About Don McLean

A Short Biography Don McLean was born on October 2nd 1945 in New Rochelle, NY to Elizabeth and Donald McLean. By the age of five he had developed an interest in all forms of music and would spend hours listening to the radio and his father’s records. Childhood asthma meant that Don missed long periods [...]

Jackie McLean and Shawn Strack

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Don’s daughter, Jackie, married Shawn Strack on June 30th 2013 in Camden, ME. Update: They are expecting their first child in March 2014.

Don McLean Lifetime Achievement Award

Don McLean was presented with his BBC lifetime achievement award on February 8th in a show broadcast live on British TV and worldwide via BBC radio. Don performed two songs – “And I Love You So” and “Homeless Brother” – which drew a major reaction and for a while Don was ‘trending’ on Twitter! Don [...]

The Don McLean Band

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Don McLean is joined on stage by his band of four top Nashville musicians

Don McLean Trivia

Don McLean’s American Pie was selected as one of the five greatest songs of the 20th century in a poll by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Recording Industry Association of America. The other four songs were This Land is Your Land, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Respect, and White Christmas. American Pie was [...]

Clearwater and Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger will be celebrating his 90th birthday on May 3rd 2009 with a benefit concert in aid of the Clearwater Organisation. Seeger was responsible for promoting the project to build and launch a boat that would sail along the Hudson River, and, at every port of call, disseminate information about the environment and the [...]

The “Killing Me Softly” Story

Daily News, April 5th 1973 Most people would be able to recognise that verse right away. Anyone within earshot of a radio or a jukebox over the last few months couldn’t miss hearing roberta flack’s beautiful version of it, done with style and taste and just the right amount of world-weariness. She does it so [...]

2008 Christmas Interview with Don McLean

Don: I’d like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year. I want to give special thanks to people like David New, Bob Gregg, Jim Monaghan, and Ron Buck - who wrote those beautiful pages in the biography – and to all my fans who have been so supportive including the usual gang, people like [...]

The Buddy Holly connection

Buddy Holly is one of Don McLean’s biggest influences and his untimely death in a plane crash in 1959 is immortalised in ‘American Pie’ as ‘the day the music died’. Though Buddy Holly is a superstar today, his fame had almost vanished by the end of the 1960s. That all changed in 1971 with the release [...]

Don McLean’s American Pie

Initially inspired by his memories of the death of Buddy Holly in 1959, ‘American Pie’ is autobiographical and presents an abstract story of Don McLean’s life from the mid 1950s until when he wrote the song in the late 1960s. It is almost entirely symbolised by the evolution of popular music over these years and [...]

Don McLean’s Crying

Throughout the 1970s Don McLean maintained a large and loyal Dutch and UK fan base. His frequent concert tours to both countries were always sold out meaning it was no surprise when Don returned to number 1 in 1980 with his recording of Roy Orbison and Joe Melson’s classic song “Crying”, first in Holland and [...]

Vincent (Starry Starry Night)

McLean wrote “Vincent,” also known as “Starry, Starry Night,” in the fall of 1970, while he was working for the Berkshire School District. He was living in the Sedgwick House, a beautiful Federal style house in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The Sedgwick family included Edie Sedgwick, a colorful figure whom Andy Warhol had filmed in the 1960s. [...]

The Don McLean Story

The Don McLean Story: Killing Us Softly With His Songs By Alan Howard ‘…I wanted to counter the urban myths about me, and to get the full story out before someone else did,’ – Don McLean…more “Congratulations Alan on capturing Don’s life so well – a fabulous read – I highly recommend this excellent book [...]

Tapestry: Don McLean’s debut album

  Don McLean’s debut album Tapestry was issued by Mediarts in 1969. Following the takeover of Mediarts by United Artists and the success of American Pie, United Artists relaunched the album in 1971. This album remains a landmark in Don McLean’s career and contains several hugely popular and important songs. The title track “Tapestry” was [...]

Don McLean in Hello! magazine, September 2005

Hello! magazine has produced a stunning 5-page feature on Don McLean including several brand new photographs taken at the McLean’s residence in Maine and an exclusive interview in which Don talks about Madonna, George Michael, American Pie and his upcoming biography. This feature is in issue number 883, on sale in the UK September 1st-8th [...]

Don McLean elected to National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters’ Hall of Fame

“Game Over, I Win.” After 40 years in the business. Don McLean’s reaction to being elected to the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. Famed for his perennial 1971 #1 classic “American Pie,” an elegiac eight-and-a-half minute folk-pop epic inspired by the tragic death of Buddy Holly, singer/songwriter Don McLean rose to fame through the folks clubs [...]

Don has been elected for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame

Don has been elected for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place on June 10th, 2004 in New York City. Among the other 2004 honorees is David Bowie. This is major (and long overdue) honour. Many, many congratulations to Don. http://www.songwriterhalloffame.org

George Michael – The Grave

In February 2003 George Michael unexpectedly recorded Don McLean’s The Grave in protest against the looming Iraq war. George performed the song on numerous top rated TV shows including “Top of the Pops” and “So Graham Norton”. The video featured extensively on MTV. In response, Don issued a statement, through this website, praising George Michael’s [...]

George Michael Sings Don McLean Song

George Michael is singing Don McLean’s ‘The Grave’ from the ‘American Pie’ album on ‘Very Graham Norton’ on channel 4 at 10.00pm on Feb 28 2003. UK fans should not miss this!

American Pie Grammy Hall of Fame

February 2002 saw yet another honour conferred o­n Don McLean as his song ‘American Pie’ was finally inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The complete list of new entries is as follows: “Ain’t It a Shame,” Fats Domino “Alice’s Restaurant,” Arlo Guthrie “American Pie,” Don McLean “The Battle of New Orleans,” Johnny Horton “Billie’s [...]