Today marks the 100th birthday of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, aka ASCAP, which was founded on February 13, 1914, by a group of songwriters and publishers who met at the Hotel Claridge in New York City. For the last century, the performing-rights organization has looked out for its members' interests with regard to them receiving the royalties they are owed.
In honor of the milestone, ASCAP has compiled a list of its top 100 songs of all time, based on radio, television and Internet performance data that the organization has collected. The tally predictably features the standard "Happy Birthday to You " in the #1 spot, while the top 10 includes such classic hits as The Temptations' "My Girl" at #2, Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Street" at #6, The Supremes' "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" at #7, Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It" at #8, Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love" at #9 and Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" at #10.
In addition, a special video featuring various pop and rock artists wishing ASCAP a happy 100th birthday has been posted online. Among the stars appearing in the clip are Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Bill Withers, Randy Newman and Paul Williams, who currently is serving as the organization's president and chairman.
To coincide with ASCAP's 100th birthday, New York City and the state of Tennessee have proclaimed Thursday, February 13, to be "ASCAP Day." A variety of events and special projects have been planned for 2014 in honor of the organization's centennial. Among them are a short film, an original song written and recorded by various ASCAP members with an accompanying video, a pair of books, discussions and presentations, and a Library of Congress exhibit. To check out the ASCAP top 100 list and birthday video, and find out details about all of the planned centennial festivities, visit ASCAP100.com.
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