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.
I 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.