By Garin Flowers:
September 23, 2013
When Elesta Pritchett looks at the new stamps honoring soul singer Ray Charles, she sees more than just a music legend, she also sees a friend.
"I don't know how the post office came about making the selection, but we are proud they did," Pritchett said.
Pritchett grew up in small town Greenville in Madison county. She said Ray Charles grew up just a few homes down from her house.
"We were just happy to have him with us."
The U.S. Postal Service is honoring Ray Charles as a part of their Music Icons Forever Stamp collection. They were released Monday, which would also be his 83rd birthday.
The Greenville Heritage Committee observed the occasion at their local post office.
"He was born in Albany, but his mom was just there to have the baby and then she came back and he grew up here in Greenville and a lot of people here know him," said Vickie Rentz, post master of the Greenville Post Office.
A sheet of stamps cost just above $7 and it may be a little more special to buy it in Greenville than anywhere else.
"Because he was from Greenville, so we really wanted to do something special," Rentz said.
As for Pritchett, she's proud to call Ray Charles friend and hometown superstar.
"I've done everything I could to let everybody know Ray Charles belongs to Greenville and not Albany, Georgia."
According to RayCharles.com, Concord Records will release a new Ray Charles album Tuesday, which will include an unreleased track that he performed live at different shows.
Associated Press Release
ATLANTA (AP) -- The U.S. Postal Service is planning to add a world-famous musician and Georgia native to its "Music Icons Forever" stamp series.
Postal officials say the agency is releasing a stamp featuring Ray Charles, of Albany, on Monday along with one of the artists' previously unreleased songs.
Charles was a singer and songwriter who pioneered the soul and rhythm and blues genres. He died in 2004.
Events are being planned in Atlanta and Los Angeles to celebrate Charles' induction into the series.
R&B singer Ashanti and the Morehouse Glee Club are scheduled to perform at the school's Ray Charles Performing Arts Center, and Chaka Khan is headlining an event at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live.
The U.S. Postal Service honors music legends annually by featuring them on limited-edition stamps.
According to RayCharles.com, Concord Records will release a new Ray Charles album tomorrow, which will include and unreleased track that he performed live at different shows.