Monday, December 8, 2014

ASCAP Releases List Of Most-Performed Holiday Songs

It’s become an annual tradition: at the beginning of every holiday season, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) announces its list of the most-performed holiday songs of the year - the evergreen hits that accompany more family get-togethers and wintertime shopping trips than any others.

This year, ASCAP presents its 100th birthday celebration into the holiday season by unwrapping the top 30 ASCAP holiday songs of all time. Topping the list is “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” written by Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie.

Paul Williams
ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams commented: “Music reminds us that the holidays are supposed to be about togetherness and good cheer. These 30 ASCAP classics perfectly capture those themes and for many are a bridge to wonderful memories of days gone by. The list is a testament to the enduring importance of great songs and songwriters. It’s also a reminder of the essential role that ASCAP and our members play in our lives, year after year. It simply wouldn’t be the holidays without ASCAP music.”

“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” became an unexpected hit for songwriters Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie when radio star Eddie Cantor was looking for a holiday song to sing on a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade radio broadcast.

It became a smash, selling 30,000 copies of Cantor’s rendition and another 100,000 copies of the sheet music within a day of the broadcast. Perry Como, the Four Seasons, Luis Miguel and Bruce Springsteen have recorded beloved versions of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” over the decades; recent covers by ASCAP members Justin Bieber (2011), Rod Stewart (2012) and Sufjan Stevens (2012) have kept it relevant to today’s listeners, 80 years after it was written.

Below is the list of the top 30 most-performed ASCAP holiday songs of all time. Each song includes songwriter credits, plus the year that the song was first released, performed or published.

1. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” (1934)
Written by Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie

2. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” (1944)
Written by Mel Tormé and Robert Wells

3. “White Christmas” (1941)
Written by Irving Berlin

4. “Winter Wonderland” (1934)
Written by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith

5.  “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (1944)
Written by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin

6. “Sleigh Ride” (1948)
Written by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish

7. “Jingle Bell Rock” (1958)
Written by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe

8. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1949)
Written by Johnny Marks

9. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” (1945)
Written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne

10. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (1943)
Written by Kim Gannon and Walter Kent

11. “Little Drummer Boy” (1941)
Written by Katherine Davis, Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone

12. “Silver Bells" (1950)
Written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston

13. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” (1958)
Written by Johnny Marks

14. “Frosty the Snowman” (1950)
Written by Steve Nelson and Walter E. Rollins

15. “Blue Christmas” (1949)
Written by Billy Hayes and Jay Johnson

16. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” (1963)
Written by Edward Pola and George Wyle

17. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” (1951)
Written by Meredith Willson

18. “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)” (1947)
Written by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman

19. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” (1962)
Written by Gloria Shayne Baker (SACEM) and Noël Regney (SACEM)

20. “Carol of the Bells” (1936)
Written by Mykola Leontovych and Peter Wilhousky

21. “Feliz Navidad” (1970)
Written by Jose Feliciano

22. “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” (1965)
Written by Johnny Marks

23. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (1952)
Written by Tommy Connor (PRS)

24. “Last Christmas” (1984)
Written by George Michael

25. “Home for the Holidays” (1954)
Written by Robert Allen and Al Stillman

26. “Wonderful Christmastime” (1979)
Written by Paul McCartney (PRS)

27. “Happy Holidays” (from Holiday Inn) (1942)
Written by Irving Berlin

28. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (1994)
Written by Walter Afanasieff and Mariah Carey (BMI)

29. “Santa Baby” (1953)
Joan Javits, Philip Springer and Tony Springer (SOCAN)

30. “This Christmas” (1970)
Written by Donny Hathaway and Nadine McKinnor

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