Don McLean


Don McLean, hand-drawn portrait in 1975 with his Martin 00-21 acoustic guitar, age 30.

McLean is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. His success and place in the music industry of Rock And Roll relies on his two famous hit songs, “American Pie” and “Vincent”.

Though some of his early musical influences included Frank Sinatra and Buddy Holly, as a teenager, McLean became interested in folk music, particularly the Weavers’ 1955 recording At Carnegie Hall.
By age 16, he had bought his first guitar and began making contacts in the music business.

Recorded on May 26, 1971 McLean’s magnum opus “American Pie” is a sprawling, impressionistic song inspired partly by the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) in a plane crash in 1959, and developments in American youth culture in the subsequent decade.
The song popularized the expression “The Day the Music Died” in reference to the crash.

On April 7, 2015, McLean’s original working manuscript for “American Pie” sold for $1,205,000 at Christie’s auction rooms, New York, making it the third highest auction price achieved for an American literary manuscript.

His second hit “Vincent” is a tribute to the 19th-century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. The inspiration came to McLean one morning while looking at a book about Van Gogh. As he studied a print of Van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night, he realized that a song could be written about the artist through the painting.

Other hits: “And I Love You So”, “Castles In The Air”, “Crying” and “Wonderful Baby”.

Another hit song associated with McLean (though never recorded by him) is “Killing Me Softly with His Song”, which was inspired by Lori Lieberman after she, also a singer-songwriter, saw McLean singing his composition “Empty Chairs” in concert.
This initial version was heard by Roberta Flack who recorded it with slight changes to create a number one hit. Two decades later it was recorded by the Fugees who had another hit.

In 2004, McLean was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In January 2018, BMI certified that “American Pie” and “Vincent” had reached five million and three million airplays respectively.

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All prints are produced using Giclee printing process which is used for archival art reproduction. This process uses fade-resistant archival pigment-based ink which lasts over 100 years. All prints are printed on 310GSM, Luxurious mould-made, 100% cotton rag Archival Certified watercolor paper.

Archival Conservation Mat is included with your purchase. Mat is a high quality, 4 ply (1/16″) surround mat. These frame mats are acid-free & Lignin-free made with 100% virgin alpha-cellulose surface, core and backing papers. So your caricature with mat will fit into a standard comparable frame either “20” x 24″ or “16” x 20″ depending on the print size, (frame not included). Price also includes a Backer Board.

32″ x 40″ stretch canvas print is produced by Giclee printing process and are hand stretched over heavy duty American made white pine. The canvas print is varnished twice after printing. The canvas prints are ready to hang (complete with hanging wire).

Additional information

Weight .25 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 20 × .25 in
Print Size

32" x 40" Stretched Canvas Print $495, 20" x 24" Stretched Canvas Print $330, 11" x 14" Watercolor Print $95, 16" x 20" Watercolor Print $185