Thursday, August 29, 2013
Edith Piaf and Miles Davis 12.6.2012
The United States Postal Service made a joint issue of new Forever stamps honoring two of the world’s greatest musicians, Edith Piaf and Miles Davis. The stamps were issued with the French postal service, La Poste in June 2012, and postmarked on these covers with very appropriately designed date-stamps.
“We look forward to issuing these great stamps jointly with La Poste, continuing a tradition of international celebration of stamps,” said USPS Manager, Stamp Services, Stephen Kearney.
Americans may know Edith Piaf best for her cheerful song “La Vie en Rose” (“Life in Pink”), about the experience of falling in love and seeing life through rose-colored glasses; the tune is still heard on the streets of Paris today.
Piaf’s tumultuous life got off to a stormy start. Born Edith Gassion in Paris, she was abandoned by her mother and later traveled with her father, singing on the street while he performed acrobatics. The tiny singer was discovered by a nightclub owner who gave her the stage name “Piaf,” Parisian slang for sparrow. She quickly became a star, singing tragic songs about heartbreak that have been called a French equivalent of the blues. Piaf toured the U.S. ten times and sang twice at Carnegie Hall. In 1960, the ailing chanteuse discovered the defiant song that would become her anthem, “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” (“No Regrets”).
Miles Davis was at the forefront of jazz musicians for decades, setting trends and exploring musical styles from bebop through cool jazz, fusion and funk. His restless musical exploration made him a hero to many, while sometimes confounding critics and fans. Among his many influential recordings are Birth of the Cool, Kind of Blue, Sketches of Spain, and In a Silent Way. He was also a great bandleader, and many important musicians rose to prominence in his bands, including saxophonists John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter; drummers Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette; and pianists Bill Evans, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock.
Davis’ music will long be remembered for its profound depth of feeling. By the time of his death in 1991, he had won many prizes and honors, including a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 1984, he received Denmark’s prestigious Léonie Sonning Music Prize. In 1989, he was awarded the Grande Médaille de Vermeil by the city of Paris, which was presented to him by Jacques Chirac, then mayor and later president of France.
Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps using an undated, black-and-white photo of Piaf made by Studio Harcourt Paris and a black-and-white photo of Davis, from 1970, by David Gahr.
Thank you Dear Merja for this wonderful set of first day covers.