Today in Texas History – January 15

From the Annals of the Musicians – In 1972, Don McLean’s song “American Pie” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Pop Charts.  The  rambling lyrics have evoked numerous interpretations but what is not in doubt is that “the Day the Music Died” refers to February 3, 1959, the date of the tragic deaths of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. “the Big Bopper” Richardson all of whom were  from Texas. The song became something of an anthem for a whole generation of high school and college students.  Perhaps no one was more surprised by the success of the song than McLean himself who claims he did not write the song intending it to be a generation-defining epic.  McLean states that it was simply written to capture his view of “America as I was seeing it and how I was fantasizing it might become.”  McLean’s greatest hope was that he might make a few thousand dollars and be able to keep performing for another year.  Instead, when asked about the meaning of the song, McLean remarked “it means I don’t ever have to work again if I don’t want to.”


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