USPS honoring Pete Seeger

Folk singer honored with Music Icons stamp

Famed folk singer Pete Seeger is being honored as part of the Postal Service’s Music Icons Forever stamp series. Seeger was inducted into the USPS’s iconic series on Thursday (July 21st).

“The Postal Service is pleased to present our new Music Icons stamp honoring Pete Seeger, a man who inspired countless musicians and millions of fans around the world,” shares Tom Foti, the Postal Service’s product solutions vice president, who served as the stamp ceremony’s dedicating official. “He was not only a champion of traditional American music, he was also celebrated as a unifying power by promoting a variety of causes, such as, civil rights, workers’ rights, social justice, the peace movement and protecting the environment.”

Members of Seeger’s family; Chris Funk, music director of the Newport Folk Festival Presents For Pete’s Sake; and Béla Fleck, who performed the national anthem; were all part of the ceremony.

The Pete Seeger Forever stamps are being sold in panes of 16.

The stamp art features a color-tinted, black-and-white photograph taken in the early 1960s by Dan Seeger, the performer’s son. Pete Seeger is shown in left profile, singing and playing his iconic banjo.

The square stamp pane resembles 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 the top of the sleeve. A larger version of the stamp-art photograph appears on the reverse side with the words “Pete Seeger FOLK SINGER.”

Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp and pane. Dan Seeger’s photograph was color-tinted by Kristen Monthei.

Pete Seeger revived and championed traditional American music. A resolute voice of conscience and defender of American liberties, he adapted and popularized the song “We Shall Overcome,” which rose to become the predominant anthem of the civil rights movement. His own compositions galvanized populist uprisings: “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” has given musical voice to peace movements since the Vietnam War, and “If I Had a Hammer” has been embraced by an array of activists.

“It is an honor to see a photo of my father I’d taken some 60 years ago become this wonderful Forever stamp,” shares Dan Seeger. “My dad did most of his correspondence by hand — written letters — and I can imagine him smiling and of course appreciating this great honor because he relied on the U.S. Mail with its simplicity and honesty, knowing that thoughts and ideas can go from the sender over a tremendous expanse to a single receiver and get delivered.”

Responding to Seeger’s enormous charisma as a performer, audiences turned his concerts into sing-alongs, led by his clear tenor and ringing five-string banjo, its head inscribed: “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.” In the eyes of generations of admirers, Seeger’s ideals and ordeals elevated him from folk singer to folk hero.

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Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: info@themusicuniverse.com

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