Friday, August 1, 2003

New stamp will honor Roy Acuff

The Associated Press

Roy Acuff, acknowledged as the "King of Country Music," and as the man who made Nashville, Tenn., the country music capital of America, now receives further acclaim. He's being honored on a new U.S. postage stamp for release Sept. 13.

Besides being the first "superstar" performer in country music, Acuff also made the Grand Ole Opry the country institution of record. In addition, Acuff's style, both as a musician and as a performer, influenced countless future artists, laying the groundwork for the prototypical country star, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

Acuff was born in Maynardsville, Tenn., in 1903. He sang in the church choir and learned to play the fiddle. He fiddled his way onto a local radio show, which eventually earned him regional attention. In 1938 he joined the Grand Ole Opry, forming a backing band called the Smoky Mountain Boys. The rest is music and American history.

The new stamp features a black-and-white photo by John E. Hood that appeared in the March 15, 1949, issue of Collier's magazine. It shows Acuff in a playful moment, holding his fiddle under his arm rather than his chin. The 37-cent stamp will be released at the Grand Ole Opry on Sept. 13. It will be available at post offices Sept. 15.

In 1962, Acuff became the first living performer to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He died in November, 1992.

First-day covers of the new Acuff stamp can be obtained by calling (800) 882-6724.

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