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Genre: Classic Rock
Price: Under $50,000
Availability: Generally Availability
Demographics: 35-50,50 +
Don Mclean Song List
Most famous for his iconic American single, “American Pie,” Don McClean was born in 1945 in New York. McClean’s interest in folk music began when he was still a child. Don learned to play guitar when he was about sixteen, and began his career in music singing in city clubs in the 1960’s. Venues such as the Gaslight Cafe in New York and the Troubadour in Los Angeles hosted his performances, until he settled in as a resident singer in a club in Saratoga Springs, New York.
While in Saratoga, Don McClean earned a New York State grant from the Council on the Arts, and became friendly with Pete Seeger, who served as a mentor. Eventually, McClean recorded and released the album Tapestry in 1970, which, despite a poor reception, encouraged Don to move forward with his 1971 album, American Pie. On the strength of its title track, the album and single shot to the top of the charts, and McClean scored a second hit with “Vincent.” Additional albums followed, including Don McClean (1972), Playin’ Favorites (1974), Homeless Brother (1974), Solo (1976), and Chain Lightning (1980), but none reached the staggering success of American Pie, which became the defining single and album of Don McClean’s career.
The song “American Pie” has become a signature song for Don McClean and also an iconic piece for the era. The single’s lyrics are said to recount the “day the music died,” or the day in 1959 that a tragic plane crash took the lives of Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, and the Big Bopper. The song charted and remained at number one for four weeks in 1972, and became a nearly impossible achievement for Don McClean to follow in the decades following. Despite this, Don McClean has continued to record and perform. He released new material in recent decades, including River of Love (1995) and Addicted to Black (2009), and continues to perform live, always including “American Pie,” to the delight of his audiences.
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