AJ Kluth discusses how Don McLean’s “American Pie” immortalized a tragedy

AJ Kluth

“So, bye-bye, miss American pie…”

While chances are you've sung along to Don McLean's "American Pie," you may be less familiar with the radio hit's somber inspiration. Referenced in the lyrics as "the day the music died," McLean’s 1971 song was paying homage to Feb. 3, 1959—the day pop music idols Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson, Jr. (“The Big Bopper'') were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. In honor of tomorrow (Feb. 3) being “The Day the Music Died Day,” The Daily sat down with AJ Kluth, lecturer in the Department of Music, to learn more about the tragic event and those involved. Kluth is a musicologist with interdisciplinary interests in music and philosophy. 

Read this article >>

The Daily | Case Western Reserve University