Eight blues and jazz greats who left a legacy on today's pop music scene were honored last week with their own postal stamps.
On Friday, the U.S. Postal Service, along with the Chicago Blues Museum, unveiled stamps honoring Muddy Waters, Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson (absent his trademark cigarette), Ma Rainey, Howlin' Wolf, Jimmie Rushing, Billie Holiday and Mildred Bailey.The unveiling took place at the North Beach Club in Chicago. That same day, the Chicago Blues Museum featured a photo exhibition on the world of blues and jazz.
Earlier this year, a cloud of controversy surrounded Johnson's portrait. It was originally drawn with cigarette in mouth - according to jazz lore, Johnson, known as the "King of the Delta Blues Singers," was rarely seen without a cigarette. But the postal service requested the final proof should feature Johnson without the cigarette.
Holiday was portrayed by Diana Ross in the 1972 film "Lady Sings the Blues." Ross' heartfelt recreations of "Lady Day's" songs earned her an Academy Award nomination.