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Late Legend Johnny Marks Tops Hot 100 Songwriters Chart, Thanks to Holiday Classics

Renowned holiday-hit songwriter Johnny Marks debuts at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 Songwriters chart (dated Dec. 7), thanks to a pair of seasonal standards that re-enter the Billboard Hot 100.

Renowned holiday-hit songwriter Johnny Marks debuts at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 Songwriters chart (dated Dec. 7), thanks to a pair of seasonal standards that re-enter the Billboard Hot 100.

Brenda Lee‘s 1958 holiday staple “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” re-enters the Hot 100 at No. 29, while Burl Ives‘ 1964 favorite “A Holly Jolly Christmas” returns at No. 48.


Notably, Marks is the only credited writer on both tracks, helping boost his position on Hot 100 Songwriters, as he does not need to share any chart credit (see full methodology, below).

Meanwhile, Marks is likely to forge a strong presence on Hot 100 Songwriters throughout the holiday season, as he’s also the sole writer of other Yuletide classics, including Gene Autry‘s “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” which reached the Hot 100’s top 20 last season. (Marks also penned Ives’ “Silver and Gold,” among holiday songs.)

As Marks died in 1985 at age 75, he is the first artist to posthumously rule the Hot 100 Songwriters chart (which launched in June).

Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” was solely produced by Owen Bradley, sparking him to a No. 8 debut on the Hot 100 Producers chart. Similar to Mark’s forte, Bradley was an accomplished holiday producer, as he also produced Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock,” which re-enters the Hot 100 at No. 47, along with country hits by Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, among others. Bradley died in 1998 at 82.

Ives’ “A Holly Jolly Christmas” was produced by Milt Gabler, who also produced records for the likes of The Andrews Sisters, Louis Armstrong, Sammy Davis Jr. and Billie Holiday. Gabler launched Commodore Records in 1938, a now-defunct jazz label that famously released Holiday’s revered song “Strange Fruit.” Gabler died in 2001 at age 90.

Marks dethrones Finneas and Billie Eilish, who tie at No. 3 on Hot 100 Songwriters on the strength of the latter’s “Bad Guy” (No. 14 on the Hot 100), “Everything I Wanted” (No. 26) and “All the Good Girls Go to Hell” (No. 76),each of which the duo co-wrote.

The weekly Hot 100 Songwriters and Hot 100 Producers charts are based on total points accrued by a songwriter and producer, respectively, for each attributed song that appears on the Hot 100; plus, genre-based songwriter and producer charts follow the same methodology based on corresponding “Hot”-named genre charts. As with Billboard‘s yearly recaps, multiple writers or producers split points for each song equally (and the dividing of points will lead to occasional ties on rankings).

The full Hot 100 Songwriters and Hot 100 Producers charts, in addition to the full genre rankings, can be found on Billboard.com/biz.