December 16, 2013

ASCAP Members Continue to Rule Top Ten Most-Played Holiday Songs List in 2013

"Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" Tops 2013 List of Holiday Classics

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New York, NY, December 16, 2013: The temperatures have dropped, stores are abuzz with shoppers trying to find that perfect gift and the joyous sounds of perennial holiday classics fill the air. Yes, it’s that time of year again – the most wonderful time of year. And once again, the top ten most-played holiday songs this season were all written or co-written by members of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). This year, “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!,” written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, tops this list of holiday standards.

ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams commented: “The holiday songs on this list are some of the most beloved pieces in all of ASCAP's expansive repertory. They hold a special place in all of our hearts and prove the timelessness of a well-crafted song. As music is easily one of the most defining aspects of the holiday season, I’m certain we’ll be listening to these tunes for a long time to come.”

Since November 1st, 2013, “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” has aired more times than any other holiday song this season, ending the four-year reign of previous list-topper “Sleigh Ride.” The holiday favorite was written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne in Hollywood, CA in July 1945 on what was the hottest day of the year. A song about making the most of a snowy day by spending it with a loved one by the fire, it was first recorded by Vaughn Monroe and has since become a holiday standard. And as is the case with many holiday standards, “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” continues to be re-recorded by contemporary artists year after year. Most recently, covers by ASCAP members Jewel (2013), Rod Stewart (2012), Glee’s Darren Criss (2011) and Lady Antebellum (2010) have boosted already impressive airplay. Though Dean Martin’s version is the most popular, countless other covers of the tune have been recorded by a wide range of artists, including Frank Sinatra, Herb Alpert, Carly Simon, Michael Bublé, Andy Williams and Boyz II Men.

The top ten most-played holiday songs so far this holiday season are listed below, all written or co-written by ASCAP songwriters and composers. Each song includes songwriter credits, and cites the most popular artist version played on radio to date.

  1. "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"
    Written by Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne
    Most popular version performed by Dean Martin

  2. "Sleigh Ride"
    Written by Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish
    Most popular version performed by Leroy Anderson

  3. "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"
    Written by Meredith Willson
    Most popular version performed by Johnny Mathis

  4. "Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree"
    Written by Johnny Marks
    Most popular version performed by Brenda Lee

  5. "Jingle Bell Rock"
    Written by Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe
    Most popular version performed by Bobby Helms

  6. "Winter Wonderland"
    Written by Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith
    Most popular version performed by Amy Grant

  7. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
    Written by Edward Pola, George Wyle
    Most popular version performed by Andy Williams

  8. "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
    Written by Gloria Shayne Baker, Noël Regney
    Most popular version performed by Whitney Houston

  9. "Frosty the Snowman"
    Written by Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins
    Most popular version performed by Jimmy Durante

  10. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
    Written by Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie
    Most popular version performed by Bruce Springsteen

 

To listen to these quintessential tracks, check out ASCAP’s 2013 Most-Played Holiday Songs playlist on Spotify below.

Also noteworthy from this year’s radio holiday charts was that both Kelly Clarkson’s “Underneath the Tree,” written by Kelly Clarkson and Greg Kurstin, and Mary J. Blige’s “This Christmas,” written by Donny Hathaway and Nadine McKinnor, took the #1 and #2 spots, respectively, of holiday songs added to radio in 2013.

Note: The top ten list above represents an aggregation of all different artist versions of each cited holiday song played on radio from 11/1/13 through 12/11/13. The holiday song data was tracked by radio airplay monitoring service, Mediabase.

About ASCAP
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP’s mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world’s best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business – from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With over 470,000 members representing more than 8.5 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com

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Tim Hayes
ASCAP
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