It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.


If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora One trial will expire shortly.
Restore
Close
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
More Info
No Thanks
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

We created Pandora to put the Music Genome Project directly in your hands

It’s a new kind of radio –
stations that play only music you like

 
Create an account for free. Register
Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Don McLean

Famed for -- and ultimately defined by -- his perennial "American Pie," singer/songwriter Don McLean was born October 2, 1945, in New Rochelle, New York. After getting his start in the folk clubs of New York City during the mid-'60s, McLean struggled for a number of years, building a small following through his work with Pete Seeger on the Clearwater, a sloop that sailed up and down the eastern seaboard to promote environmental causes.

Still, McLean was primarily singing in elementary schools and the like when, in 1970, he wrote a musical tribute to painter Vincent Van Gogh; the project was roundly rejected by a number of labels, although MediaArts did offer him a contract to record a number of his other songs under the title Tapestry. The album fared poorly, but Perry Como earned a hit with a cover of the track "And I Love You So," prompting United Artists to pick up McLean's contract. He returned in 1971 with American Pie; the title track, an elegiac eight-and-a-half-minute folk-pop epic inspired by the tragic death of Buddy Holly, became a number one hit, and the LP soon reached the top of the charts as well.

The follow-up, "Vincent," was also a smash, and McLean even became the subject of the Roberta Flack hit "Killing Me Softly with His Song"; however, to his credit -- and to his label's horror -- the singer refused to let the success of "American Pie" straitjacket his career. Subsequent records like 1972's self-titled effort and 1974's Playin' Favorites deliberately avoided any attempts to re-create the "American Pie" flavor; not surprisingly, his sales plummeted, and the latter release even failed to chart. After 1974's Homeless Brother and 1976's Solo, United Artists dropped McLean from his contract; he resurfaced on Arista the next year with Prime Time, but when it, too, fared poorly, he spent the next several years without a label.

McLean enjoyed a renaissance of sorts with 1980's Chain Lightning; his first Top 30 LP in close to a decade, it spawned a Top Ten smash with its cover of Roy Orbison's classic "Crying," and his originals "Castles in the Air" and "Since I Don't Have You" both also reached the Top 40. However, 1981's Believers failed to sustain the comeback, and after 1983's Dominion, he was again left without benefit of label support. McLean spent the remainder of his career primarily on the road, grudgingly restoring "American Pie" to his set list and drawing inspiration from the country market; in addition to a number of live sets and re-recordings of old favorites, he also returned to the studio for projects like 1990's For the Memories (a collection of classic pop, country, and jazz covers) and 1995's River of Love (an LP of original material). ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Love this song!!
Report as inappropriate
Very evocative song - I remember it playing at Port Arthur Hotel Tasmania one Saturday night in 1972, ..........ca n ' t remember where I live half the time but I recall that night clear as a bell !
Report as inappropriate
Think of a color,
paste this on 5 comments,
Look under your pillow,
Realize it was a complete waste of time,
Don't do these things folks, none of them work especially the ones that say you will die or get hurt if you read it and don't post it
Report as inappropriate
loissroka
Vincent VanGogh, who could forget the painting Starry Starry Night. Another great tribute to an unforgettabl e artist.
Report as inappropriate
My friend bought the 45 rpm single of American Pie in 1971 and we played it over and over again for hours on end. My all time favorite!
Report as inappropriate
aripinkrose
I love Vincent
Report as inappropriate
if you live in America how could you not know this historic song,,,and if you don't well then buy yourself a plane ticket and leave, that's the way I feel
Report as inappropriate
I want to add that when i was in South FL DON MCLEAN performed at a carnival in 1981 & was great. I used to have a copy of Starry Starry Night and loved VanGogh.Kirk Douglas was great in the Lust for Life. The song Vincent is beautiful and it just made me cry..
Report as inappropriate
Im learning so much from all the bios. I thought he was a one hit wonder and by the way bio person Buddy Holly was not alone dont forget Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper (please add their names to the bio).I was shocked to learn he wrote Vincent my father Vincent Anthony Sr.was a walking saint brother Jr.son David Vincent, youngest son Vincent Anthony,gran d s o n Lil Vinny,,nephe w VinnyRemembe r Good Fellas? Not all Italians are in the Mafia.Once a Mafia guy threatened to hit me with a hammer
Report as inappropriate
bryan cadd
Report as inappropriate
Listen to John Meyer version from Letterman
Report as inappropriate
marionfiggs
Classic
Report as inappropriate
The best song for when your sad a want to feel alive
Report as inappropriate
What a song
Report as inappropriate
Great song!
Report as inappropriate
Re Cybercholo50 0 0 :

No, it was written by Lieberman about Mclean, not Dylan:

According to Lori Lieberman, the artist who performed the original recording in 1972, the song was born of a poem she wrote after experiencing a strong reaction to the song Empty Chairs, written, composed, and recorded by Don McLean.<4> She then related this information to Gimbel, who took her feelings and put them into words. Then, Gimbel passed the words on to Fox, who set them to music.
Report as inappropriate
Beautiful song������
Report as inappropriate
The music never did and never will die, only our dreams will. Don't let those dreams of yours die.
Report as inappropriate
Awesome song!! Love it!!
Report as inappropriate
In 1970 drove 63 CHEVY. from MI to CA life following singing!
Report as inappropriate
luv this tune !��
Report as inappropriate
tune that hits the top of my listening pleasure!
Report as inappropriate
classic1027
Possibly the greatest song ever!
Report as inappropriate
I like the original version. :-)
Report as inappropriate
Report as inappropriate
dragonlady60 8 8
Rock and Roll will never die!!!
Report as inappropriate
Had great times bk in the day w/my Rock Hall girls. This song brings bk a lot of awesome memories. The good times
Report as inappropriate
I love him and his songwriting!
Report as inappropriate
Can't get enough of this guy.
Report as inappropriate
Here are some examples when he says I drove-my Chevy to the levy it's actually a Chevrolet commercial that said drive your Chevy to the levy which is kinda like a little stream and in the 50s that was a hang out spot so when he says the levy was dry he's saying that the good times where gone
Report as inappropriate
If you listen to the lyrics you can figure out the meaning of the song
Report as inappropriate
This song is partly about buddy holly and the big bopper but it is actually about the transition from the 50s to the 60s and he is singing about the differences between the two and how he didn't like it
Report as inappropriate
Great Great Song!!
Report as inappropriate
Thé day musiccc DIED
Report as inappropriate
Killing Me Softly was not written by Flack for McClean. It was by Lori Lieberman who saw Bob Dylan perform. Ooops!
Report as inappropriate
I share his birthday with u! 1955 though. :)
Report as inappropriate
Probably one of the best albums ever produced.
Report as inappropriate
Follow for follow
Report as inappropriate
follow for follow
Report as inappropriate
best song ever
Report as inappropriate
brightstarde b b i e
I still Love American Pie !!!
Report as inappropriate
cessnas2013
I must agree with several person's comments above : klloveland3, bocalvmmills 7 9 3 3 and not lastly, randyruss0
Report as inappropriate
Actually Don McLean has repeatedly refused to say what promted this song. Many people have put their spin on what it's about. e.g. Buddy Holly, The Big Booper, etc. etc. etc.. But McLean stays silent as to who exactly it was written for or about.
Report as inappropriate
T, And I LYS..... NL
Report as inappropriate
thebestclair e b e a r
sry my little sis who is 3 just said that
Report as inappropriate
thebestclair e b e a r
no your a dumb bo
Report as inappropriate
scillaburton
I thought this song was written about JFK
Report as inappropriate
klloveland3
Artists today don't even come close to this song.
Report as inappropriate
One of the best!!!!
Report as inappropriate
dragonlady60 8 8
The end of rock and roll......!! !
Show more

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email: pandora-support@pandora.com.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[121, 90, 90, 116, 88, 126, 68, 108, 118, 104, 122, 117, 112, 76, 113, 120, 76, 104, 114, 98, 77, 120, 123, 65, 81, 126, 120, 107, 71, 105, 118, 84, 76, 79, 126, 118, 64, 109, 96, 118, 120, 77, 120, 112, 110, 81, 102, 108, 100, 113, 106, 92, 76, 120, 123, 95, 113, 115, 89, 102, 75, 79, 64, 124, 101, 124, 112, 95, 122, 69, 95, 86, 76, 92, 86, 113, 123, 95, 87, 102, 107, 79, 109, 79, 112, 88, 96, 93, 93, 117, 88, 108, 80, 101, 117, 121, 95, 125, 86, 113, 102, 69, 99, 91, 66, 124, 103, 97, 115, 115, 70, 103, 93, 120, 69, 77, 64, 115, 86, 71, 102, 106, 68, 79, 94, 92, 103, 97, 91, 100, 67, 64, 87, 74, 100, 94, 76, 92, 70, 126, 118, 107, 111, 73, 110, 81, 99, 72, 125, 72, 65, 64, 94, 103, 95, 76, 90, 86, 95, 95, 123, 115, 102, 80, 74, 64, 91, 123, 118, 72, 80, 79, 127, 101, 123, 122, 120, 115, 105, 69, 112, 95, 89, 67, 126, 73, 72, 95, 97, 125, 95, 74, 70, 91, 115, 123, 65, 94, 93, 126, 127, 109, 83, 66, 66, 115, 97, 91, 90, 77, 121, 98, 69, 82, 80, 117, 76, 78, 120, 96, 66, 112, 121, 114, 85, 106, 94, 75, 112, 108, 79, 65, 81, 113, 85, 108, 77, 105, 109, 97, 118, 66, 93, 95, 102, 113, 92, 101, 90, 79, 97, 127, 121, 94, 73, 69, 92, 65, 126, 86, 74, 99, 76, 124, 92, 121, 87, 111, 108, 117, 66, 104, 90, 95, 115, 127, 108, 69, 124, 93, 79, 125, 84, 69, 82, 69, 127, 108, 68, 108, 73, 71, 101, 70, 92, 119, 65, 69, 111, 122, 74, 91, 112, 67, 74, 71, 123, 98, 84, 107, 114, 96, 64, 66, 88, 123, 71, 84, 88, 64, 106, 80, 118, 118, 121, 93, 102, 64, 113, 120, 85, 124, 90, 122, 83, 118, 120, 125, 99, 127, 126, 85, 112, 118, 81, 92, 127, 75, 71, 114, 93, 115, 89, 119, 127, 108, 123, 108, 114, 121, 82, 117, 79, 104, 127, 112, 66, 65, 86, 96, 113, 87, 119, 96, 115, 112, 112, 94, 104, 83, 124, 111, 87, 85, 125, 106, 127, 105, 78, 69, 94, 110, 87, 106, 84, 107, 123, 68, 71, 126, 97, 79, 115, 127, 85, 75, 98, 109, 80, 115, 74, 107, 113, 83, 68, 73, 73, 118, 116, 98, 85, 94, 108, 65, 105, 112, 67, 124, 84, 125, 102, 92, 122, 112, 74, 110, 73, 75, 76, 90, 64, 127, 102, 91, 125, 91, 68, 91, 82, 116, 99, 64, 86, 122, 127, 91, 117, 90, 90, 88, 80, 120, 105, 114, 64, 104, 121, 98, 85, 64, 112, 127, 71, 69, 65, 79, 85, 80, 72, 68, 106, 68, 81, 78, 66, 86, 113, 124, 84, 85, 121, 82, 90, 93, 68, 99, 117, 121, 79, 121, 121, 123, 104, 116, 83, 108, 71, 108, 84, 81, 119, 76]