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News Archive: 2010

ASCAP Charts 2010's Most-Played Holiday Songs
Early Favorite is "Sleigh Ride" with 43,168 Spins on Radio Stations Nationwide
Posted December 6, 2010

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, December 1, 2010 – Radio stations across the country are getting into the festive spirit, and according to ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), early indications show that "Sleigh Ride" will once again top the list of most-played songs of the holiday season. ASCAP - the leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization representing nearly 400,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers - has compiled holiday song data tracked by radio airplay monitoring service, Mediaguide, from over 2,500 radio stations nationwide, and will be issuing regular updates leading up to the holidays.

Since October 1, 2010, "Sleigh Ride" has aired 43,168 times, making it the most-played holiday song on radio so far this holiday season. The song was played 118,918 times during the 2009 holiday season (from 10/1/09 to 12/17/09). "Sleigh Ride" was written by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish, and 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, and Mills Music published it that same year. The Boston Pops Orchestra recorded it in June of 1949, and Mitchell Parish added lyrics in 1949.

The top 10 most-played ASCAP holiday songs so far this holiday season are listed below.

Each song includes songwriter credits, and cites the most popular artist version played on radio to date.

  1. Sleigh Ride
    (played 43,168 times)
    Written by: Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish
    Performed by: Leroy Anderson
  2. Winter Wonderland
    (played 38,415 times)
    Written by: Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith
    Performed by: Eurythmics
  3. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
    (played 32,616 times)
    Written by: Edward Pola, George Wyle
    Performed by: Andy Williams
  4. Jingle Bell Rock
    (played 31,020 times)
    Written by: Joseph Carleton Beal,
    James Ross Boothe
    Performed by: Bobby Helms
  5. White Christmas
    (played 26,929 times)
    Written by: Irving Berlin
    Performed by: Bing Crosby
  6. It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
    (played 26,288 times)
    Written by: Meredith Willson
    Performed by: Bing Crosby
  7. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
    (played 23,871 times)
    Written by: Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin
    Performed by: The Carpenters
  8. Frosty the Snowman
    (played 22,193 times)
    Written by: Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins
    Performed by: The Ronettes
  9. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting…)
    (played 21,402 times)
    Written by: Mel Tormé, Robert Wells
    Performed by: Nat King Cole
  10. I'll Be Home For Christmas
    (played 20,478 times)
    Written by: Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, Buck Ram
    Performed by: Amy Grant

Note: The list represents an aggregation of all different artist versions of each cited holiday song played on radio from 10/1/10 through 11/26/10.

Mediaguide, co-owned by ASCAP, uses proprietary digital fingerprinting and watermarking technology to monitor and measure music and advertisement airplay on more than 2,500 commercial, non-commercial and college radio stations in over 150 US markets, real time, 24/7.


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.

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