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Don Mclean

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  • Don Mclean was born on October 2, 1945, in New York. He singer and a songwriter. McLean is mostly famous for such hits as “American Pie”, “Vincent”, and “Wonderful Baby”. In 2004, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, his song “American Pie” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame (2002).

    McLean began his music career in 1960’s playing in New York nightclubs. Soon he joined his friend Pete Seeger and together they traveled on a fish boat Clearwater on the Hudson River protesting against environmental pollution. At that time, Don wrote many songs. Most of them were included in the album, which he recorded in 1970 at MediaArts studio. The album was called Tapestry and wasn’t successful. However, it resulted in a contract with United Artists recording studio.

    The real fame came to Don in 1971, when he recorded the album called American Pie. The LP topped the USA and Canadian Charts and reached the 2nd spot on UK Albums Chart. The song with the same name, the inspiration for which came to Don after the tragic death of Buddy Holly, became a huge hit. Another song from that album “Vincent” was also very successful. Soon McLean became a celebrity, who inspired other people to write songs. His work inspired Roberta Flack to record “Killing Me Softly With His Song” (1971).

    Unfortunately, McLean’s next albums Don McLean (1972) and Playin’ Favorites (1973) didn’t manage to become as popular as American Pie. After the next three albums didn’t become hits, United Artists ended the contract with McLean. For the next few years, he was desperately looking for a recording studio.

    In 1978, he recorded Chain Lightning, which got into the top-30 of Billboard 200. In 1987, Don recorded the LP Love Tracks, which included three hit country songs. Even though McLean didn’t manage to repeat the success of his second album, he went on to record 12 more, the latest one to date being Botanic Gardens (2015). The same year, Don went on his 20th tour of the UK and Ireland. McLean continues to work on new songs and performs live.

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