Chart Position: 1

  • #3 bestseller for 1972
  • #5 on Recording Industry of America’s ‘Songs of the Century’
  • Written by Don McLean
  • Guitar: Don McLean, David Spinozza
  • Keyboards: Paul Griffin
  • Backing vocals: West 44th Street Rhythm and Noise Choir
  • Produced by Ed Freeman
  • Recorded in New York City NY
  • This song pays homage to the day in 1959 when rock and roll music stars Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper (real name Jiles Perry Richardson) died in a small plane crash in an Iowa cornfield following a concert
  • Much of the song uses metaphors to describe the changing American cultural scene since the plane crash occurred
  • This is Don McLean’s only #1 single
  • Don McLean, in interviews, has never attempted to describe exactly what the song’s lyrics are about
  • Don McLean is from New Rochelle NY
  • This is one of 150 songs that Clearchannel Communications recommended be pulled from the airwaves following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.
  • Later recorded by Top of the Pops (1972), Brady Bunch (1972), Kai Warner (1972), Andy Williams (1973), Mott the Hoople (1998), Killdozer (1989), King’s Singers (1993), BulletBoys (1995), Madonna (2000), Marones (2000), Who’s That Girl (2000), Jan Keizer (2004), Studio 99 (2006), Mary Beehan Miller (2006), Nashville (2006), Chris de Burgh (2008), Iron Horse (2007), Korgis (2007), Robby Longo (2013), 001 Ensemble (2014) and many others

american pie

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