Don McLean is one of the most enduring singer-songwriters with such songs as “American Pie”, “Vincent (Starry Starry Night)”, “Castles in the Air”, “And I Love You So”, “Crossroads”, “The Grave” and many more. Vocal renditions of Roy Orbison’s “Crying”, “Mountains of Mourne” and “Since I Don’t Have You” have been noted as great versions of these songs. Since first hitting the charts in 1971, Don has amassed over 40 gold and platinum records world-wide and, in 2004, was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. His songs have been recorded by artists from every musical genre, most notably Madonna‘s No. 1 recording of “American Pie” in 2000 and George Michael’s version of “The Grave” in 2003, sung in protest at the Iraq War. Don McLean is co-writer of Drake’s 2011 release, “Doing it Wrong“.

In 2007, Don McLean shared his life story in Alan Howard’s biography, The Don McLean Story: Killing Us Softly With His Songs.

image305I have known Don for 25 years and conducted extensive interviews with him between 2003 and 2007 in writing the first full length authorized biography “The Don McLean Story: Killing us Softly with his Songs”. During production of the book I reunited McLean with his early 1960s friend and mentor Erik Darling (of The Weavers fame).

Castles in the Air – one of his most under-rated songs.

Don McLean on the pyramid stage at Glastonbury, 2011.