Marvin Gaye the ‘Prince of Soul’

Ceremony was on April 2, 2019

The U.S. Postal Service issued the Marvin Gaye Commemorative Forever postal stamp on what would have been his 80th. Birthday April 2nd. 2019. The First Day Ceremony was held at the historic Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. I estimated that 3,000 guests attended the ceremony. The postal service had quit taking ceremony reservations after 2,000 people made on-line reservations to attend.


The local postal service response was clearly overwhelmed by the number of attendees. The signing of ceremony programs was cancelled. Also the booths handling the sale of the Marvin Gaye stamps and other items was clearly overwhelmed with  very long lines  and wait times, as well as the postal cancellation line. The weather was hot in the 80’s at the outdoor event. The postal service did offer free bottles of water to the attendees due to the weather condition.

The ceremony program was packed with celebrities. The program was hosted by Mary Wilson of the Supremes. Introduced speakers included Smokey Robinson, Barry Gordy, and Kenny Lattimore, Grammy nominated singer and songwriter, and Kadir Nelson, stamp artist and author . Also speaking were members of Marvin Gaye’s family including son Marvin Gaye III, daughter Nona Gaye, sister Zeola Gaye and brother Antwaun Gay.

Hit after hit of Marvin’s most famous songs were featured.  A normal postal ceremony of 20 to 30 minutes went close to 90 minutes. It was a fantastic event which will be long remembered.

ESPER President Warashal  Faison attended the event along with new ESPER Board member Charlene Blair and Leon Lee.

The Greek Threatre is located in the historic Griffin Park area of Los Angeles. The area is known for the large mansion type homes in the area. The park borders the mountain range that surrounds the Los Angeles basin.  By Greg Slaughter.

Ceremony Video

Board Member Charlene Blair
Board Member Charlene Blair

People online buying stamps
People online buying stamps


Photos from Charlene Blair and Warachal Faison

From left to right: Marvin Gaye III, Motown Founder Berry Gordy, Chief Postal Inspector Gary R. Barksdale, and Smokey Robinson.

From left to right: Marvin Gaye son Marvin Gaye III, , daughter Nona Gaye,Chief Postal Inspector Gary R. Barksdale, and brother Antwaun Gay

Son Marvin Gaye III
Son Marvin Gaye III

From left to right: Marvin Gaye III, Motown Founder Berry Gordy, Chief Postal Inspector Gary R. Barksdale, and Smokey Robinson.


Photos coutisey USPS and other website

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First Day of Issue Cancellation Samples

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Marvin Gaye


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