THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED: THE STORY OF DON McLEAN’S “AMERICAN PIE” will premiere exclusively on the Paramount service Tuesday, July 19, both in the U.S. and internationally where the service is available. Additionally, the documentary will have a special Academy qualifying run in New York City and Los Angeles starting on July 8 and will screen in Showcase Cinemas and associated theaters globally on July 14 and July 17.
With a narrative running deeper than a catchy tune and cryptic verses, “American Pie” is a musical phenomenon woven deep into the history of American culture, entertaining audiences around the world for over 50 years. In THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED: THE STORY OF DON McLEAN’S “AMERICAN PIE,” McLean will, for the first time, powerfully reveal and share the secrets behind his iconic song. In addition, the documentary highlights cultural moments in America’s history that are as relevant now as they were in 1971 when the song was released. The film tells stories of the people who were a part of this moment from the beginning and shows the point of view of a new generation of artists who are motivated by the same values and ideas that inspired the song’s creation.
“This documentary is something that will make people think, especially since so many throughout the years have asked me what certain lyrics meant or whom I was referring to, but now I finally can solve many of those mysteries,” says McLean. “Everyone from Madonna to Garth Brooks to Weird Al Yankovic has recorded ‘American Pie’ and made it their own. So many people have their own interpretation of the song, and I love it.”
"Not only is “American Pie” one of the most universally known songs of all time, it also represents a significant piece of musical history and a pivotal moment in American culture. It’s a story that needs to be told and we’re excited to have THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED take fans deeper into its making, finally put to rest the speculation behind its lyrics, and hear from today’s biggest artists – both legends and future stars – who it has personally influenced,” said Bruce Gillmer, President of Music, Music Talent, Programming and Events, Paramount, and Chief Content Officer, Music, Paramount+. “A global sensation deserves a global launch and we’re thrilled to add this film to Paramount+’s unmatched portfolio of premiere music content."
To help bring the documentary to life, McLean enlisted music producer and songwriter Spencer Proffer, CEO of media production company Meteor 17. In a collaborative vision, Proffer and McLean tell the story of this special and unique song by using contemporary audio/visual storytelling techniques to artistically reimagine the music for a modern audience.
“There are interchanges with all stripes of people from many walks of life, including major celebrities, music icons, current breaking artists and industry leaders,” said Proffer. “The film explores what ‘American Pie’ meant to people then, what it means to them now and what it will mean to generations in the future.”
THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED: THE STORY OF DON MCLEAN’S “AMERICAN PIE” is produced by Spencer Proffer and executive produced by Bruce Gilmer.