February 12, 2004


February 13, 1914 -- ASCAP was officially born. Its founding members included Victor Herbert, Jerome Kern, John Philip Sousa, Irving Berlin, and James Weldon Johnson. ASCAP's first office was a tiny room in New York’s Fulton Theater Building on 46th Street and Broadway.

  • Today ASCAP has over 175,000 composer, lyricist and publisher members, and has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Puerto Rico and London.

In 1919, ASCAP and the Performing Right Society (PRS) of Great Britain signed their first agreement to represent one another's members abroad.

  • Today, ASCAP has representation agreements in virtually every country in the world that recognizes copyright protection.

February 1, 1923, KFI Radio in Los Angeles was the first radio station to be licensed by ASCAP.

  • Today, 11,000 local commercial radio stations and 3,000 non-commercial radio broadcasters, and two major satellite networks (Sirius and XM) are ASCAP licensee customers.

In 1934, the first Academy Award for Best Song was presented to ASCAP writers Con Conrad and Herb Magidson for their song "The Continental" from the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film, The Gay Divorcee.

  • Today, ASCAP members lead the nominations in the Best Score and Best Song categories for the 76th Annual Academy Awards.

    Best Score: James Horner for House of Sand and Fog, Howard Shore for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Gabriel Yared for Cold Mountain.

    Best Song: Benoit Charest and Sylvain Chomet for "The Triplets of Belleville" from The Triplets of Belleville; Elvis Costello for "Scarlet Tide" from Cold Mountain; Annie Lennox, Howard Shore, and Frances Walsh for "Into the West" from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Michael McKean and Annette O’Toole for "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" from A Mighty Wind.

In 1949, the first Tony Award for music was presented to Cole Porter for "Kiss Me Kate."

  • Today, ASCAP members continue to light up Broadway. Marc Shaiman's hit musical Hairspray swept the 2003 Tony Awards with eight honors, including Best Musical and Best Original Score.

In 1954, ASCAP member Walter Schumann received the first Emmy in music for Dragnet.

  • Today, ASCAP members are still making their mark with Sean Callery (24), Bruce Broughton (Eloise At The Plaza), and Bill Conti (Outstanding Music Direction for the 75th Annual Academy Awards) each picking up awards at the 55th Annual Emmy Awards.

In 1958, the first Gold Record awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America honored Perry Como's hit "Catch a Falling Star," written by ASCAP members Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss.

  • Today, ASCAP has numerous multi-platinum megastars among its members such as Beyoncé, The Beatles, OutKast, Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Avril Lavigne, Mana, The Dixie Chicks, The Rolling Stones, Alan Jackson, Bonnie Raitt, Enrique Iglesias, Julio Iglesias, Prince, U2, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Marc Anthony, Joan Sebastian, plus many more.

In 1958, Domenico Modugno (SIAE) won the first Grammy for his Song of the Year, "Volare," licensed in the US through ASCAP.

Today, ASCAP members dominated the 46th Annual Grammy Awards with multiple winners including Beyoncé, Luther Vandross, OutKast, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, and the late June Carter Cash. ASCAP members won in the major awards categories for Record of the Year (Coldplay), and Album of the Year (OutKast), and once again, ASCAP members took home the award for Song of the Year with the award going to Richard Marx and Luther Vandross for "Dance With My Father." In fact, ASCAP members won 8 out of the 10 categories for songwriting and composing, as follows:

  • Song of the Year: Richard Marx and Luther Vandross for "Dance With My Father"
  • Best R&B Song: Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z for "Crazy in Love"
  • Best Rap Song: Luis Resto for "Lose Yourself"
  • Best Country Song: Jim "Moose" Brown for "It's Five O' Clock Somewhere"
  • Best Musical Show Album: Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim for Gypsy
  • Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: Howard Shore for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Best Song written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy and Michael McKean for "A Mighty Wind."
  • Best Classical Contemporary Composition: Dominick Argento for "Argento: Casa Guidi."

In 1975, the ASCAP Foundation was incorporated when the estate of Jack Norworth, writer of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," left a generous bequest with instructions to create a program to honor and support young composers.

  • Today, The ASCAP Foundation supports programs in all musical genres including awards, music education, scholarships and talent development.

In 1979, ASCAP became the first US performing right organization to license college radio.

  • Today, over 2,000 college and university radio stations are ASCAP- licensed. Each year, ASCAP presents the College Vanguard Award in recognition of the impact of new and developing musical genres which help shape the future of American music and which gain early popularity on college radio.

In 1993, ACE, the first interactive online song database, was unveiled as a dial-up computerized database offering access to song title, writer and publisher information.

  • Today, ACE is the centerpiece of ASCAP's site on the worldwide web generating millions of "hits" every month.

In 1998, EZ-Seeker, a new software technology for tracking music performances on the Internet was developed.

  • Today, ASCAP licenses over 2,000 websites, and distributes nearly $10 million from new media sources with significant growth each year.

In 1998, the ASCAP Member Card was introduced offering exclusive discounts and benefits for members.

  • Today, we have over 30 member benefit partners offering a broad range of retail, travel, insurance and financial benefits.

In 2000, ASCAP developed MusicPro Insurance to provide convenient, lower cost insurance to meet the needs of working music professionals.

  • Today, MusicPro Insurance is supported by every significant music organization in the country such as AFM Local 802, AFTRA, CMJ, GigAmerica, IAJE, Jazz Alliance International, (MENC) National Association for Music Educators, Musician's Friend, NACAS, and NARAS.

In 2003, ASCAP launched Mediaguide, a state-of-the-art performance tracking service.

  • Today, Mediaguide monitors over 2,300 stations in over 200 markets, 24/7.

February 10, 2004 -- ASCAP launches e-tools, an exclusive network of online services designed to enhance the interactive experience of music professionals.