An Ode To The Voice Of The Navajo Nation Station

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript
Ernie Manuelito WIDE i

Ernie Manuelito Courtesy KTNN hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy KTNN
Ernie Manuelito WIDE

Ernie Manuelito

Courtesy KTNN

Ernie Manuelito died this year at age 57. His was the first voice ever to be heard on KTNN-AM, the Navajo nation radio station.

Known to listeners as Early Bird Ernie, Manuelito loved oldies (Buck Owens and George Jones were favorites) and sports, especially football. He reported on local news, but he also brought the outside world to his Navajo community. He announced Super Bowl XXX and the Salt Lake City Olympics in the Dine (Navajo) language.

Ernie spoke Navajo well — better than many — and said that putting the Navajo language on the air was an important public service.

Produced by Posey Gruener



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.