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Don McLean to examine 'every word' of 'American Pie' in upcoming film

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Medium shot of an older white male with light colored hair past his collar, wearing sunglasses, a black shirt of shiny fabric holding an acoustic guitar and standing in front of a microphone at an indoor venue.
Courtesy of Don McLean
Singer-songwriter Don McLain is currently on an extensive world tour celebrating his song "American Pie" released in 1971.

The singer-songwriter's epic tells the story of rock 'n' roll and a nation undergoing a major social and cultural shift.

Don McLean’s “American Pie” has been recognized as one of the top five songs of the 20th century.

McLean is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the song reaching No. 1 on Billboard's chart with a children’s book and a world tour that will bring him to Kansas City this month.

The documentary, "The Day the Music Died," is scheduled for release on July 1. For fans and critics who have worked on interpreting the lyrics over the years, McLean says, "I talk about every word in the song and what I meant."

At 8 minutes and 36 seconds long, McLean wrote the song as his take on a country he saw "moving in the wrong direction."

A Grammy award honoree and prolific songwriter ("Vincent," "And I Love You So," "Castles In the Air"), McClean says his songs have gained momentum throughout the years and credits part of that success to the "quality of the lyrics, quality of the music and the fact that people value these songs".

Don Mclean: 50th Anniversary Of American Pie, 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 29 at the Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, Missouri 64111.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Reginald David is an assistant producer with Up To Date. You can reach him at reginalddavid@kcur.org.