Stamps of Approval
By Tim P.
stars. Famous songwriters. Columbia College alumni. Where can you
find all three together? How about your local post office? In
recent months, the U.S. Postal Service has issued first-class
stamps commemorating Oscar Hammerstein II '16, Lorenz
Hart '18, James Cagney '22, and Richard Rodgers
On July 22, a
stamp featuring James Cagney (1899-1986) was unveiled at a gala
ceremony at the Burbank, Calif. studio of Warner Bros., where the
actor made more than 40 films. A self-described "song-and-dance
man," Cagney began his show business career in vaudeville and
eventually appeared in more than 60 films, ranging from The Public
Enemy (1931) and Angels With Dirty Faces (1938), to Ragtime (1981),
his last film. The stamp dedication ceremony was followed by a
special screening of Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), for which Cagney
earned a Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Broadway
legend George M. Cohan. In 1974, Cagney became the first actor to
receive the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award. In
1984, he was awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom, the nation's
highest civilian award.
commemorative is part of the Postal Service's "Legends of
Hollywood" series, which also has featured Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey
Bogart, James Dean, and Alfred Hitchcock. The Postal Service will
print more than 75 million James Cagney stamps.
21, the six-stamp Broadway Songwriters commemorative panel honoring
nine lyricists and composers, including Lorenz Hart, Richard
Rodgers, and Oscar Hammerstein II, was unveiled at a ceremony at
the Broadhurst Theatre on 44th Street in Manhattan. A gifted and
inventive lyricist, Hart (1895-1943) is best remembered for his
collaborations with Rodgers (1902-1979), which included the songs
"My Funny Valentine" from the musical Babes in Arms (1937) as well
as "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" and "I Could Write a Book"
from Pal Joey (1940). Rodgers later teamed up with Hammerstein
(1895-1960) to create a series of hugely successful musicals
notable for their integration of music and plot, including Oklahoma
(1943), Carousel (1945), South Pacific (1945), which won the
Pulitzer Prize, The King and I (1951), and The Sound of Music
Service will print 44.5 million copies of the six-stamp panel. The
Broadway Songwriters panel is the final addition to the Legends of
American Music series, which already has honored artists ranging
from Elvis Presley to Dizzy Gillespie.
James Cagney and the Broadway Songwriters stamps were designed by
Howard Paine. Thomas Blackshear illustrated the Cagney stamp, while
Drew Struzan illustrated the Broadway Songwriters
If you can't
find these stamps at your local post office, you may order them
on-line from the Postal Service at www.stampsonline.com.