Official 96-Page 50th Anniversary Publication Celebrates Iconic Song.
“American Pie,” one of the most recognizable and sing-a-long songs, in which, RIAA named one of the top 5 songs of the 20th century, is an iconic anthem by American singer and songwriter Don McLean. Recorded and released on the American Pie album in 1971, the single was the number-one US hit for four weeks in 1972 starting January 15 after just eight weeks on the Billboard charts (where it entered at number 69). The song also topped the charts in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. In the UK, the single reached number 2, where it stayed for 3 weeks, on its original 1971 release, and a reissue in 1991 reached number 12. Now, 50 years later, the song "American Pie" has become the focus of a 96-page bookazine available everywhere magazines are sold. The special publication honors the song's 50th anniversary with stories and photos of McLean through the years.
Don McLean began writing the song in Cold Spring, New York, and then continued to finish the song in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. While some have claimed many other places that the song was either written or performed for the first time, McLean confirmed it was first sung at Saint Joseph's University.
The repeatedly mentioned phrase "the day the music died" refers to the plane crash in 1959 that killed early rock and roll stars Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens, arguably ending the era of early rock and roll; this became the popular nickname for that crash. However, the overall theme of the song goes beyond its superficial semblance of mourning McLean's childhood music heroes and reflects the deep cultural changes and profound disillusionment and loss of innocence of his entire generation - the early rock and roll generation - that took place between the 1959 plane crash and either late 1969 or late 1970. The meaning of the other lyrics, which cryptically allude to many of the jarring events and social changes experienced during that period, have been debated for decades.
McLean's combined version is the fourth-longest song to enter the Billboard Hot 100 (at the time of release it was the longest), in addition to being the longest song to reach number one. Due to its exceptional length, it was initially released as a two-sided 7-inch single. "American Pie" has been described as "one of the most successful and debated songs of the 20th century", with college courses taught on its lyrics.
A truncated version of the song was covered by Madonna in 2000 and reached No. 1 in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. In 2017, McLean's original recording was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or artistically significant".
The official #AmericanPie 96-page bookazine featuring @DonMcLean celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic song and is now available everywhere magazines are sold.
Photo Credits: (1ff) Don McLean (unknown/website).