Don McLean Biography

Don McLean wrote the song about the day the music died


Watch these videos

Don McLean music and concert videos

Don McLean

Don McLean is an American singer-songwriter most famous for his 1971 songs ‘American Pie’ and ‘Vincent’.

McLean’s career as a recording artist started only two years prior to ‘American Pie’. With the album, ‘Tapestry’, Don McLean entered the folk scene where he made friends with Pete Seeger and joined the circuit.

When McLean’s indie label Media Arts got sold to United Artists, he got an unexpected chance to make his second album for a major label.

McLean delivered American Pie and became world famous almost overnight.

American Pie tells the story of the day the music died!

‘American Pie’ is a single by Don McLean from the album with the same name about ‘the day the music died’, a reference to Buddy Holly’s death.

A lyrical masterpiece, ‘American Pie’ tells the story of how Don McLean, as a paperboy, finds out that three of his musical heroes have died.

The deaths of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper from a plane crash on February 3rd ’59 may have been described in many ways but no one ever forgets to mention Don McLean’s classic ‘American Pie’ in which the story is told so beautifully through a song.

Don himself says “It’s not analysis, it’s poetry.”

When asked what the song meant to him, he answered grinning “It means I never have to work again”.

Related Pages

American Pie – Guitar Lesson

‘American Pie’s chords can be tricky to remember since the same chords seem to be repeated in lots of different ways.

By hearing each chord as a number you can follow the vocal melody and don’t actually have to memorise the progression.

You’ll learn more about how to predict musical movement like this when you take the course.

Go to video lessons: American Pie chords.

American Pie – Lyrics

American PieA long long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while

For complete lyrics, go to American Pie lyrics.

Sign Up Now

A monthly subscription with access to all acoustic and electric step by step lessons, each one designed to bring your guitar playing skills to the next level.

Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

To sign up now, go to Monthly Subscription