Billboard #1 Hits: #266: “American Pie”- Don McLean. January 15, 1971. 4 weeks at #1 in the Billboard Hot 100.

  • Single: “American Pie”- Don McLean
  • Record Company-United Artists
  • Genre: Folk Rock
  • Written by Don McLean
  • Time: 8:33
  • B-side: the song was so long on the single it took up both sides
  • Album- American Pie
  • Grade: A+
  • Peaked at #1 4 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100. #2 in UK Singles Chart. #1 in Canada. Australia and New Zealand.

As a ten year old I wasn’t all that into music more into playing baseball but one song that even fascinated me was “American Pie.” I spent a lot of time traveling here and there with my grandfather and he always had the radio on and a great memory is on those travels that year- hoping to hear this “American Pie” song on the radio. It seems like it usually was- and if I was really lucky- I’d even hear it a couple times on a trip.

Years later when I finally got into music I bought the album- and what a great album it is- and it features another great single which is right up there with “American Pie”- “Vincent.” I think first thought I did find the single “American Pie” and the annoying thing about it- the song was so long- 8:33 and at over 800 words that you had to flip the single over to hear all of it. The album was much handier. This is at 8:33 the longest song to hit #1 on the Billboard singles chart.

The song helped to revive interested in Buddy Holly. I can’t say it got me interested in Holly though- reading about The Beatles and how Holly influenced them got me to buy my first Buddy Holly album- 20 Golden Hits. Not long after that I ran across The Complete Buddy Holly for $20 and I just had to have that one!

Below- an article on the meaning of “American Pie.”

6 responses to “BILLBOARD #1 HITS: #266: “AMERICAN PIE”- DON MCLEAN – JANUARY 15, 1972

    • When you think about it- for that to get to #1 -as long a song as that was is kind of incredible. It certainly didn’t fit the 3 minute single mode.

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