Don McLean has teamed up with the country vocal group Home Free to record an a cappella version of his legendary 1971 anthem “American Pie” that got its release today as a digital single and via streaming services.

The harmony-rich rendition of “American Pie” is being released in celebration of the song’s 50th anniversary this year. It also marks the first time since its release that McLean has recorded a new version of the tune.

“Home Free are part of a new interest in a cappella singing,” notes McLean. “They have found their audience, and it was fun singing with these guys because they really understand harmony. I did many a show with The Persuasions and The Jordanaires, and Home Free is right up there with them!”

Adds Home Free tenor Austin Brown, “Being in the studio with Don McLean was a really special moment for us. Just hearing him talk about what the song means to him and give details on the moment he wrote it — that’s a memory I’ll hold onto for the rest of my life. To team up with such a legend on one of the biggest songs of the century was such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!”

A music video for the new version of “American Pie” is scheduled to premiere on Wednesday, February 3, coinciding with the 62nd anniversary of “The Day the Music Died,” when the tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper occurred, which was the incident that served as inspiration for McLean to write his classic anthem.

McLean is planning to launch a world tour to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “American Pie” this year, although the trek may be affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

By Matt Friedlander
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