Lost in the great shuffle of guitar-wielding singer-songwriters, Don McLean didn't attract much attention upon the 1971 release of his first album, AMERICAN PIE--and an edited version of the title track as its first single. However, the 1972 full-length re-release of the song launched McLean into the pop-music history books for all time. "American Pie" was a cultural reference point for the Vietnam era--full of rueful self-examination, bittersweet nostalgia, and, of course, that indelible chorus lamenting "the day the music died." Based on the success of this song, McLean's artistic credibility flourished. He continued to tour and release albums into the 21st century, and had a 1980 hit with his version of Roy Orbison's "Crying."