We’re feeling very Man in Black at Southern Living headquarters, celebrating the release of today’s Johnny Cash forever stamp. Yes, you can now stick it to the man — er, with the man — with a first-class stamp emblazoned with the likeness of one of our icons.
Based on a photo taken for the 1963 album Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash the stamps are $17.36 for a booklet of 16. And they’ll be good forever. Just like the music of the man himself.
The stamp was unveiled today at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.
Here’s how we’ll use the stamp at Southern Living …
- “I’d use the Johnny Cash stamp to mail in my overdue utilities bill payment. (A renegade like Johnny would approve of my tardiness, right?) And if my “Cash” doesn’t get there in time and my power gets shut off, we’ll have an appropriate “Man (and Woman) in Black” theme going on in my home as my husband and I sit in utter darkness.”–Rachel Barrett, Executive Editor, Travel & Culture
- “I’ll be sending a letter sealed with a Johnny Cash stamp to my Great Aunt Ruth in Richmond, Virginia. Even at 87 years old Ruth has a sultry Southern voice and can do one heck of a ‘Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.’ Enclosed in the envelope will also be a bit of birdseed for her parrot, Pepper, who, after years of hearing the phrase, can also masterfully impersonate the Man in Black.”– Caroline McKenzie, Associate Editor, Travel & Culture
- “I’d use the Johnny Cash stamp to mail my older sister, Brooke, an all-new, all-black Lululemon outfit. A yoga teacher, she was recently certified to teach yoga to female prisoners. Kudos to Brooke and Johnny for both working to banish the prison blues!” — Zoe Gowen, Assistant Homes Editor
And now, the most epic response from Copy Chief Susan Alison:
“My Brown Eyes and I would grab A Cup of Coffee, find an Empty Chair beside the Farmer’s Almanac and Family Bible, and write A Letter from Home. With Amazing Grace, it would begin “Good Morning Friend” and ask No Foolish Questions. I’d share the Bad News that I’m feelin’ A Certain Kinda Hurtin’, yep I Hurt So Bad (hey, I Can’t Help It … Even Cowgirls Get the Blues) because A Man in Black has Four Months To Live … Funny How Time Slips Away. And Now He’s Alone. Delia’s Gone. Katy Too (Two-Timin’ Woman). Lorena. All the Ladies. Nobody Cared. Nobody. Even Mama (Mean As Hell, but thankfully Papa Was a Good Man). I Guess Things Happen That Way. Crazy. But he dreams of a Brand New Dance while sleeping on a Bed of Roses beside Cool Water like the Mobile Bay at the Bottom of Monteagle Mountain, which is 40 Shades of Green. Nearby are Cotton Fields (just like Them Old Cottonfields Back Home), in the sun looking like a Field of Diamonds. I Can See an Angel. The Man in Black needs to make a Kneeling Drunkard’s Plea and beg “Lead Me Gently Home. I Walk the Line and I Won’t Back Down. I’ve led the Life of a Prisoner, with the Folsom Prison Blues. Cocaine Blues. One Too Many Mornings. Just wanted One More Ride. But I Learned the Hard Way. I Got Stripes. I’ve had The Devil To Pay. Now I’m Kentucky Straight. Redemption. Let Me Down Easy. Just Lay Me Down in Dixie.”
So, I Don’t Hurt Anymore because I Saw the Light too. One day My Ship Will Sail (though I hope I’m not Next in Line). Meet Me in Heaven. Now I Feel Better All Over. I’ll Be All Smiles Tonight. Joy to the World! (Jesus’ Teachings.) No Need To Worry. In my heaven there’s Night Life. A Second Honeymoon. You’ll Be All Right. Amen.
My Closing Comments and Theme would include thanking him For Lovin’ Me and say “I’ll Be Loving You” (Jesus’ Last Words) and “I Just Thought You’d Like To Know.” I’ll Say It’s True. It’s a Sin To Tell a Lie. (More Jesus Teaching.) It Ain’t Nothing New Babe. I get Straight A’s in Love.
I’d send my Tear-Stained Letter likely to An American By Birth, perhaps Country Trash or the Troubadour or Mr. Garfield or even a Boy Named Sue. Maybe he lives in the City of New Orleans, or Detroit City. Shantytown. New Mexico. You Wild Colorado. Mississippi Delta Land. A Proud Land. And I’ve Got My Pride too.
I’m Leaving Now.
Susan (Honky-tonk Girl)”