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New for '93: postage stamps with soul

From rock and rhythm to country and Broadway, the U.S. Postal Service is facing 1993 with a song in its heart.

Next year's commemorative postage stamps will include Buddy Holly and Otis Redding, Hank Williams and the Carter family, Porgy & Bess and My Fair Lady.

"In January, there will be more Elvis sightings than ever," said Postmaster General Marvin Runyon.

He said 300-million stamps honoring the late king of rock 'n' roll would go on sale following first-day ceremonies in Memphis on Jan. 8, which would have been Elvis' 58th birthday.

The stamp's inclusion of the year of his death, 1977, is appropriate despite the many alleged "sightings" of the singer in later years, said Runyon, who announced the stamps at a news conference at the Hard Rock Cafe.

The Post Office considers it "less a date of death than a date of passing," he said, and is taking a "metaphysical view" of the question.

The Elvis stamp generated national attention last year when the public voted on the design.

It will be sold separately or as part of a booklet of seven stamps being issued in June to honor pioneers of rock 'n' roll and rhythm and blues, including Holly, Ritchie Valens, Bill Haley, Redding, Clyde McPhatter and Dinah Washington.

Country singer Williams will be featured on a stamp in August and also will be included in a September booklet of stamps along with Patsy Cline, Bob Wills and the Carter Family.

Four popular Broadway musicals will be honored in a booklet of stamps in March. They include Showboat, Porgy & Bess, Oklahoma and My Fair Lady.

The Oklahoma stamp also will be issued separately.

Release dates for '93 stamps

Here's a rundown of the 1993 postage stamps.

The list includes the date and place of first issue, if they were announced.

January: Elvis Presley individual stamp, Jan. 8, Memphis; science fiction booklet; research chemist Percy Lavon Julian, Chicago.

February: World University Games, Feb. 25, Buffalo, N.Y.

March: Grace Kelly; Broadway musical Oklahoma, Oklahoma City; Broadway musical booklet, New York City.

April: Circus block of four, New York City; statesman Dean Acheson, Washington; Cherokee Strip, April 17, Enid, Okla.

May: Racehorses block of four, Louisville, Ky.; garden flowers booklet, Spokane, Wash.; World War II set of 10.

June: Rock 'n' roll/rhythm and blues booklet; boxer Joe Louis, June 11.

August: Hank Williams, Nashville; deaf communication set of two.

September: Country music booklet, Nashville.

October: Children's books series including Huckleberry Finn, Little House on the Prairie, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Little Women. The 1993 Christmas stamps also will be issued.

November: Commonwealth of the Northern Marianna Islands, Washington.

_ Associated Press