62 Facts About Don McLean


In 2004, Don McLean was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.


Don McLean has other extended family in Los Angeles and Boston.


Don McLean often missed long periods of school because of childhood asthma, and although McLean slipped back in his studies, his love of music was allowed to flourish.


Gart's 18-year tenure as Don McLean's manager ended acrimoniously in the 1980s.


Don McLean sued me but settled for a small amount and was never heard from again.


Don McLean attended night school at Iona College and received a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1968.


Don McLean turned down a scholarship to Columbia University Graduate School in favor of pursuing a career as a singer-songwriter, performing at such venues as Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, New York and The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.


Later that year, with the help of a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, Don McLean began reaching a wider audience, with visits to towns up and down the Hudson River.


Don McLean learned the art of performing from his friend and mentor Pete Seeger.


Don McLean accompanied Seeger on his Clearwater boat trip up the Hudson River in 1969 to raise awareness about environmental pollution in the river.


Seeger and Don McLean sang "Shenandoah" on the 1974 Clearwater album.


Don McLean recorded Tapestry in 1969 in Berkeley, California, during the student riots.


Don McLean worked on the album for a couple of years before putting it out.


Don McLean declined to say anything definitive about the lyrics until 1978.


Since then Don McLean has stated that the lyrics are somewhat autobiographical and present an abstract story of his life from the mid-1950s until the time he wrote the song in the late 1960s.


Personnel from the American Pie album sessions were retained for his third album Don McLean, including the producer, Ed Freeman, Rob Rothstein on bass, and Warren Bernhardt on piano.


Don McLean told Melody Maker in 1973 that Tapestry was an album by someone previously concerned with external situations.


Don McLean left the stage while the audience stood up and checked under their seats for anything that resembled a bomb.


Don McLean brought so much to the project that all I really had to do was capture what he did, and complement it properly when necessary.


Don McLean had started recording in Nashville, Tennessee, with Elvis Presley's backing singers, the Jordanaires, and many of Presley's musicians.


Consequently, Don McLean was left without a record contract in the United States, but through continuing deals, Chain Lightning was released by EMI in Europe and by Festival Records in Australia.


Orbison himself thought that Don McLean's version was the best interpretation he'd ever heard of one of his songs.


Orbison thought McLean did a better job than he did and even went so far as to say that the voice of Don McLean is one of the great instruments of 20th-century America.


In 1991, EMI reissued "American Pie" as a single in the United Kingdom, and Don McLean performed on Top of the Pops.


In 1992, previously unreleased songs became available on Favorites and Rarities, and Don McLean Classics featured new studio recordings of "Vincent" and "American Pie".


In 1981, Don McLean had an international number one hit with a version of the Roy Orbison classic "Crying".


Don McLean's albums did not match the commercial success of American Pie, but he became a major concert attraction in the United States and overseas.


Don McLean's repertoire included old concert hall numbers and the catalogues of singers such as Buddy Holly and Frank Sinatra.


In recent years, Don McLean continued to tour the United States, Canada and Europe and Australia.


In June 2011, Don McLean appeared at the Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, UK, and in 2014 at California's Stagecoach Country Music Festival.


Don McLean played it, of course, and brilliantly, getting everyone creaking on to their feet and singing along.


The Jerusalem Post noted that "Don McLean was the consummate professional in presenting his master class of the Great American Songbook" in their review of his June 2018 Tel Aviv concert.


In 2022, Don McLean was scheduled to perform a 35-date tour through Europe, starting in Wales and ending in Austria, for the 50th anniversary of "American Pie".


One of 'America's Greatest Songwriters' Don McLean Delivers a Masterclass on Final Australian Tour.


In 2004, Don McLean was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.


The biography The Don McLean Story: Killing Us Softly With His Songs was published in 2007.


In February 2012, Don McLean won the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Life Time Achievement award.


Don McLean is credited as a co-writer on Drake's song "Doing It Wrong", featuring Stevie Wonder.


On November 7,2019, Don McLean returned to New Rochelle to view a new mural depicting a likeness of his younger self, with lyrics from "American Pie", on the side of a building on the corner of 134 North Avenue and Bonnefoy Place, painted by artist Loic Ercolessi for a non-profit organization, Street Art for Mankind.


Alex Trebek asked Don McLean to sing for him and his Jeopardy family at his annual Christmas party in 2019.


In February 2021, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of "American Pie", Don McLean recorded an A cappella rendition with the band Home Free.


Don McLean received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 16,2021, in the Music Category at 6314 Hollywood Boulevard, in front of The Pie Hole restaurant.


In February 2022, Don McLean recorded a performance of "Vincent" at the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit in Los Angeles in honor of Van Gogh's birthday and the 50th anniversary of the song.


In June 2022, Don McLean published a children's book titled American Pie: A Fable.


In July 2022 the documentary The Day The Music Died was released, in this documentary Don McLean discusses for the first time in 50 years the meaning of the lyrics in the hit song American Pie.


Don McLean led a wave of dropouts from the NRA convention after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, saying it would be "disrespectful and hurtful" to perform days after 19 children and two adults were killed in a mass shooting in the state.


Don McLean was first among performers who announced they would no longer perform at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Houston.


September 2022 Don McLean received a 50-million record sales plaque from the TV show Good Morning America.


In October 2022, Don McLean called Kanye West an 'attention-seeking fool' over his antisemitic rants.


On November 22,2022, Don McLean was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee.


Don McLean's hit song "American Pie" was rising in the charts, but Lieberman was strongly affected by Don McLean singing another song: "Empty Chairs".


Don McLean said in 1973 that he was surprised to find out that the song described his singing.


In 1978 David New had the cover of Don McLean's United Artists album "Playin' Favorites" tattooed on his back.


Don McLean has remained friends with McLean throughout the years.


Don McLean has claimed that he grew up in a physically abusive household, and was abused by both his parents and his sister.


Don McLean has been married twice, with both marriages ending in divorce.


In 2018, Don McLean confirmed his romantic relationship with model and reality star Paris Dylan, who is 48 years his junior.


Don McLean is an ambassador for Teen Cancer America and performed at the Teen Cancer America and UCLA Health fundraising Backyard Concert in 2018.


The Don McLean Foundation is a charity set up by McLean to be funded by all his income in perpetuity.


Don McLean paid $3,660 in fines, and was not sentenced to any jail time.


Under Maine's deferred disposition law, the State agreed to dismiss the domestic violence assault charge if Don McLean complied with the court's orders for one year, and the charge was expunged a year later.


Don McLean said that he himself had grown up in physically abusive household.