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 JANIS, JIMI, JAMES, JOHNNY: Commemorative Postage Stamps Being Planned




The postal service is planning an all-star roster of commemorative stamps. According to The Washington Post, stamps honoring rock icons Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix and basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain will be out before the end of 2014. The 2015 list includes James Brown and Johnny Carson — who would have turned 90 next year — plus a reissue (on the year he would have been 90) of the Elvis Presley commemorative, which remains the USPS’s all-time best-seller.

Dealing with serious financial issues, the Postal Service is leaning more heavily on sales of such stamps to boost revenues. Embracing more entertainers and pop culture figures is one such move — although there are limits. Unlike Canada, living people can’t be depicted on stamps, which knocks out a universe of famous faces. And non-U.S. citizens aren’t eligible either: that eliminates such beloved figures — and potential moneymakers as John Lennon or Pope John Paul II.

While some art work for these commemorative stamps has already been done, Susan McGowan, the Postal Service’s executive director for stamp services and corporate licensing, tells the Post the subjects “are subject to change” at any time.

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