Elvis Presley, Music Icon (U.S. 2015)

Scott Catalog numbers:

5009 (49¢) Elvis Presley
a. Imperforate

Updated August 11th: A collector was able to buy three panes of this stamp in Memphis two days before the official first day of issue and, yes, he had them postmarked to show the early sale. The Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper has the story.

[press release – August 7th]

New Version of Elvis Presley’s ‘If I Can Dream’
To Accompany Elvis Presley Stamp Dedication Aug. 12

Priscilla Presley Joins Postmaster General at 8 a.m. CST Ceremony

s_elvisMEMPHIS — Music fans attending the official First-Day-of-Issue ceremony for the Music Icons: Elvis Presley Forever stamp will hear a new version of Elvis’ inspiring song “If I Can Dream” as they’ve never heard it before.

Priscilla Presley will join Postmaster General Megan Brennan in the official First-Day-of-Issue stamp dedication ceremony at 8 a.m. CST Wed., Aug. 12 at Graceland in Memphis as part of this year’s Elvis Week celebration. Customers can buy the stamps beginning at 12 a.m. Aug. 12 at a mobile Post Office that will be located outside the gate at Graceland. The public is encouraged to tweet about this news using #ElvisForever. The stamps will be available in Post Offices nationwide that day.

The U.S. Postal Service in conjunction with Sony Music’s RCA/Legacy Recordings will release an exclusive CD of 18 Presley hits titled ELVIS PRESLEY FOREVER which includes a new performance of “If I Can Dream” and an additional previously unreleased song. Fans can get ELVIS PRESLEY FOREVER for $9.99 at select Post Offices beginning August 12. Both the CD and the stamps can be pre-ordered here for delivery shortly after Aug. 12.

In early June, Postmaster General Megan Brennan announced that the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll™ will be immortalized on a stamp. The stamp image was previewed in early July. The stamps are part of the Postal Service’s “Music Icons” series, which feature 16 stamps in panes designed to suggest a classic 45 RPM record sleeve.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Updated August 1st: Here are the first day postmarks for this issue:  elvis_dcp_vscThe DCP measures 2.60″x1.40″. elvis_bw_vscThe B&W postmark measures 2.43″x1.02″.

Updated July 9th from the Postal Bulletin:
s_elvisOn August 12, 2015, at Graceland in Memphis, TN, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue the Elvis Presley (Forever® priced at 49 cents) commemorative First-Class Mail® stamp in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 16 stamps (Item #589000). The $7.84 Elvis Presley pane of 16 stamps may not be split, and the stamps may not be sold individually.

The stamp will go on sale nationwide August 12, 2015.

This issuance honors Elvis Presley (1935–1977), the singer, guitarist, musician, and actor who became one of the first true stars of rock and roll. The stamp, part of the Music Icons series, features a 1955 black-and-white photograph of Presley taken by William Speer. Presley’s signature, in gold ink, is featured along the right side of the stamp. A small gold crown, between the words “Forever” and “USA” is a nod to Presley’s nickname, “The King of Rock and Roll™.” The stamp pane resembles the appearance of a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the pane includes the stamps and the image of a sliver of a record seeming to peek out of the top of the sleeve with a list of Presley’s number one hit songs bordering the block of stamps. The reverse side includes an image of Presley shot by photographer Alfred Wertheimer and the logo for the Music Icons series. Antonio Alcalá served as the art director and designed the stamp pane with Leslie Badani.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store® website at http://www.usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Elvis Presley Stamp
Postmaster
555 South 3rd Street, Rm 7306
Memphis, TN 38101-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by October 11, 2015.

There are thirteen philatelic products for this stamp issue:

  • 589006 Press Sheet with Die-cut, $70.56 (print quantity 500).
  • 589008 Press Sheet without Die-cut, $70.56 (print quantity 1,500).
  • 589015 Keepsake (pane of 16 with Digital Color Postmark) $ 9.95.
  • 589016 First-Day Cover single $0.93
  • 589018 First-Day Cover Full Pane $10.34.
  • 589019 Cancelled Full Pane $ 10.34.
  • 589021 Digital Color Postmark single $1.64.
  • 589023 Framed Art Small $ 19.95.
  • 589024 Framed Art $ 39.95.
  • 589027 The Forever Elvis Collection Folio $ 24.95.
  • 589030 Ceremony Program $6.95.
  • 589031 Stamped Deck Card $0.95.
  • 589032 Stamped Deck Card with Digital Color Postmark $1.99.

Technical Specifications:

s_elvisIssue: Elvis Presley Stamp
Item Number: 589000
Denomination & Type of Issue: First-Class Mail® Forever
Format: Pane of 16 (1 design)
Series: Music Icon
Issue Date & City: August 12, 2015, Memphis, TN 38101
Designer: Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria VA and Leslie Badani, Alexandria, VA
Art Director: Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria VA
Typographer: Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria VA
Existing Photo: William Speer
Modeler: Joseph Sheeran
Manufacturing Process: Offset, Microprint —“USPS”
Printer: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Printed at: Williamsville, NY
Press Type: Muller A76
Stamps per Pane: 16
Print Quantity: 100 million stamps
Paper Type: Nonphosphored Type III Block Tag applied
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive adhesive
Processed at: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Colors: Stamps side: PMS Cool Grey #7, Black, PMS 8383 Gold Cover side: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black PMS 8383 Gold
Stamp Orientation: Square
Image Area (w x h): 1.09 x 1.09 in./27.56 x 27.56 mm
Overall Size (w x h): 1.23 x 1.23 in./31.12 x 31.12 mm
Full Pane Size (w x h): 7.00 x 7.00 in./177.80 x 177.80 mm
Press Sheet Size (w x h): 21.25 x 21.25 in./539.75 x 539.75 mm
Plate Size: 144 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: None
Marginal Markings: © 2015 USPS • USPS Logo • Verso text • Proprietary text • Promotional text
• Barcode (589000) in lower right corner of pane
Back: Photo

Updated July 2nd: The stamp design is now available, after leaking out. This is a better quality picture than the one I posted overnight. Also, below what the complete pane of 16 will look like: s_elviselvis_pane_vsc-0-

The Washington Post wonders if the USPS can recapture the magic of the 1993 Elvis stamps.

Updated June 11th: Although today’s Postal Bulletin has a chart showing August 10th as the first day, the USPS confirms to The Virtual Stamp Club that the first day is August 12th, as previously announced below.

USPS press release, June 3:

Postal Service to Issue Elvis Presley Stamp
Forever Stamp to be Dedicated August 12 at Graceland
elvis_backWASHINGTON — Postmaster General Megan Brennan announced today that Elvis Presley will be commemorated on a Forever stamp as the sixth inductee into the Postal Service’s Music Icon Series. The stamp image will be previewed at a later date.

[Shown on the right is the design for the back of the pane of stamps. —LdeV]

“Elvis is a natural addition to our Music Icon Series,” said Brennan. “His life and talents are an incredible story. Spanning from his humble beginnings in a Tupelo, Mississippi, 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.”

The First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony will take place on the morning of Aug. 12 at Graceland in Memphis as part of this year’s Elvis Week celebration. The public is encouraged to tweet about this news using #ElvisForever.

Launched in 2013, the Music Icons series consists of beloved musicians whose blend of sound and way of life broke musical boundaries. The first inductees included Lydia Mendoza, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. Last year’s inductees were Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

Elvis Presley is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. Known worldwide as “The King of Rock ‘n Roll,” his music and provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences, made him enormously popular and controversial. “The King’s” influence continues to inspire today’s artists, musicians, designers and social influencers.

The Postal Service previously honored Presley on a stamp in 1993. Visit this link for more information.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

16 thoughts on “Elvis Presley, Music Icon (U.S. 2015)

  1. Courtesy of the returning Roy Betts:

    Earlier today, Acting Director Stamp Services, Mary-Anne Penner shared two images during a telecon with philatelic media. The first image displayed was of the new Fanciful Flowers stamped card, which will be issued July 31. The card features a stylized illustration of flowers and a bee. This whimsical rendering in red, white and green was inspired by observations of life in a garden. The artist used a process similar to woodblock printing to create the stamp art. The colored petals and fragrances of flowers attract bees, providing these important flower pollinators with food and other nutrients in the form of energy-producing nectar and protein-rich pollen. This mutually beneficial relationship has facilitated the evolution of flowers and bees alike. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamped card, illustrated by Cathie Bleck.

    Also, Penner shared an image of Elvis Presley, not the actual image of the stamp announced earlier today to be issued August 12. The image displayed today will appear on the back side of the stamp sheet. The final design will resemble a 45 RPM record jacket. Presley will join music legends Lydia Mendoza, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin as the latest addition to the Music Icons stamps series.

  2. So has anybody other than a more-popular president ever had two (or is it three) stamps? Surely there was a deserving first-time subject available. Guess the USPS is turning into Broadway and we have revivals every 20 years.

    • Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and FDR come to mind immediately. There might well be others I haven’t thought of.

      • Ronald Regan has been on 3 stamps. The first stamp was a .37 stamp and than again as a .39 stamp. He also was on a stamp for his 100th birthday.

  3. Well,well,well! The USPS seems to think we can’t get enough
    of Elvis. Enough already! This second issue of an Elvis Stamp
    is a slap in the face of those of us who treasure The Great American
    Songbook.

  4. I went on the USPS website today and pre-ordered the Elvis Presley stamp. Just went back to the website and it was removed. I wonder if my order is still vilate.

  5. ANOTHER TYPO In the Postal Bulletin.
    9 July 2015 Page 39 Digital Color Postmark Keepsake for Elvis
    5890 15 ??? NO
    Should be 589010
    (Try to buy one at the Postal Store and the #10 is the number shown)

    I figured maybe with the CD, but NO. #10

    (This has been the Standard Number for the DCP Keepsake for several years now…)

    I’ll call The Caves tomorrow…

  6. We now have an active web site and I have some covers up. Since Elvis is coming back and I have a lot of Elvis First Day Covers that is the next group of covers I am going to put up.

  7. David Saks is the stamp collector who got the three early panes.
    He’s an eccentric millionaire, stamp collector and musician from Memphis.
    Lucky guy !

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