“Happy Sweet Birthday”

Black-and-white, vintage photo of woman with long hair, smiling at camera.

On July 14th, KNOM Radio Mission celebrated its 47th anniversary of broadcasting.

One of the traditions of KNOM is the twice-daily “Village Hotline” program, during which listeners can send and receive messages, like birthday greetings. For much of KNOM’s history, listeners have enjoyed a “Happy Birthday” song written just for them, penned and recorded by volunteer alumna Mary J. “MJ” Hartman.

KNOM’s website now offers the chance to listen to Alaska Native language versions of “Happy Birthday,” and MJ’s “Happy Sweet Birthday” song. You can hear them right here at knom.org.

Image at top: Mary J. “MJ” Hartman, a 1988-89 volunteer whose service legacy includes a beloved birthday song regularly played during “Village Hotlines.” Photo: KNOM archive.