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Jackie McLean and Shawn Strack

Update: Jackie and Shawn are expecting their first child in March 2014

Don’s daughter, Jackie, married Shawn Strack on June 30th 2013 in Camden, ME. Full coverage in the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/21/fashion/weddings/starting-a-new-verse-with-i-do.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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Don told us recently that “my daughter has just written a novel and she’s also written a play and she’s a wonderful singer and she’s got a very nice fiancé that we like very much. He’s a teacher and my daughter is doing substitute teaching and she’s very happy, she’s got a wonderful little dog. And so we’re very happy for her and she’s happy and we take it one day at a time and we’ll see what happens but we like her fiancé a lot and we’re going to have her wedding here, June 30th . There are so many partners that she could have chosen which I wouldn’t have liked because it’s very easy for that to happen and she chose somebody I like quite a bit. He’s very sincere and hard working with a good job.”

Harry Belafonte and Don McLean

Here is a clip from the 1986 American Music Awards which sees Belafonte presented with an award for his contribution to the “USA for Africa” project which had led to the inspirational “We are the World” charity record. In his acceptance speech Belafonte recognizes the part played by Don McLean and Harry Chapin in initiating the project after the three had discussed the plight of Africa backstage at a benefit concert in Newberg, NY.

Don McLean on BBC 1

Don McLean appeared on the Andrew Marr show this morning. This is primarily a politics show and Don’s support was David Cameron, who on Friday may become Britain’s new Prime Minister. His interview featured on the front page of the BBC news website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8656973.stm

During the show Don also sang Vincent, watched by fellow guest David Cameron:

UK Media Appearances – April 2010

Don McLean will be appearing on prime time UK television in April (probably the 16th) on The One Show on BBC 1. The same day he will record an interview and two songs for Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show (BBC radio 2 5-7pm) to air in early May. Producers would like Don to sing Mountains of Mourne.

During the week of release of “Addicted to Black”, the Mark Goodier Morning Show (on Smooth Radio Network) will play an interview and music segment on each day.

He will record interviews for:

Johnnie Walker – Sounds of the Seventies on BBc radio 2

BBC Scotland

BBC Merseyside

BBC in the South

BBC in the East

BBC radio Northern Ireland – Gerry Kelly Show

On April 17th Don will appear live on BBC Radio 4 Loose Ends programme. He will perform a song solo.

On Sunday April 18th Don will appear live on BBC Radio 2 Weekend Wogan – performing two songs – a classic and one from the new album. There is usually streaming video available after the show on their website.

Schedule subject to change and expansion

Don McLean at the Royal Albert Hall, London, October 26th 2007

Independent Newspaper review, 1 November 2007
By Pierre Perrone
“We’ll be doing that Madonna hit later on. Maybe she’s here tonight, incognito, with a fake beard,” says Don McLean, back on a London stage after a four-year absence. “America’s legendary singer-songwriter” lives up to the introduction, too, and even attracts a smattering of younger fans who surely discovered him via Madonna’s ghastly reworking of his epochal “American Pie”.All in black, looking like Johnny Cash’s slightly dis-hevelled younger brother, McLean eases in with covers of “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” and “Everyday”, two songs associated with his hero Buddy Holly, whose death provided the starting point for “American Pie”. Acknowledging his influences and injecting some up-tempo material at the start of an occasionally sedate set shows how consummate a performer McLean is; it sounds effortless as he works his way through “Winterwood”, “If We Try” and “Empty Chairs”.

Listening to “And I Love You So” – a sentimental ballad later covered by Perry Como – from Tapestry, his debut album in 1970, you understand why McLean never cut as radical a figure as Bob Dylan. He was always more of an “everyman” observer, here happily singing about the joys of fatherhood – “Little Darling”, dedicated to his daughter – though his concern for drifters and the homeless comes through in “Homeless Brother” and “Bronco Bill’s Lament”.

McLean has a knack for writing affecting songs about tragic destinies, such as that of George Reeves, the TV actor typecast as Superman, in “Superman’s Ghost”, or Van Gogh in “Vincent”, one of his two British No 1s. The other one, a revival of Roy Orbison’s “Crying”, followed by a rocking take on Elvis’s “I Gotta Know”, as well as nods to the songbooks of Hoagy Carmichael and Woody Guthrie, show how versatile a vocalist McLean is. Though his delivery occasionally wavers, he never fails to hit the notes and leads the audience through an extended sing-along version of “American Pie”.

And there’s still time for “The Three Of Us”, a poignant song about the passing of his parents, the perennial “Castles In the Air”, and a banjo reminder of his folkie days as the final encore.

McLean didn’t need the easy listening revival or the “guilty pleasures” phenomenon to hold his place in people’s consciousness. His music still makes us smile.

The lights are too bright…

The reviews and comments have been great so far and are being read by many thousands each day – so thanks for going to the effort of sharing your thoughts with us. They are giving a real sense of the atmosphere and excitement shared by most in seeing Don McLean live. Clearly there are issues emerging relating to sound which I’m sure will be looked at by those concerned. It reminded me of an article from The Times from almost 34 years ago (October 16th 1973) in which the main concern seemed to be with bright television lights spoiling the show. Of course most here look back on that show and others of that era as the absolute best. So hopefully memories of the shows in Cardiff, Birmingham, and Manchester will reflect the magic of seeing and hearing Don and not be spoiled too much by any technical or acoustic issues that may have occurred. I made the Birmingham show and the place was on fire as the audience rose to sing and dance along to ‘American Pie’.

Here is that Times articles from 1973:

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Don McLean – Albert Hall by Michael Wale Oct 16, 1973, pge 15. Copyright – The Times.

Don McLean – “Tracks of my Years”

Don’s pick of his favourite tracks is being played throughout this week on the Ken Bruce show on BBC radio 2. Don will talk about each track as well as being interviewed by Ken Bruce about the current tour and new album. You can listen live on the Internet (available on replay for 7 days) and get further information from here.

The tracks Don has chosen are:

Monday
Dreamlover ~ Bobby Darin
That’s Why (I Love You So) ~ Jackie Wilson

Tuesday
Good Golly Miss Molly ~ Little Richard
Another Girl ~ The Beatles

Wednesday
American Pie ~ Madonna
I Only Have Eyes For You ~ The Flamingos

Thursday
When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again ~ Elvis Presley
Canary In A Coalmine ~ The Police

Friday
I’m Looking For Someone To Love ~ The Crickets
Crying ~ Roy Orbison

Don was originally asked to select 15 tracks and the BBC chose the final 10.