SOURCE: ASCAP

November 12, 2007 08:00 ET

ASCAP Announces Top 25 Holiday Songs

"Winter Wonderland" Tops Most Performed Song List Covering Past Five Years

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 12, 2007) - As the holiday season approaches and seasonal music begins to fill the airwaves, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) -- the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization representing over 300,000 music creators and copyright owners -- today announced its Top 25 most performed holiday songs for the past five years, based on performance data tracked by radio airplay monitoring service Mediaguide.

Mediaguide, co-owned by ASCAP, was launched in 2002 to monitor radio broadcast music in real-time and facilitate the accurate distribution of royalty payments to songwriters, composers and publishers. Its proprietary technology and network of over 2,600 radio stations currently tracks more stations and total airplay than any other monitoring service in the U.S.

Members of the press who would like a custom week-to-week or local run of "real-time" 2007 holiday song airplay may contact Kathleen Reynolds (CooperKatz for Mediaguide) at 212-455-8062 or kreynolds@cooperkatz.com.

Marilyn Bergman, ASCAP President and Chairman, said: "More than anything else, music sets the mood for the Holidays, evoking the magic of the season and memories of Holidays past. These timeless classics have been recorded by artists in every genre, yet each song retains the original stamp of its creators."

Topping the list for the first time is "Winter Wonderland" by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith. This perennial, written in 1934, was an instant hit for legendary bandleader Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians who took it to the #2 spot on the Billboard charts the same year. 1946 recordings by the Andrews Sisters and Perry Como established the song as a Yuletide favorite. Versions by the Eurythmics, Jewel and Air Supply are frequently heard on radio today.

Re-entering the Top 25 list after a brief hiatus is Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime." Written in 1979, the song enjoys significant holiday season popularity both in the U.K. and the U.S. Paul McCartney is a member of the PRS -- the U.K.'s Performing Right Society -- who licenses his music through ASCAP for the U.S.

The Top 25 most performed ASCAP holiday songs of the past five years are listed below. Each song includes songwriter credits, and cites the most popular artist version played on radio.

1.  Winter Wonderland
    Written by: Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith
    Performed by: Eurythmics

2.  The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
    Written by: Mel Tormé, Robert Wells
    Performed by: Nat "King" Cole

3.  Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
    Written by: Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin
    Performed by: The Pretenders

4.  Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
    Written by: Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie
    Performed by: Bruce Springsteen

5.  White Christmas
    Written by: Irving Berlin
    Performed by: Bing Crosby

6.  Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
    Written by: Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne
    Performed by: Aaron Neville

7.  Jingle Bell Rock
    Written by: Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe
    Performed by: Bobby Helms

8.  Sleigh Ride
    Written by: Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish
    Performed by: The Ronettes

9.  Little Drummer Boy
    Written by: Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, Harry Simeone
    Performed by: The Harry Simeone Chorale & Orchestra

10. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
    Written by: Johnny Marks
    Performed by: Gene Autry

11. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
    Written by: Edward Pola, George Wyle
    Performed by: Andy Williams

12. I'll Be Home For Christmas
    Written by: Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, Buck Ram
    Performed by: Amy Grant

13. Silver Bells
    Written by: Jay Livingston, Ray Evans
    Performed by: Kenny G

14. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
    Written by: Johnny Marks
    Performed by: Brenda Lee

15. Feliz Navidad
    Written by: José Feliciano
    Performed by: José Feliciano

16. Frosty The Snowman
    Written by: Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins
    Performed by: The Ronettes

17. A Holly Jolly Christmas
    Written by: Johnny Marks
    Performed by: Burl Ives

18. Blue Christmas
    Written by: Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson
    Performed by: Elvis Presley

19. It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
    Written by: Meredith Willson
    Performed by: Johnny Mathis

20. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
    Written by: Tommie Connor (PRS)
    Performed by: John Mellencamp

21. Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)
    Written by: Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman
    Performed by: Elvis Presley

22. (There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays
    Written by: Bob Allen, Al Stillman
    Performed by: Perry Como

23. Carol Of The Bells
    Written by: Peter J. Wilhousky, Mykola Leontovich
    Performed by: David Foster (instrumental version)

24. Do They Know It's Christmas? (Feed the World)
    Written by: Midge Ure (PRS), Bob Geldof (PRS)
    Performed by: Band Aid

25. Wonderful Christmastime
    Written by: Paul McCartney (PRS)
    Performed by: Paul McCartney

Some facts about the Top 25 ASCAP Holiday Songs:

Oldest songs:
"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and "Winter Wonderland" (both 1934)

Newest song:
"Do They Know It's Christmas? (Feed the World)" (1984)

Most recorded Holiday song:
"White Christmas" with well over 500 versions in dozens of languages

Songs introduced in Film and Television
"White Christmas" in "Holiday Inn" (1942)
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944)
"Silver Bells" in "The Lemon Drop Kid" (1950)
"A Holly Jolly Christmas" in TV special "Rudolph the Red Nosed
Reindeer" (1962)

Writer with most top Holiday songs:
Johnny Marks with three - "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," "Rockin' Around
the Christmas Tree," and "A Holly Jolly Christmas"

About ASCAP

Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 300,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with over 90 music rights organizations such that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American Performing Rights Organization owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com