I just bought myself a sheet of Maya Angelou stamps. At the same time, I decided to get a sheet of Ray Charles stamps. Some folks might say I’ve purchased my fill of stamps for the year and surely I don’t need to buy anymore. But then I discovered (via The Root) that a Sarah Vaughan Forever stamp will be unveiled on March 29th in her hometown of Newark, NJ. And I knew more stamps were in my immediate future.
Via USPS: “The stamp art is an oil painting of Vaughan in performance based on a 1955 photograph by Hugh Bell. A few lines of selvage text explain her importance as a Music Icon. The cover side of the pane features a larger version of the stamp art, a list of some of Vaughan’s popular songs, and the Music Icons logo. Bart Forbes was the artist and Ethel Kessler was the art director. The 11 a.m. First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony will take place March 29 in Newark, NJ, at the Sarah Vaughan Concert Hall.”
I first fell in love with Sarah Vaughan’s music when I was in high school. I got deep into jazz vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Dinah Washington. Sarah Vaughan always held a special place in my heart. Her vocal range went deeper, her voice resonant and truly an instrument. As a teenager her songs truly struck me as “grown folks music,” which made me want to drink in her music even more.
She’s probably most well known today for songs like “Whatever Lola Wants,” which has been used in popular TV ads.
I enjoy that song, but I LOVE her more sultry, languid material.
Picture 17 year old me, staring out of the window at night listening to Lush Life, Sophisticated Lady and Black Coffee. I was so extra emo back in those days!
Check her out singing “Misty” live in 1964. Just effortless talent.
Her version of “Send In The Clowns” might be my favorite.
Also, her version of “Lullaby of Birdland.” Just perfection.
Sarah Vaughan lived to be 66 years old and she left us in 1990. Her voice made such an impact, her musical legacy will never be forgotten. I’m glad to see her remembered by the USPS. If you’re new to her music or just want to enhance your musical library, I recommend Sarah Vaughan’s Golden Hits. Her voice truly was a gift.
Just for fun, check out this amazing clip of Pearl Bailey, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan on stage together in 1979. Legends!