There are items and places in America that mean something special: the Washington Monument, Yellowstone Park, the Alamo, Empire State Building, a copper penny and yes, the stamp. The stamp holds a special place in America’s heart even though its use is becoming less and less frequent.
But, the stamp, and what it represents, is important. That is why I was pleased and honored to attend the ceremony where our national hero Ray Charles received his own series of stamps as part of the series called “music icons forever.”
Chaka Khan was there and said this, “This is something that people are going to see all around the world, like he was – known all around the world.”
Ray Charles isn’t just any recording artist, he wrote some of the songs that make up the very fabric of our nation and culture: “Hit the Road Jack”, “What I Say”, “I’ve Got A Woman”, “Let’s Go Get Stoned”, the early “Mess Around” and the defining “Georgia”. An embarrassment of classics that to this day that move people, young and old, to dance, smile, think, move, and, yes, feel God’s presence in his soulful voice.
So join me in buying these stamps and encouraging the US Post Office to make more that celebrate our shared leaders. I can see a Otis Redding collection, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Bob Dylan and even some country legends that similarly captured their communities’ spirit: people like George Jones, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Loretta Lynn.
So, to end this blog below is a video from one of my favorite Ray songs.
We miss him, we love him and we know his music will live forever.