Copyright ©2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Billboard.com comes up with a weekly list of hot ring tones. The songs range from hip-hop to Latin and rock. Sliding down from number two to number four on this week's top 10 is…

(Soundbite of ringtone "Pink Panther")

BLOCK: Henry Mancini's "Pink Panther" has been on the top 40 ringtone list for more than two years. What makes a ringtone popular? We've wondered. So we called Tim Page, the music critic for the Washington Post.

Mr. TIM PAGE (Music Critic, The Washington Post): If I could choose what pieces were going to be more popular than the next, I'd be a multi-millionaire. It's so hard to tell what's going to become a hit.

BLOCK: Artist Koji Kondo has been on the ring tone charts for 162 weeks with the "Super Mario Brothers" theme. This week, it's number eight. A lot of cell phones are ringing in the holiday season with this classic.

(Soundbite of ringtone "Jingle Bells")

Mr. PERRY COMO (Singer): (Singing) Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh. Hey, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh.

BLOCK: Perry Como's "Jingle Bells" moved up from number 18 to number seven.

And now one from our own newsroom.

(Soundbite of ringtone "Land of a Thousand Dances")

Mr. WILSON PICKETT (Singer): (Singing) Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na…

BLOCK: That's our producer Cory Turner's cell phone. It's playing Wilson Pickett's "Land of a Thousand Dances."

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