ASCAP Announces Top 25 Holiday Songs of the Decade; "Winter Wonderland" Tops Most Performed Song List
Posted December 2, 2009
Gene Autry's Christmas music is right at home in the 21st Century according to ASCAP's list of the Top 25 Holiday Songs of the Decade. The list is based on the most performed holiday songs from the past ten years. Gene Autry really is the Christmas Cowboy!
New York, NY, November 23, 2009: Even as the digital music generation embraces the latest technological innovations, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) reports that traditional favorites still rule the holiday airwaves -- and the iPod. Interpreted over the years by each decade's most popular artists, these Holiday favorites remain timeless classics appealing to young and old alike.
Topping ASCAP's holiday songs list of the decade is one of the oldest songs on the list: "Winter Wonderland." It was written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith, and 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. Recordings by the Andrews Sisters and Perry Como, in 1946, established the song as a Yuletide favorite. Versions by the Eurythmics, Jewel and Air Supply are frequently heard on radio today.
ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams knows something about holiday songs, having received an Emmy nomination this year for "I Wish I Could Be Santa Claus" from A Muppets Christmas: Letters To Santa, an original Christmas special with both story and songs by the renowned songwriter. He commented: "This is a tough list for any of us to break into. There's a sense that people tend to gravitate towards tradition, especially at the holidays, and our top 25 list confirms this. So, whether you're listening to holiday music on an iPod or a vintage record player, these time-honored favorites are sure to evoke the magic of the season and memories of holidays past."
The Top 25 most performed ASCAP holiday songs of the decade are listed below. Each song includes songwriter credits, and cites the most popular artist version played on radio today. The data was compiled with the help of Mediaguide, the most comprehensive digital audio performance tracking technology in the world.
Some facts about the Top 25 ASCAP Holiday Songs:
"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.
Mediaguide, co-owned by ASCAP, monitors radio broadcast music in real-time and facilitates the accurate distribution of royalty payments to songwriters, composers and publishers. Its proprietary technology and network of over 2,500 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 (PRO) representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 330,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with over 90 similar foreign 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 PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com