Fifty years ago, Grammy Award winning artist and Songwriters Hall of Fame member Don McLean released “American Pie” – a song that brought to light the plane crash that killed three up and coming artists in 1959 to a new generation.

After its release, the song spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard hot 100 chart and has been certified triple platinum by the RIAA – Recording Industry Association of America – for selling three million copies.

In celebration of the song’s release, McLean is launching a world tour that will include North America, Europe, and the United Kingdom.  The tour, which begins in Hawaii, will include a tribute concert on February 3 to Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) who died in the crash that became known as “the day the music died”.

McLean spoke on how the song came about saying, “I was writing songs and started singing ‘A long, long time ago’ right through ‘til the day the music died… I can still remember how that music used to make me smile…’ on and on right that day – just that whole thing right into the tape recorder. And I said, ‘Man, what is that?? That is so neat.’ I realized I’d captured the thing about Buddy and his death that I’d been feeling all those years in that one piece of music. Then I waited about three months and I figured out what I was gonna do and just wrote the whole thing in about an hour…”

Don McLean tour dates:
Jan 28-30 at the Blue Note in Honolulu, HI
Feb 3 at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, IA
Feb 5 at the Chester Fritz Auditorium in Grand Forks, ND
Feb 11 at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center in The Villages, FL
Feb 12 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in Pone Vedra Beach, FL
Feb 14-18 on the Rock Legends Cruise out of Port Canaveral, FL
Feb 19 at the Biheimer Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, FL
Feb 24 at the Fox Tucson Theatre in Tucson, AZ
April 29 at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, MO
May 1 at the Clowes Memorial Hall in Indianapolis, IN
May 7 at the John W H Bassett Theatre in Toronto, ON
May 12 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN
May 13 at the Atlanta Symphony Hall in Atlanta, GA
May 19 at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center in St. Louis, MO
May 20 at the Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, MO
June 2 at The Egg in Albany, NY
June 3 at the Shubert Theatre in Boston, MA
June 4 at the Town Hall in New York City, NY
June 11 at The Lyric in Baltimore, MD
June 12 at the Capital One Hall in Tysons, VA
June 17 at the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, MI
June 18 at The Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, WI
June 24 at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts in San Antonio, TX
June 25 at the Cullen Performance Hall in Houston, TX
June 26 at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX
July 7 at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, CO
July 8 at The Avalon Theatre in Grand Junction, CO
July 9 at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, AZ
Sept 11 at St. Davids in Cardiff, UK
Sept 13 at the Ipswich Regent Theatre in Ipswich, UK
Sept 14 at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, UK
Sept 16 at The Forum in Bath, UK
Sept 17 at the Princess Theatre in Torquay, UK
Sept 18 at the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre in Bournemouth, UK
Sept 20 at the Brighton Dome Concert Hall in Brighton, UK
Sept 21 at the Cliffs Pavilion in – Southend-on-sea, UK
Sept 23 at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, UK
Sept 24 at the Sage Gateshead in Gateshead, UK
Sept 25 at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, UK
Sept 27 at Usher Hall in Edinburgh, UK
Sept 28 at the York Barbican in York, UK
Sept 30 at the DeMontfort Hall in Leicester, UK
Oct 1 at City Hall in Sheffield, UK
Oct 2 at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, UK
Oct 4 at the London Palladium in London, UK
Oct 7 at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland
Oct 9 at the Concertgebouw de Vereeniging in Nijmegen, Netherlands
Oct 10 at the Koninklijk Theater Carré in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Oct 14 at the Peer Gynt Salen in Bergen, Norway
Oct 15 at the Stavanger Kuppelhallen in Stavanger, Norway
Oct 16 at the Sentrum Scene in Oslo, Norway
Oct 18 at the Lorensbergsteatern in Gotteborg, Sweden
Oct 20 at the Logomo in Turku, Finland
Oct 21 at the Kultuuritalo in Helsinki, Finland
Oct 23 at the Gota Lejon in Stockholm, Sweden
Oct 24 at the Palladium in Malmo, Sweden
Oct 25 at the Portalen in Greve, Denmark
Oct 27 at the Fabrik in Hamburg, Germany
Oct 28 at the Kulturkirche in Neuruppin, Germany
Oct 29 at the Admiralspalast in Berlin, Germany
Nov 1 at the De Singel in Antwerp, Belgium
Nov 11 at the Prinzregententheater in Munich, Germany
Nov 13 at the Posthof in Linz, Austria

feature photo credit: Don McLean’s Facebook page