Thursday, 1 July 2010

Let the lobbying commence for a Bill Monroe stamp

Remember the campaign and subsequent vote for an Elvis stamp? Well there is a similar move afoot to get a stamp for the father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe. I'm all for it. There have been plenty of stamps for politicians, explorers and scientists that frankly few people care about and it's about time some more respect was given to artists who are not of the "high brow" type usually honoured by the state. The famous Elvis stamps came about as part of a larger package of stamps honouring various other heroes of Rock & Roll, The Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Country. There have also been a few other stamps for Duke Ellington, Scott Joplin, W.C. Handy, and last year, Roy Acuff. You can see them along the left side of this blog. Note the cool Bix Biederbeck stamp is actually a mock up never actually issued and way overdue. The Johnny Cash is also a mockup, he has not been dead long enough to qualify however. Canada has given a stamp to Oscar Peterson but is remiss in ignoring country stars Hank Snow, Wilf Carter and Al Nolan. Do I detect a subtle class-ism in a willingness to honour jazz more than country music? For that matter even the series of American masters stamps had some odd omissions. Seriously, no Bix, Lester Young, Sam Cooke, Little Walter, Chet Baker, Sonnyboy Williamson, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin? I suspect that the manner their respective deaths might had gotten them a veto. In other words no drug addicts or other scandals. Having only four country music stars leaves out Webb Pierce, Lefty Frizzel, Jim Reeves which can be blamed on a belief that Country Music isn't to taken a seriously as Jazz. On the other hand there's no John Cage either.

Anyway here's the info on the Bill Monroe campaign from;

Voice Your Support for a Bill Monroe Commemorative Stamp!

Image courtesy of Grassware

Would you like to see Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass Music, honored by a commemorative United States Postage Stamp? If you would, the time to act is NOW, and all you have to do is to write and mail a letter.

Each year, the United States Postal Service considers the issuance of approximately 25 commemorative postage stamps. Under its guidelines, the honoree must have been deceased for at least 10 years. The 10th anniversary of Bill Monroe's death occurred on September 9, 2006, meaning he is now eligible.

The first two opportunities to honor Bill Monroe with a postage stamp, in 2006 and 2007, have now passed. The centennial of his birth, on September 13, 2011, would be the perfect occasion to celebrate his musical legacy. Since the selection committee considers subjects three years in advance of the issuance date, that means this year and next year are our opportunity to influence their choice for 2011.

The first step is for a citizens' committee to select, and narrow down to approximately 25, the worthy nominees for each year. This they do by considering letters, cards, petitions, etc., sent to them by the public at large. After that, the committee considers art work and other details for the stamp. Because Bill Monroe's music is appreciated worldwide, nominations from outside the USA would be very appropriate. If you would like to participate in this effort on behalf of a great American musical genius, write your letter to:

Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee
Stamp Development
US Postal Service
1735 North Lynn St. Rm 5013
Arlington VA 22209-6432

Don't delay -- if we all pitch in and do our part by writing a letter, and telling our friends, Bill Monroe can receive this well-deserved recognition from the country that he loved.

No comments:

Post a Comment