Happy Birthday to…

How many people in your network do you send birthday cards (or e-mails) to? That’s what I thought :)… you need to read this post!

I am on a LinkedIn Yahoo group and this weekend the list got an awesome e-mail from a list member based in the UK. It starts with a very interesting history of “Happy Birthday To You” and ends with a personal “happy birthday Vince!” I’m including it here because you may know someone that is a trivia/fact nut and would appreciate this:

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday to You, the four-line ditty was written as a classroom greeting in 1893 by two Louisville teachers, Mildred J. Hill, an authority on Negro spirituals, and Dr. Patty Smith Hill, professor emeritus of education at Columbia University.

The melody of the song Happy Birthday to You was composed by Mildred J. Hill, a schoolteacher born in Louisville, KY, on June 27, 1859. The song was first published in 1893, with the lyrics written by her sister, Patty Smith Hill, as “Good Morning To All.”

Happy Birthday to You was copyrighted in 1935 and renewed in 1963. The song was apparently written in 1893, but first copyrighted in 1935 after a lawsuit (reported in the New York Times of August 15, 1934, p.19 col. 6)

In 1988, Birch Tree Group, Ltd. sold the rights of the song to Warner Communications (along with all other assets) for an estimated $25 million (considerably more than a song). (reported in Time, Jan 2, 1989 v133 n1 p88(1)

In the 80s, the song Happy Birthday to You was believed to generate about $1 million in royalties annually. With Auld Lang Syne and For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow, it is among the three most popular songs in the English language. (reported in Time, Jan 2, 1989 v133 n1 p88(1)

Happy Birthday to You continues to bring in approximately 2 million dollars in licensing revenue each year, at least as of 1996 accounting, according to Warner Chappell and a Forbes magazine article.

Yahoo won’t allow the broadcasting of songs!! 😉

Happy Birthday Vince!! Have a great day – you deserve it.

I thought this was a super-classy “personal” note – everyone on the list knows Vincent, and we all know that Vincent is a nut for this kind of stuff. How appropriate! How John found out it was Vincent’s birthday, I have no idea. Did Vincent even know John knew? Who knows. But I’m sure that going to the effort to put this together made a significant impact on what Vincent thinks of John.

So, going back to the whole “how many birthday cards do you send out” question… recently we included the ability to put your contact’s birthdate in their profile. Haven’t done much from there yet, but will be including some reminders and reports to let you know who’s birthday is coming up. At the very least send them a quick note – everyone likes that! You’ll get more mileage, however, if you take the time to put together something personal. Borrow what John did here (that’s why I included it), or figure out a different personal way to say it – but start to send these out and see if that doesn’t strengthen the relationships with your network contacts.

Jason Alba's birthday - when is yours?This image from JibberJobber show’s where I put my birthday in my profile – note the year – I’m not 106 years old… but I find that lots of folks don’t care to give me the year – it doesn’t matter. What I really want is the month and date! So don’t get hung up on getting a year in this field. And if you’ve read this far, shoot me an e-mail with your birthday and I’ll update it – you are probably in my JibberJobber network anyway!

And that, my friends, is the difference between having a network full of phone numbers and a network with strong personal relationships.

Strong personal relationships!

Strong personal relationships!

That’s what it’s all about!

6 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to…”

  1. Thanks for this post! I’ve been terrible about keeping up with important dates myself.

    Oh, and Happy Belated Birthday to you? (11/12?) 😀

  2. Ha – I’m sure there’s room for more Scorpios here! Although I don’t know much about this stuff so perhaps only one at a time?

    Happy belated birthday to you Vicki! I’ve just updated your profile!

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