December 04, 2007 08:00 ET

ASCAP Updates List of Radio's Most Played Holiday Songs

"Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells Jingling... " 86,925 Times!

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 4, 2007) - The holiday season is in full swing and for many people, this festive time of year wouldn't be the same without familiar holiday songs being played on their radios. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has compiled holiday song data, tracked by radio airplay monitoring service Mediaguide, from over 2,600 radio stations nationwide. The results show that dozens of stations are in the holiday spirit -- with many of them rockin' around the Christmas tree 24/7 -- and playing some of the most popular and best loved holiday songs.

Highlights of the data include:

--  1,562 different holiday songs have been played on radio stations from
    October 1, 2007 to December 3, 2007.
--  Holiday songs have been played 2,366,787 times altogether.
--  197 stations have switched to all-holiday, all the time playlists.
--  The top 10 most-played holiday songs in the ASCAP repertoire so far
    this holiday season are:

  1. "Sleigh Ride" (Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish) - played 86,925 times
  2. "Winter Wonderland" (Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith) - played 82,185
  3. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin) -
     played 64,806 times
  4. "Jingle Bell Rock" (Joseph Carleton Beal, James Roth Boothe) - played
     62,285 times
  5. "White Christmas" (Irving Berlin) - played 59,611 times
  6. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" (Edward Pola, George
     Wyle) - played 58,508 times
  7. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (Johnny Marks) - played 52,587
  8. "Frosty the Snowman" (Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins) - played
     44,472 times
  9. "Silver Bells" (Ray Evans, Jay Livingston) - played 44,465 times
 10. "A Holly Jolly Christmas" (Johnny Marks) - played 44,374 times

--  Note: The above list represents an aggregation of all different artist
    versions of each cited holiday song.

"Sleigh Ride" is the only holiday song on the list written originally as an instrumental piece for a symphony orchestra. The Boston Pops Orchestra gave the first performance in a concert conducted by Arthur Fiedler at Symphony Hall in Boston, May 4, 1948. Mills Music published it that same year. The Boston Pops Orchestra recorded it in June of 1949. Mitchell Parish added lyrics in 1949.

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

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.


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.