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5 facts you probably didn’t know about the song “American Pie (The Day the Music Died)”

Updated: Jan 22

The song was released in late 1971 and was a number one hit for Don McLean. It stayed at the number one spot in the US for 4 weeks. The 8 minutes plus song is a staple on classic rock stations and DJ’s love it as it gives them time for a bathroom break.


1. The lyric “The day the music died” refers to February 3, 1959, the day Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bobber were killed in a plane crash.


2. Don Mclean was a 13-year-old paper boy at the time of the accident, and he found out when he arrived to get his bundle of newspapers for his delivery.


3. Although Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper were also killed, Don has stated the song is really about Buddy Holly.


4. Buddy Holly didn’t want to tour but needed money has he was just married and had bills to pay. He was tired of riding in the cold buss so he chartered a plane to get to the next destination earlier so he could get his clothes dry cleaned before the next concert.


5. Waylon Jennings (Dukes of Hazzard theme) was Buddy Holly’s bass player on the tour and traded seats with Ritchie Valens on the plane (Ritchie was scared to fly but Buddy convinced him). Buddy told Waylon he hoped his bus would break down, Waylon replied “I hope your plane crashes”. It took Waylon a long time get over the last words he said to Buddy that evening.




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