Saturday, August 20, 2011

'Return To Sender': Elvis Presley Stamp: Part II

The Book (image):

Meeting friend bloggers, including blogger/author Dr. Tan Wee Kiat and being presented with his latest publication, Singapore Stamps & Money, One For The Birds, reminded me of a particular stamp I wanted to buy some years ago.

The Stamp (image):

It was first issued on 8th January, 1993 on what would have been Elvis' Presley's 58th birthday. By the end of that year alone it had already become the most profitable stamp in the history of the US Postal Service.

Consequently the stamp is not of great monetary value as a collectible item although it remains a must have for any serious Elvis fan or collector of Elvis memorabilia. Harder to find items such as whole sheets of stamps, first day covers and even covers cancelled with the words *Return to Sender are particularly sought after.

The USPS printed 500 million of these Elvis stamps - three times the usual print run for a commemorative stamp - and it has become the biggest selling commemorative postage stamp of all time and the most controversial ever issued.

The United States, however, is not the only country to have issued Elvis stamps. In fact, Elvis first appeared on a postage stamp issued in Grenada on the first anniversary of his death in 1978 and has since been featured on international stamps everywhere from Antigua to Zaire.

The Song:

*Return To Sender is a 1962 rock n roll single by The King himself and written by Winfield Scott and Otis Blackwell. So when the commemorative stamp to celebrate Elvis Presley's birthday was introduced, many Americans wrote invalid addresses on their letters marked with the new stamp.

Thus, they would get the letter back with "Return To Sender" written over it and the Elvis Presley stamp with the date of the first issue day on it, which would increase the value of the stamp.

Except for a few songs, Elvis seldom had anything to do with the art of songwriting. It is about a man having an arguement with his girlfriend. He keeps trying to send her letters and she keeps returning them refusing to answer to them. He can't seem to believe that he and his girlfriend's relationship is over with.

The song was featured in the film Girls! Girls! Girls!. Return To Sender went to number one on the U.K. singles charts, and number two on the American top forty charts. Can one buy these Presley stamps on the market? Yes, but according to collectors, they are not worth much. Sold in sheets, they cost about US$25.00. Interested anyone?
Information edited: (1)


Image: 1. Dr Tan Wee Kiat's book 2. Google Elvis Presley Collection.



Anonymous said...

Email from: WK Tan:

Thanks for posting on your blog and the article about Elvis Presley stamps.

Such thematic stamps (Elvis Presley, Princess Diana, etc) are available from stamp agents.

I think when you are writing your book on Record Album-covers and come to the one on Elvis, you should add in the stamp(s) and the article contents.

Anonymous said...

Email from: James Seah:

Mucho mucho thank you to:

Wee Kiat & super-sponsor for the beautiful and instructive book,

Chun See for the photos and all involved for bringing back memories of yesterday/yesteryears.

James (Jim)

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Email replies:

Thanks Wee Kiat for copies of your book. It's on the right side-bar of the blog.
Get well soon.

Andy Lim