Don McLean elected to National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters’ Hall of Fame

35th annual National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York, June 10, 2004

“Game Over, I Win.”

After 40 years in the business, Don McLean’s reaction to being elected to the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.

Famed for his perennial 1971 #1 classic “American Pie,” an elegiac eigindex_1ht-and-a-half minute folk-pop epic inspired by the tragic death of Buddy Holly, singer/songwriter Don McLean rose to fame through the folks clubs of New York City during the 60’s. His follow-up to “American Pie,” “Vincent’” was also a smash success, and McLean even became the subject of the Roberta Flack hit “Killing Me Softly With His Song;” however, to his credit, he refused to let the success of “American Pie” straitjacket his career. McLean enjoyed a renaissance with the 1980’s “Chain Lightning,” a Top 30 album, which spawned a Top Ten smash with its cover of Roy Orbison’s classic, “Crying,” and his original “Castles In The Air,” reaching the Top 40.

“Don McLean his work, like the man himself is very deep and very compassionate. His pop anthem American Pie is a cultural phenomenon, and people are still trying to decode it index_2after 35 years! He wrote other great songs like, And I Love You So, If We Try, Wonderful Baby, Winterwood, and my personal favorite Empty Chairs, which just kills me as a fan and a songwriter.” Garth Brooks’ tribute as Don McLean is inaugurated into the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, June 10th 2004.

Other inductees in 2004 were: Charles Fox, Al Green, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Barrett Strong & Norman Witfield.


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  1. “You have inspired millions with your music. Your decency and love for what is good, is a bright light in our world. Thank you….thank you also for your love of horses. Did you know they are as intelligent as elephants?”

  2. I am huge fan of your music. My favorite song ever (not just out of the ones you have done) is Vincent. I would love to hear you live so would like to know if you plan on coming to South Africa at all?

  3. Great music for me since I first heard him in 1971.I was only 16 then.It all seems just like it was yesterday for me.Still trying to decode the lyrics after all these years

    Thank you for the music Don

    James Peter
    Kuala Lumpur

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