December 08, 2010 13:51 ET

ASCAP Updates List of Most-Played Holiday Songs; "Sleigh Ride" Leads With 59,797 Spins on Radio

ASCAP's "We Create Music" Blog Shares an Irreverent Holiday Song Roundup

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 8, 2010) -  As radio stations across the nation ramp up their festive playlists, with many flipping to all-holiday music, traditional favorites still rule the airwaves, according to the latest holiday song data released by ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). The performance data is tracked by radio airplay monitoring service, Mediaguide, from over 2,500 radio stations nationwide. 

Highlights of the data include:

  • 1,987 different holiday songs have been played on radio from 10/1/10 to 12/3/10.
  • Holiday songs have been played 1,539,526 times altogether.
  • In many cases, newer versions of the original recordings have become the most popular renditions heard on radio today. 
  • KCKC-FM (Kansas City, MO) was the first station to switch to all-holiday music programming on November 1, 2010. Since then, 178 additional stations have switched to all-holiday music. 
  • The top 10 most-played ASCAP holiday songs so far this holiday season are:

1. "Sleigh Ride" - played 59,797 times
Written by Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish
Most popular artist version performed by Leroy Anderson

2. "Winter Wonderland" - played 53,762 times
Written by Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith
Most popular artist version performed by Eurythmics

3. "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" - played 44,576 times
Written by Edward Pola, George Wyle
Most popular artist version performed by Andy Williams

4. "Jingle Bell Rock" - played 44,055 times
Written by Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe
Most popular artist version performed by Bobby Helms

5. "White Christmas" - played 37,797 times 
Written by Irving Berlin
Most popular artist version performed by Bing Crosby

6. "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" - played 36,043 times
Written by Meredith Willson
Most popular artist version performed by Bing Crosby

7. "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - played 33,980 times
Written by Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin
Most popular artist version performed by The Carpenters

8. "Frosty the Snowman" - played 30,875 times
Written by Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins
Most popular artist version performed by Jimmy Durante

9. "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting...)" - played 29,378 times
Written by Mel Tormé, Robert Wells
Most popular artist version performed by Nat King Cole

10. "I'll Be Home For Christmas" - played 28,179 times
Written by Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, Buck Ram
Most popular artist version performed by Amy Grant

Note: The list represents an aggregation of all different artist versions of each cited holiday song played on radio from 10/1/10 through 12/3/10. Each song includes songwriter credits, and cites the most popular artist version currently being played on radio.

ASCAP's "We Create Music" Blog Shares An Irreverent Holiday Song Roundup
While traditional favorites are ruling the airwaves, ASCAP's "We Create Music" Blog took an alternative look as some holiday chestnuts that may, or may not, be heating up festive playlists.
"An Irreverent Holiday Song Roundup" includes "Father Christmas" by The Attack, "Miracle" by Matisyahu, "All I Want Is Truth (for Christmas)" by The Mynabirds, "A Very Sleepy Christmas" by Sleepy Rebels, "Toy Jackpot" by Blackalicious, "Blues for Christmas" by Vince Roselli, "Pink Christmas" by Krysta Youngs, and "Raining Blood" by Slayer. Check out the Blog here:

About Mediaguide
Mediaguide, co-owned by ASCAP, uses proprietary digital fingerprinting and watermarking technology to monitor and measure music and advertisement airplay on more than 2,500 commercial, non-commercial and college radio stations in over 150 US markets, real time, 24/7.

Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization (PRO) representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from nearly 400,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with similar foreign organizations so that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world where copyright law exists. 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 PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.