Before 'American Pie' documentary debuts next week, see Don McLean perform it in Salina

·2 min read
Don McLean
Don McLean

"The Day the Music Died," a documentary about the hit song, "American Pie," begins streaming on Paramount+ next week, but people in Salina can hear Don McLean perform the song live at the Stiefel Theatre Thursday.

The 1971 song and its iconic refrain, from which the documentary takes its name, refer to a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959, which killed musicians in the early days of rock-and-roll. They were Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and "The Big Bopper" J.P. Richardson.

McLean's show, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14 at the Stiefel, is part of the singer's "American Pie 50th Anniversary Tour," commemorating the year the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, 1972.

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The singer said he was excited to be touring again, after taking time off because of the pandemic.

“After spending the past 18 months at home, I am thrilled to begetting back on the road with my band,” McLean said in a release. "We will be performing all the songs from the 'American Pie' album plus many of the other hits that fans will be expecting to hear.”

Some of the other hits expected to be heard are "Vincent (Starry Starry Night)," "Castles in the Air," "And I Love You So" and "Cryin'."

"American Pie" has created a significant cultural impact and has garnered so much intertest the song was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2016. The registry is a list of recordings that are, according to the FAQs on the library's website, "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."

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Don McLean album cover for "American Pie"
Don McLean album cover for "American Pie"

In the press release about the documentary, Paramount+ said "The Day the Music Died: The Story of Don McLean's 'American Pie,'", which debuts on the platform on Tuesday, July 19, tells the story behind the song from the artist himself and how the song has become the icon it is to this day.

"McLean will, for the first time, powerfully reveal and share the secrets behind his iconic song," Paramount+ said. "In addition, the documentary highlights cultural moments in America’s history that are as relevant now as they were in 1971, when the song was released. The film tells stories of the people who were a part of this moment from the beginning and shows the point of view of a new generation of artists who are motivated by the same values and ideas that inspired the song’s creation."

Tickets for the show were still available on the Stiefel's website on Wednesday afternoon.

This article originally appeared on Salina Journal: Salina hosts 'American Pie' singer Don McLean before documentary debut