Today, the United States Postal Service officially made available a new Johnny Cash stamp, honoring the American music legend and 1992 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee as part of the Postal Service's Music Icons series. The stamp features a portrait of Cash taken by famed photographer Frank Bez, who captured the image of "the Man in Black" during photo sessions for 1963's Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash.
Although present at the genesis of rock and roll as one of the earliest signings to Sam Phillips' Sun Records in 1955, Cash recorded for nearly three decades with Columbia Records, a fruitful period that produced an estimated 1,400 songs. Cash's 16th album, Ring of Fire did, in fact, feature some of his best material, and on the week of January 11, 1964, it became the Number One album on Billboard's new Country Album chart. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's collection features a number of Johnny Cash items in the Memphis section of the Museum's Cities and Sounds exhibit. Among the featured items are a suit worn by Cash and a 1943 Martin acoustic guitar he played, both from his time with Sun Records in the mid to late Fifties; as well as a pair of boots Cash wore on his ABC-TV program The Johnny Cash Show, which aired from 1969 to 1973.
For many visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, one of the first exhibits they see is also a credit to Cash: the tour bus dubbed Unit One that he and his wife June Carter Cash used extensively for more than two decades. “I have a home that takes me anywhere I need to go, that cradles me and comforts me, that lets me nod off in the mountains and wake up in the plains: my bus, of course," Cash wrote in his 1997 autobiography. "We call it Unit One. I love my bus. It really is my home too. When I make it off another plane through another airport, the sight of that big black MCI waiting by the curb sends waves of relief through me – Aah! – safety, familiarity, solitude. Peace at last. My cocoon.”
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