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ASCAP Announces Top 25 Songs of the Century; Happy Birthday To You Is Most Performed ASCAP Song.

Entertainment and Music Editors

NEW YORK--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--Dec. 27, 1999

As the century and millennium draw to a close this week, Marilyn Bergman, President & Chairman of ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) has announced ASCAP's 25 most-performed songs and musical works of the Twentieth Century.

Heading the list, with far and away the most performances, is a song known to virtually every adult and child in the United States and around the world -- "Happy Birthday to You," by Mildred J. Hill and Patty Hill. This copyrighted song has been publicly performed hundreds of millions of times this century.

ASCAP, the oldest U.S. music rights licensing organization, was founded in 1914 (charter members included Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan , Jerome Kern and Victor Herbert). ASCAP has been licensing and tracking performances of the copyrighted music of its writer and publisher members for almost 86 years. Not only does ASCAP possess the greatest and most envied treasury of song standards, it also boasts an unparalleled contemporary repertory - the 1999 year-end Billboard Top Ten Charts are dominated by ASCAP songwriters. With over 90,000 members, 4 1/2 million copyrighted musical works of every musical genre and style, ASCAP has the highest revenues and deepest catalogue of any performing rights organization in the world.

The full "Century" list, in alphabetical order:

- "As Time Goes By" (Herman Hupfeld)

- "Blue Moon" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart)

- "The Christmas Song" (Mel Torme, Robert Wells)

- "Happy Birthday to You" (Mildred J. Hill, Patty Hill)

- "Hello Dolly" (Jerry Herman)

- "I Could Have Danced All Night" (Frederick Loewe, Alan Jay Lerner)

- "I Got Rhythm" (George & Ira Gershwin)

- "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" (Douglass Cross, George C. Corey,

Jr.)

- "I Only Have Eyes for You" ((Harry Warren, Al Dubin)

- "Misty" (Erroll Garner, Johnny Burke")

- "Moon River" (Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer)

- "Night and Day" (Cole Porter)

- "Over the Rainbow" (Harold Arlen, E.Y. "Yip" Harburg)

- "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David)

- "Rhapsody in Blue" (George Gershwin)

- "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (J. Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie)

- "Stardust" (Hoagy Carmichael, Mitchell Parish)

- "Sweet Georgia Brown" (Ben Bernie, Kenneth Casey, Maceo Pinkard)

- "Tea for Two" (Irving Caesar, Vincent Youmans)

- "That Old Black Magic" (Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer)

- "Theme from the Three Penny Opera (Mack the Knife)" (Kurt Weill,

Berthold Brecht, Marc Blitzstein)

- "Unchained Melody" (Alex North, Hy Zaret)

- "The Way We Were" (Marvin Hamlisch, Alan & Marilyn Bergman)

- "White Christmas" (Irving Berlin)

- "Winter Wonderland" (Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith)

The writers of "Happy Birthday to You," sisters Mildred and Patty Hill, were kindergarten and Sunday school teachers in Louisville Kentucky during the 1890's and later taught at Columbia University in New York City. The song was originally written as "Good Morning to You." With the later addition of the birthday lyrics, the song was copyrighted as "Happy Birthday to You" in 1935. Published by Warner-Chappell, it is almost universally recognized as the official birthday song, and continues to be used extensively in films, television and theater.

ASCAP represents its members by licensing and distributing royalties for the non-dramatic public performances of their copyrighted works. ASCAP is the only U.S. performing rights organization governed by and for its members.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Dec 27, 1999
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