Don McLean’s "American Pie" | WBEZ
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Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

Don McLean's "American Pie"

It was late in 1971 when the singer-songwriter Don McLean released his song, “American Pie.” Today, everybody still seems to know all the words… but nobody seems to know what those words really mean.
Who is the “jester [who] sang for the King and Queen/In a coat he borrowed from James Dean?” And what was it that “touched [the singer] deep inside/The day the music died”?
Don McLean himself helps break down the song, as well as author Raymond I. Schuck. And the singer Garth Brooks talks about his love for the song, and performing it onstage with McLean.
“American Pie” was recently chosen by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry.


This podcast was produced by Jennie Cataldo/BMP Audio.


This episode is brought to you by Intel Optane Memory. Learn more about the speed and responsiveness of Optane at intel.com/youcould.



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