--Spirit Music Group has signed a global, multi-year publishing administration deal with songwriter/artist Laurie Berkner, the children’s music performer.

The deal marks Berkner’s first music publishing association since her debut, "What Do You Think of That" in the late 1990’s, and covers her entire creative output including five albums, an award-winning DVD, two music-driven picture books and all future works.

--Downtown Music Services, the sync licensing and branding agency of Downtown Music, LLC, will help Fontana, Universal Music Group's indie distribution arm, facilitate licensing initiatives on behalf of Fontana's roster of labels.

The agreement builds upon an already-existing relationship between Fontana and Downtown. Under this agreement, Fontana will expand its services further to handle music clearance and sync licensing for all of Fontana's partner labels in order to maximize all revenue paths for their artists.

The move allows Fontana to provide yet another service for its partner
labels, said Fontana president Ron Spaulding. "Through this agreement, we are armed and ready to help our labels make an even larger impact on the film and television worlds," he said.

--The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has released its list of the most popular Christmas songs of the decade. Topping the list is one of the oldest songs on it, "Winter Wonderland," written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith. The song was a hit for legendary bandleader Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians, who took it to the #2 spot on the Billboard charts the same year.

Recordings by the Andrews Sisters and Perry Como, in 1946, established the song as a Yuletide favorite. Versions by the Eurythmics, Jewel and Air Supply are frequently heard on radio today.

The No. 2 song on the list, "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)," written by Mel Tormé and Robert Wells and immortalized by Nat "King" Cole, is the most recorded song on the list, with over 500 versions.

The No. 3 song, "Sleigh Ride," was written by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish, and performed by the Ronettes.