Don McLean is so associated with his songs, "American Pie" and "Vincent (Starry Starry Night)," among others, that even their titles can set off his voice playing in your head. Other performers have left their imprint on them as well. Madonna had a good run with "American Pie" too -- it reached number one -- and George Michael's version of "The Grave" recently got play as a protest song. Even Elvis recorded a Don McLean song ("And I Love You So.") Still it's McLean's versions that linger.
If you tally how frequently his music has been recorded, you'll see why McLean has earned 40 gold and platinum records world-wide. In 2004, he was inducted into the songwriters Hall of Fame pantheon.
Few composers can boast songs as enduring or ones that kick off so many memories. "American Pie" came to life in 1971 and 30 years later it was voted into the number five position in a “Songs of the Century” poll compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. While many big name singers have made McLean's hits their own, there's nothing quite like hearing the real thing. Come see McLean perform the original versions of his enduring songs October 8 at Ridgefield Playhouse in a one-night-only concert at 8 p.m. Tickets are $65. A special VIP pass is also available, and includes a pre-concert cocktail party and more. For details, visit Ridgefield Playhouse's website.