recorded his first single. Before long, he signed with Atlantic Records. In 1955, Charles had his first national hit, “I’ve Got a Woman,” making him a major figure in the then-emerging style of rock-and-roll.

  • Gifted and Acclaimed

    Ray Charles’s work spanned almost the entire breadth of American music and brought him 17 Grammy Awards, plus an award for lifetime achievement in 1987.
    Countless other prizes include the Polar Music Prize in 1998; the National Medal of Arts, awarded in 1993; and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986. That same year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ray Charles performed for seven presidents: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and
    George W. Bush.

  • Hitting the Right Note

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

  • Get the Ray Charles
    Forever Album

    Along with the Ray Charles Forever® stamp, the U.S. Postal Service is releasing a CD with a collection of remastered classics of some of Ray’s most stellar performances, and previously unreleased material. It features 13 tracks, including the USPS exclusive bonus track, “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was.” The CD album cover features art from the Ray Charles stamp. It’s available for $9.99 in nearly 5,000 Post Offices nationwide and online in the Postal Store.


2014 Stamp Yearbook

Legendary musicians, historic milestones, eminent sports figures – the 2014 stamp program celebrates our nation’s culture. And available exclusively through the 2014 yearbook – The Circus Souvenir Sheet, featuring a stamp with an alternative version of the iconic clown poster.

For Education

Learn more about how to collect stamps, philatelic terms, and stamp issues from the United States Postal Service®.

Stamp Collecting

Image of 2014 Stamps Yearbook and Circus Souvenir Sheet
Buy The 2014 Stamp Yearbook Now